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Feds earmark money to help communities adapt to realities of COVID-19

Last Updated Aug 13, 2020 at 11:54 am EDT

The federal government is offering up $31 million in funding for communities seeking to find ways to adapt to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Catherine McKenna speaks during an event at the Tomlinson Family Foundation Clubhouse in Ottawa on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA — The federal government is offering $31 million to help communities find ways to adapt to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna says the money could be used for everything from making it easier to physically distance on playgrounds to building apps so people can access government services from a distance.

The new program, the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative, is aimed at non-governmental organizations that will work with municipalities and other groups to identify projects over the next two years.

The government says it is taking the $31 million from $170 million left in the Smart Cities Challenge program.

That program has been used to encourage cities to find new ways to use data and technology to help residents.

Information on how groups can apply to the new program will be announced soon.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 13, 2020.

The Canadian Press