Walter Sendzik, vice president of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Cities Initiative and mayor of St. Catharines, announced support for the new Government of Canada agreement to fund a “safe economic restart” plan, which includes funding for Canadian municipalities.
“The municipalities along the Canadian shores of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence applaud the Government of Canada direct funding to cities and towns providing critical frontline services to Canadians working together to stop COVID-19,” he said. “The new funding, coupled with the accelerated Gas Tax Fund payment, are a great start to helping local communities safely restart our economies, protect our fresh water, and continue to provide vital services to Canadians where they live, work and raise their families.
“At a time when municipal leaders are facing historic high-water levels along the Great Lakes and rebuilding after the 2019 flooding along the St. Lawrence, the added costs and reduced revenue due to COVID-19 is creating an unsustainable situation where municipalities are facing severe fiscal challenges. This new funding is greatly needed and appreciated at this time, and is a great step towards developing a plan to restart the economy in every community.
“The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Cities Initiative is ready to work with the Government of Canada in developing and delivering ‘Green Stimulus’ that can help Canadians return to work, rebuild our economy, while building infrastructure that protects our fresh water, rejuvenates our shorelines, reduces erosion and toxins, and limits future flood damages. The Stimulus Water Restoration Initiative released this month showcases how local governments can create approximately 150,000 Canadian jobs over two construction seasons by protecting our community’s shorelines and water infrastructure.”
To learn more about Stimulus Water Restoration Initiative, visit https://glslcities.org/initiatives/stimulus-water-restoration-initiative/.
The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative is a binational coalition of close to 100 U.S. and Canadian mayors and local officials working to advance the protection and restoration of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. The Cities Initiative and local officials integrate environmental, economic and social agendas and sustain a resource that represents approximately 80% of North America’s surface freshwater supply, provides drinking water for 40 million people, and is the foundation upon which a strong regional economy is based.