Wynne’s budget ignores Torontonians, fails transit and affordable housing

During question period Monday, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath questioned Premier Kathleen Wynne on her decision to completely ignore the people of Toronto, and their housing and transit priorities, with her 2017-18 budget.

“Toronto set out some clear priorities for the budget,” Horwath said.  “People living in Toronto Community Housing need help, and the mayor asked that the province join with the city to provide that help. People relying on the TTC need an improved transit system and the mayor asked the province to join the city to provide that system. 

“I understand what the mayor is talking about. And when we met, I was clear: an NDP government will be there for Toronto.

“The premier ignored the people of Toronto in last week’s budget.” 

Horwath’s commitment to Toronto and cities throughout the province is that an NDP government will be a partner in affordable housing, funding one-third of the repair costs for social housing units, sharing the responsibility equally with the city and the federal government.

After seeing Thursday’s budget, Toronto Mayor John Tory told people living in Toronto Community Housing (TCHC): “The Ontario government is not helping to get your housing fixed.”

Last week, Horwath demanded Premier Wynne begin addressing the needs of families living in TCHC homes – many of which are in desperate need of repairs, with hundreds even being shuttered and sold off while tens of thousands of families are stuck on the wait list. Today, she continued pressing the premier at Queen’s Park. 

“Why isn’t the premier doing what’s needed to fix affordable housing in Toronto and across the province?” Horwath asked in question period. 

 While Mayor Tory told Torontonians the city got “a big goose egg when it came to social housing repairs,” both Tory and Horwath have also been critical of the complete absence of funding for transit improvement in the budget. 

“When I met with Mayor Tory, we talked about the importance of having the province support 50 per cent of the TTC’s operating costs,” Horwath said – a commitment she has made.

“Does the premier not understand how important transit is to all those who live and work in the GTHA, and in cities throughout Ontario?”