WINDSOR, ONT. -- Municipalities in Windsor-Essex have been awarded nearly $25 million in new funding from the provincial and federal governments to support financial impacts associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding was announced Wednesday as part of the Safe Restart Agreement to help with ongoing municipal operating budget impacts.

“Fighting COVID-19 and protecting our communities requires a Team Canada approach,” Windsor-Tecumseh MP Irek Kusmierczyk said in a news release. “This funding demonstrates our government’s commitment to support municipalities and the residents of Windsor-Tecumseh who depend on safe, reliable and sustainable public services such as transit.”

The City of Windsor has been awarded more than $19 million, while other municipalities have been allocated upwards of $100,000 and $1,890,000 for the County of Essex.

The breakdown of funding for the region includes:

  • Town of Amherstburg - $405,000
  • County of Essex - $1,890,000
  • Town of Essex – $230,000
  • Town of Kingsville - $230,000
  • Town of Lakeshore - $899,000
  • Town of LaSalle - $294,000
  • Municipality of Leamington - $684,000
  • Town of Tecumseh – $234,000
  • Township of Pelee - $81,000
  • City of Windsor - $19,492,000

“There is no way around it: this is great news for the City of Windsor,” Mayor Drew Dilkens said in a news release. “Doug Ford and Steve Clark have recognized the unique challenges that our border community faced as a result of this public health emergency, which dried up revenues from the tunnel, airport and casino while increasing costs associated with keeping our staff and residents safe.”

The Canadian government announced in September it was providing the Government of Ontario with more than $776 million in funding, matched by the province, to support municipalities.

Windsor-Essex municipalities received nearly $27 million from the initial round of Safe Restart funding.

Further funding has been awarded to 48 municipalities in the province that have been hit hardest by the pandemic including the City of Windsor.

Of those areas granted funding, only Toronto and Brampton received more funding than Windsor due to the region's unique revenue losses as a border city.

“We know that the 2021 budget is going to be very challenging and that difficult decisions lie ahead for Council, but 10 days before Christmas, there is no denying that the provincial government has come through for Windsor in a big way,” Dilkens said.

In addition, municipalities have been awarded funding to help offset next year’s budget challenges, with Windsor having been allocated $5,086,000, toward 2021 operating budget pressures.

The province gave specific direction to “preserve capital projects moving forward,” the city said.

With this funding in place, the city will be able to plan for the next municipal budget which will be presented in early 2021.