Canada includes transit in provincial restart funds

June 8, 2020
Few details are available about the C$14 billion provinces will receive.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced June 5 that the federal government is committed to contributing C$14 billion (US$10.43 billion) in additional funding “to the things that all Canadians need.”  

The funding would cover childcare, personal protective equipment for businesses and healthcare and sick pay for workers who are not covered by benefits.

“We’re talking about supporting small towns and big cities so that you can use the services you need - like public transit and community programs - when you head back to work,” said Prime Minister Trudeau.  

While details are few, the prime minister said the federal government and the premiers of Canada’s provinces will work on what Prime Minister Trudeau called a “safe restart agreement” that will help provinces during the next six to eight months.

In response, the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) noted its gratitude for the federal support.

CUTA CEO Marco D’Angelo said the prime minister’s specific mention of public transit underlines the essential role it has played since the pandemic began and the role it will play in the recovery. 

“Today is a good day for transit systems and transit riders. On their behalf, I thank the prime minister for including public transit in the recovery package,” D’Angelo said. “Public transit is essential to essential workers and will be pivotal in building a sustainable recovery. We hope provinces move swiftly to get this welcome relief to transit systems so they can keep Canadians and their communities running.” 

CUTA has been advocating for federal financial aid to assist the country’s transit systems as they deal with loss of fare and other revenues from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, the federal government said it would accelerate provincial Gas Tax payments to help kickstart local economies. Communities have flexibility to use the C$2.2 billion (US$1.62 billion) in shared funding to meet their local needs.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.