More Details on Safe Restart Funding for Ontario

September 16, 2020

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shared more details on next steps for supporting provinces and municipalities through the Safe Restart Agreement. 

Through the Agreement, the Government of Canada will provide over $19 billion in funding to help provinces and territories safely restart the economy. Provinces and territories were asked to outline in a letter how these funds would best be allocated within their jurisdictions, based on their priorities. The premiers have now submitted their letters and the federal funding will be transferred to the provinces and territories.

Ontario's Funding Priorities under the Safe Restart Agreement

Ontario's response letter from Premier Doug Ford outlined how Ontario's portion of the Safe Restart Agreement funding will be used to support seven key priority areas, including:
  • Testing, contact tracing, and data management
  • Health care capacity, including mental health and substance use
  • Protecting vulnerable populations, including seniors in long-term care facilities
  • Securing personal protective equipment
  • Child care for returning workers
  • Support for municipalities, including for public transit
  • Sick leave

Key priorities and highlights from the Premier's letter include:
  • Committment to establish the ability to administer 50,000 tests per day by this fall.

  • Developing contingency to allow for surge testing capacity of up to 78,000 tests per day on an as-needed basis in Ontario.

  • Developing additional infection, prevention and control measures, reducing the backlog of non-COVID-19 procedures, and preparing for surge capacity.

  • Increasing services and protections for people experiencing mental health challenges and problematic substance use by enhancing Ontario’s investments in community-based mental health supports.

  • Increasing efforts to control and prevent infections among vulnerable populations. 

  • Investing $1.75 billion over five years to create new and redevelop existing long-term care beds.

  • Ontario’s municipalities will receive overall $2 billion in support to address municipal operating pressures, social services including shelters and food banks, and extraordinary public health costs to assist public health and safety as a result of managing COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Transit agencies in Ontario will receive up to $2 billion to address actual financial pressures related to COVID-19.

  • Supporting Ontario’s ongoing investments in PPE, including growing our domestic production of PPE and international purchases.

  • Supporting Ontario's child care sector in opening child care centres, including ensuring staff have PPE, supporting minor retrofits to promote physical distancing, increasing cleaning and infection control, and increasing staffing.

More Information