Cash-strapped municipalities to receive $500 million in new provincial funding

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Cash-strapped municipalities in Ontario will receive an additional $500 million to help address pandemic-related costs.

Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark says the money can be used to pay for community services and ongoing capital projects.

The province says the new funding comes in addition to nearly $1.4 billion received from the federal government and given to communities earlier in the pandemic.

Clark says the new funding will be split between 444 municipalities in the province.

Ontario municipalities are not allowed to run deficits by law, so they have laid off thousands of staff and contemplated deep service cuts to offset pandemic-related costs.

Local leaders have said that without continued financial aid from the federal and provincial governments they will be forced to raise taxes.