Vancouver Mayor Stewart criticizes Premier Horgan in connection to distribution of federal funds

VANCOUVER Mayor Kennedy Stewart on Wednesday said: “Prime Minister [Justin] Trudeau answered my call to support BC’s biggest cities, including Vancouver, through a ground-breaking Safe Restart agreement. Disappointingly, Premier [John] Horgan didn’t distribute federal funding on a per capita basis, as outlined in the agreement.”

He added: “This decision by the Premier means more tough choices ahead like increasing property taxes or making cuts to core services.”

Stewart said in a statement: “Budget 2021 will be Vancouver’s first fully informed by the challenges of COVID-19. The global pandemic has put enormous stress on residents and businesses, and they are looking to City Hall to help support them through these times and set our city up for a strong recovery.

“We know that in order to do this, we must focus on core services that support vulnerable neighbours, small businesses, and the communities we call home. Services like sanitation and cleaning, affordable housing, renters’ supports, homelessness services, faster permitting, and action on the overdose crisis.

“Staff have made significant progress outlining scenarios that do just that, but today’s news about Vancouver’s share of the Safe Restart funds makes our path forward much more challenging.”

Below is a table comparing Vancouver’s per-capita share of Safe Restart funding to other cities across Canada. These numbers do not include transit funding, which many of these cities also received.

CitySafe Restart funds awards (transit not included)Population (census 2016)$/capita
 Montreal, QC  $263,000,000 1,704,694 $154.28 
 Longueuil, QC  $27,000,000 239,700$112.64 
 Lethbridge, AB  $10,280,000 92,729  $110.86 
 Edmonton, AB  $98,451,000 932,546  $105.57 
 Calgary, AB  $130,194,000 1,239,220  $105.06 
 Red Deer, AB  $10,232,000 100,418  $101.89 
 Laval, QC  $42,000,000 422,995 $99.29 
 Toronto, ON  $264,600,000 2,731,571  $96.87 
 Halifax, NS  $24,592,000 403,131 $61.00 
 Winnipeg, MB  $42,200,000 705,224 $59.84 
 London, ON  $21,959,000 383,822 $57.21 
 Ottawa, ON  $49,348,000 934,243  $52.82 
 Hamilton, ON  $27,614,000 536,917 $51.43 
 Barrie, ON  $6,600,000 141,434 $46.66 
 Surrey, BC  $14,769,000 517,887 $28.52 
 Vancouver, BC  $16,371,000 631,486  $25.92 
 Mississauga, ON  $14,997,000 721,599 $20.78 
 Brampton, ON  $10,879,000 593,638 $18.33