TORONTO -- Ontario Premier Doug Ford says that municipalities won’t have to wait long to find out what their share will be of the billions in federal funding that was announced on Thursday.

The Liberal government has said that it will provide provinces and territories with $19 billion in funding to help them restart their economies in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic with at least some of that money earmarked for municipalities and transit providers facing large operational deficits.

Speaking with reporters during a press conference in Kitchener on Friday afternoon, Ford said that his government is in the process of “crossing the Ts and dotting the Is” on the allocation of the money right now and expects to be “rolling it over the next week.”

He did not directly answer a question about whether Toronto would receive enough money to cover the entire $1.35 billion shortfall it expects to face by the end of 2020 but did say that his government will do everything it can to “cover as much” of the operational deficits faced by Ontario’s 444 cities and towns as possible.

“I want to work with the City of Toronto. They are the big white elephant in the room of the 444 (cities and towns) and I understand that,” he said, noting that the losses faced by the TTC alone make Toronto’s challenges particularly acute. “But everyone needs money. We are going to split it up equally and make sure that the people that need it get the money.”

Ford has previously indicated that Ontario will receive about $7 billion in funding from the feds but that money also has to go towards a number of other areas, including expanding testing and contact tracing and acquiring personal protective equipment.

For his part, Tory has said that he is “cautiously optimistic” that the city will get enough money to stave off major cuts but he has also said that it would be “premature to declare victory” without “reading the fine print.”

On Friday, Ford credited city officials for finding more than $500 million in savings in Toronto’s budget and reducing the expected deficit from $1.9 billion to $1.35 billion.

He said that while it would be “hogwash” for any municipality to suggest that it can’t find savings in its budget, the financial challenges faced by the municipal level of government as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are very real.

In Toronto, the TTC alone faces a $700 million budgetary pressure, mostly due to reduced ridership during the COVID-19 pandemic. The city also expects to lose out on $249.2 million in budgeted Municipal Land Transfer Tax revenue in 2020 as a result of real-estate slowdown that accompanied the pandemic.

“We have to work together,” Ford said. “We are going to do everything we can to cover as much as we can in all areas and I just want to thank the municipalities that have been prudent fiscal managers.”