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Friday, March 24, 2023

Toronto renews plea for Ottawa, province for bailout

Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie is picking up where John Tory left off, urging the federal and provincial governments to bail out Toronto’s pandemic-ravaged finances to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

The pleas are in letters to Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy released Monday, ahead of upcoming federal and provincial budgets, by the office of McKelvie, who has acted as head of city council since Tory’s shock resignation.

Tory had, since last fall, raised the alarm that residents of Canada’s biggest city face major cuts to services and huge tax hikes unless the other governments help rescue finances hit by reduced TTC fare revenues and extra pandemic costs for seniors home staffing and more.

“It is my sincere hope that in both the provincial and federal budgets this year we see both governments follow through on their commitments to support our city through the pandemic, to build housing, and to support newcomers, by committing more funding for Toronto, the country’s economic engine” McKelvie wrote.

“The asks in these letters will ensure we can build adequate housing for vulnerable residents, increase housing supply across our city, continue to provide wraparound supports and shelter to newcomers and refugees, and ensure city services and infrastructure do not suffer.”

More later

David Rider is the Star’s City Hall bureau chief and a reporter covering city hall and municipal politics. Follow him on Twitter: @dmrider


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