(Finance Minister Carole James/BC Gov News)

B.C’s provincial government is committing an additional $1 billion in spending to aid restart plans for local governments and transit services impacted by COVID-19.

The funding is conditional on matching federal contributions under a 50/50 cost-sharing structure.

“This new funding will secure B.C.’s share of the federal government’s $19-billion Safe Restart program and ensure people have access to the critical services they need in their communities,” said Premier John Horgan in a statement on Wednesday.

The province says the funding will help with revenue shortfalls due to COVID-19 and maintain the stability of transit systems and local government services.

The federal government announced the Safe Restart Agreement on July 16, through which they will provide $19 billion to provinces and territories as many begin loosening restrictions.

The $1 billion in funding towards B.C. is based on estimates introduced by Finance Minister Carole James in the B.C. legislature, depending on the outcome of federal cost-sharing discussions.

The province applauded the federal government for being a “reliable partner” during the COVID-19 pandemic and said the funding commitment will help support efforts to restart the provincial economy.

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