Saturday, July 20, 2024

Doug Ford and Olivia Chow agree on new-deal working group to stabilize Toronto’s finances

Today, Premier Doug Ford and Mayor Olivia Chow agreed to a new-deal working group with a mandate to achieve long-term stability and sustainability of Toronto’s finances.

“Toronto’s deep financial challenges are no longer sustainable,” Premier Doug Ford said in a statement. “Toronto is a major contributor to Ontario and Canada’s economic success. Governments need to work together to deliver solutions that protect services, avoid new taxes and put the city on a path toward long-term financial stability.”

The new-deal working group will be made up of public service officials from relevant provincial and city ministries and departments who will start their work immediately to deliver an agreement before the end of November.

“The people of Toronto deserve an affordable city that can provide the services and build the infrastructure they rely on every day. To resolve Toronto’s deep financial challenges, we’ll need partnership with all orders of government,” said Mayor Olivia Chow. “A stronger Toronto means a stronger province and country.”

The premier’s office said that the financial pressures on Toronto are unique, decades in the making and growing. They have resulted in structural challenges that, absent wholesale intervention, risk the long-term viability of the city and the services it provides. These challenges cannot be solved through painful program cuts or new fees and taxes. Instead, the province and city will work jointly to invest in and support smart and effective growth for Toronto.

Recognizing these challenges, any agreement established by the new-deal working group must:

  • Respect and support the efficient delivery of local governance and city programs;
  • Protect frontline services and frontline municipal workers;
  • Avoid new taxes and fees on hard-working residents of the city; and
  • Support the delivery of shared priorities, including building affordable and attainable homes, public transit and city-enabling infrastructure.

The province says that Toronto has for decades serviced and facilitated domestic and international trade and driven a significant portion of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth. Given the city’s national importance, solving these challenges is necessary for the long-term economic success of Canada.

As such, the province and city are urging the federal government to join the new-deal working group. The expectation is that there will be additional financial support from the federal government.


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