TORONTO – Steven Del Duca, leader of the Ontario Liberal Party made the following statement:
Ontario municipalities are beginning to spell out the tough cuts they will have to make to balance their books. Municipal cuts will devastate communities if they have to be implemented.
We all understand they have very little choice: by law, municipalities cannot run deficits. The federal and provincial governments need to offer financial support – and the provincial government should not wait.
That’s why, on May 4th, I called on the Ford government to take three concrete steps to help Ontario municipalities.
Today, I am repeating that call, because the need is urgent.
Firstly, we need to create the Ontario Emergency Municipal Support Fund, a minimum $4 billion fund, cost-shared with the federal government, to provide urgent relief funding to municipalities facing financial hardship.
Second, the Ford government should immediately provide eligible municipalities with a doubling of the monies they received from the 2019 provincial gas tax program.
And finally, we need to expedite infrastructure projects that are shovel ready. We need to get our communities back to work.
Ontario’s 444 municipalities face big challenges – and they cannot wait. The Premier needs to step up and provide direct funding to our communities.
Ontarians deserve stability and they deserve to know their property taxes aren’t going to go up. It’s up to the Premier to show leadership on this issue and do the right thing.