Politics

Next Toronto mayor will need to deal with cuts unless feds, province help: McKelvie

Toronto’s incoming mayor will need to oversee cuts to services if other levels of government can’t help make up a nearly $1 billion budget shortfall, the deputy mayor said Wednesday, offering aid to Ottawa’s city. criticized the lack of

Jennifer McKelvey claimed the federal budget announced the day before had shut out Toronto.

“The federal government wants to focus on growth, but we can’t leave local governments in a state of recovery behind,” McKelvey said at city hall.

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Ontario’s 2023 budget fails to provide concrete relief for struggling city of Toronto

The budget shortfall was looming large as the Toronto city council met for the first time on Wednesday and former mayor John Tory resigned last month after revealing an “improper relationship” with staff.

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The incoming mayor will be responsible for ensuring support for the city from other levels of government, McKelvey said.

“I look forward to the new mayor bringing good deals to Toronto,” she said.

Toronto’s budget, approved by Congress last month, will allow state and federal governments to provide relief for pandemic-related shortages in the city in 2023, largely related to declining transportation revenues and rising costs for shelters. It was balanced on the assumption that it would put out a combined $933 million.

However, Ontario and the federal government have made no such commitments in their respective budgets.

Federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said Toronto received “massive aid” from the federal government through the pandemic, including $1 billion as part of a program to help local governments restore lost revenue. said he received it.

There are “legitimate doubts” about whether the city has an adequate tax base, she said, adding that it would be “very appropriate” for the city to seek help from the state government. .

“Today City Hall came up to University (Avenue) and knocked on the door in Queen’s Park and said, ‘You look pretty good. I think you should write some checks to the City of Toronto.'” Freeland told a local radio show.

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A spokeswoman for City of Ontario Minister Steve Clark said the city continues to support Toronto in ensuring it is responsive to local needs.

“Ontario has provided more than $2.7 billion in COVID-19 aid funding to address pandemic-related impacts in Toronto,” Victoria Podbielski said in a statement.


Click to play video: 'Chrystia Freeland prepares federal budget'


Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland Submits Federal Budget


“This includes joint federal and state investments under the Safe Restart Agreement and other state support to address the impact of COVID-19 on local services such as transportation, shelter and public health. included.”

McKelvey, who took over some of the mayor’s powers after Tory stepped down, said Toronto would see “rapid layoffs” next year without help.

City services, particularly shelter and transit systems, serve people throughout the Greater Toronto Area and deserve additional support from other government mandates, McKelvey said.

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The city also requested that the federal government match the state’s $235 million commitment to cover the lingering shortfall from last year’s budget. said to put in

“It’s a bad strategy going forward. It’s like using RRSP to pay off your mortgage,” McKelvie says. “We know that the way the city operates today is not sustainable.”

City councilors on Wednesday discussed the city’s financial outlook report produced by consulting firm Ernst and Young, which shows Toronto faces $46.5 billion in budget pressures over the next decade.

“Without meaningful action to address and mitigate the $46.5 billion pressure, Toronto’s future as a great place to live, visit and do business could be in jeopardy,” the report said. the book says.

The city council also officially began the journey to the by-election, set during that meeting to declare the mayoral seat vacant, scheduled for June 26.

A crowded field of competitors has already emerged.

Earl. Brad Bradford confirmed his long-anticipated candidacy plans on Wednesday. Josh Matlow, former City Councilman Ana Bairro, former police chief Mark Sanders, and Gil Penalosa, the Conservative runner-up in the last mayoral election.

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Scarborough Guildwood liberal MPP Mitzeee Hunter said she plans to resign her seat at Queen’s Park to run for the race.

Citing concerns over violent attacks on transport, Bradford said “community safety” would be a top priority in his campaign. A former city planner, Bradford won a Tory endorsement in the 2018 local elections and currently chairs the city’s housing committee.

Mr Bradford has indicated that he would not hesitate to exercise his controversial powers of a “strong mayor” if elected. These powers introduced under state law include the power to introduce and pass budgets with only his one-third approval of Congress.

“A strong mayor is someone who isn’t afraid to go to the state or federal government and say, ‘It’s time to do our fair share,'” he said. “Now is the time to talk less and take action.”

Earl. Stephen Holliday did not go so far as to confirm that he would run for mayor, but said he has a message that “seems to resonate with people”.

© 2023 The Canadian Press

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