TORONTO – Steven Del Duca, leader of the Ontario Liberal Party made the following statement:
On May 4th, I called on Doug Ford to step up and provide urgent financial relief to Ontario’s municipalities which have been directly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Since then, the Ford government has failed to act and Ontario’s cities and towns are at a crisis point.
Because of provincial inaction, our municipal leaders will be forced to make drastic cuts to local services like public transit, youth job training or public health. Their only other option is to introduce massive, unaffordable property tax increases. Either of these approaches will only hurt those already hit hardest by the pandemic, including women, youth and low income Ontarians.
We cannot afford to let this happen.
And so, today, I am repeating my call from May 4th because our communities are in crisis.
I strongly urge Doug Ford to support the following measures that would make a positive and immediate difference:
- Create a $4 billion Ontario Emergency Municipal Support Fund, in partnership with the federal government, to provide urgent relief to municipalities facing cuts to public services. The province should make a down payment on these funds today.
- Double the provincial investment made to eligible municipalities from the 2019 provincial gas tax program.
- Fast-track provincial funding for infrastructure projects that are shovel ready, to help put our people back to work, and build the critical infrastructure we need.
Ontario’s municipalities are in crisis – and they cannot wait.