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Province shells out more than $9-M for county pandemic costs

Funding will go toward transit, social services and other pandemic costs incurred as part of the County of Simcoe’s COVID-19 response
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The County of Simcoe is getting some help from the provincial government to deal with COVID-19 costs.

On Wednesday afternoon, the province announced it would be providing up to $1.6 billion as part of a first round of emergency funding under the Safe Restart Agreement.

As part of that announcement, the County of Simcoe will be receiving $9 million for costs associated with COVID-19. In addition, the county will be receiving $52,360 specifically for transit.

“We are grateful to the Province of Ontario for the $9 million... to address operating pressures and local needs and we look forward to the future phases of the Safe Restart Agreement to help service providers... meet the needs of vulnerable populations,” said County of Simcoe Warden George Cornell.

“Additionally, we’re pleased to learn of the $52,360 towards our growing LINX Transit Service. This funding is needed as we address increased costs brought on by the pandemic,” he said.

The county will also be receiving an additional $3,454,108 as part of phase 2 of the Social Services Relief Fund.

“We anticipate using this funding towards the costs of the motel model of homeless shelter delivery during the pandemic and to assist homeless shelters to design their physical spaces in a way that promotes public health physical distancing best practices in a safe manner,” said Cornell. “This funding may also support longer-term housing solutions for vulnerable populations.”