The mayors of Canada’s largest cities say they need federal aid to cover the shortfall of millions of people’s riding revenue, stalling the pace of the country’s economic recovery.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the municipal exchequer hard as cities have seen a drop in transit ridership along with fare revenue.
At the same time, cities have seen increased spending, leading to budget deficits that mayors have repeatedly called for federal cash to fill.
Halifax Mayor Mike Savage says big cities are first focusing on getting help for transit costs to avoid service cuts, which he said would hurt workers and businesses dependent on train and bus services.
The chairman of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ caucus of large city mayors also says that absent help, cities could be hard-pressed to update their transit systems that federal liberals have promised to help fund. .