Statement from Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath on addressing the pressing needs of municipalities now

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath issued the following statement.

"The needs of Toronto, and municipalities across the province, have been ignored for too long by Premier Wynne and her Liberal government.  New Democrats are proud to support  citizens groups and municipal leaders who have called on the Province to contribute its fair share when it comes to funding transit and transportation,  affordable housing for vulnerable Ontarians, and affordable and accessible childcare for working families.

While municipalities will no doubt find good use for additional gas tax revenue, they cannot wait until 2021 for support.

If the Premier were truly committed to meeting the needs of Toronto and Ontario’s municipalities then she would  immediately restore 50% operating funding for municipal transit services, which amounts to more than $300 million dollars as opposed to the inadequate $170 million dollars the Liberals are offering Toronto. She would make real contributions to protect affordable municipal childcare spaces, which municipalities are being forced to close for lack of provincial support. She would immediately commit the Province to providing an equitable one third split, alongside the federal government and municipalities, for affordable housing, so that municipalities can make badly needed improvements to affordable housing stock.

Like people in Toronto and across the province, I am deeply disappointed that the Premier has decided to play games with the urgent need for transit funding. The timing of this announcement and the fact that the money she is promising won’t begin to flow until after the 2018 provincial election is politics at its worst. It is the duty of a provincial government  to respond to the pressing needs of cities and municipalities now not at the most politically convenient time.  The upcoming provincial budget must include 50% operating funding for municipal transit and real support for public housing and affordable childcare.

In the future I look forward to meeting with Mayor Tory and municipal leaders across the province to discuss ways in which the Province can and should be helping municipalities to meet their transit, transportation, childcare and affordable housing needs."