A cash injection of over 3.6 million dollars should prove a real shot in the arm for the region’s MRCs. The provincial aid, totaling $3,683,525, is meant to help MRCs with additional costs associated with the pandemic, as well as fund the development of regional digital infrastructures and technological tools.
The grant was announced on April 8 by Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Andrée Laforest and MNAs Claude Reid, Claire IsaBelle, and Marilyne Picard. The money will be divided amongst the MRCs of Beauharnois-Salaberry, Haut-St-Laurent, Haut-Richelieu, Jardins-de-Napierville, and Vaudreuil-Soulanges.
“The municipal sector has shown great resilience since the start of this pandemic and has been an ally in our fight against the spread of the virus,” said Laforest in a press release on the matter. “The MRCs, like the municipalities, have been able to adapt to our new reality and offer quality service to their communities, despite sometimes having limited access to digital tools,” she noted, while emphasizing the important role this new financial support will play in improving resources at the MRC level.
This financial aid is part of an $80 million package handed out to all provincial MRCs and is in addition to the $800 million the Quebec government announced would be paid to municipalities by the end of March. The initial amount was meant to make up for losses of revenue and costs incurred by the pandemic. These additional funds, which had been set in reserve, are now granted to support the MRCs in their efforts to improve digital infrastructure and to create and maintain teleworking jobs, as well as other regional needs.
“I am aware that over the past year, our MRCs and our municipalities have had to face many challenges and new difficulties related to the pandemic,” said Claire IsaBelle in a press release. “This financial assistance for the four MRCs in our constituency will be an important lever in terms of economic recovery and will help improve the performance of the technological services made available to the population. I thank all the municipalities and the MRCs once again for their collaboration, and for the excellent services they offer to citizens,” she adds.
The money is being allocated to each regional MRC as follows: $703,676 for Jardins-de-Napierville, $816,524 for Haut-Saint-Laurent, $769,734 for Beauharnois-Salaberry, $736,705 for Haut-Richelieu, and $656,886 for Vaudreuil-Soulanges.