Due to the COVID-19 pandemic that hurt a lot of business around the world, including Canada, the government has been funding a lot of projects for many of the country’s major cities. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that there would be more than $2 billion given to the cities to improve their infrastructure after being hit hard by the pandemic. It was big news for Edmonton, who will rely on that money for a lot of maintenance, as well as additions.
Mayor Don Iveson made sure to quell the excitement a little bit, though, saying that the money that the city receives won’t ultimately replace the damage that COVID-19 caused, but it’s a good start. “It’s not new money,” he said. “But it does arrive a little bit sooner.” iveson added that the money would mainly go “Particularly in areas of transit, PPE acquisition, and some of the other extraordinary costs and revenue impairments that municipalities are facing.”
Iveson also wanted some of the money to go into emergency funds for future use. “These dollars are – well helpful – not helpful enough in stemming the unrecoverable losses we have from our shortfalls,” he said. Not all of it is caution for Iveson, though, who is grateful for the money that the city will be receiving.
“(Justin Trudeau’s) commitment to continue to work with the premiers to try to bring a solution that will be helpful to municipalities of all sizes (and) particularly Canada’s large cities is appreciated,” he said. “Clearly there is more work to do.” As Edmonton and the rest of Canada walk the long road of recovery from the effects of the coronavirus, there will be money that comes in from the federal government, but it’s going to be a big team effort from the city’s residents that gets it back on track.