More Funding For Transit And Infrastructure To Help Ontario Grow Stronger
TORONTO, Oct. 3 /CNW/ - Premier Dalton McGuinty today called on Prime
Minister Stephen Harper to dedicate one cent of the Goods and Services Tax to
new funding for municipalities.
"Prime Minister Harper needs to understand that just as a strong Ontario
is fundamental to a strong Canada, strong municipalities are essential to a
strong Ontario," the Premier said.
McGuinty, who outlined Ontario Liberals' plan for the province in a
speech here today, said that new funding is badly needed by Toronto, Ottawa,
Hamilton and other Ontario municipalities for key public services.
"One of the greatest pressures is the need to fund infrastructure,
particularly public transit, which keeps goods and people moving, contributing
to a strong economy and the quality of life our people enjoy."
He has written Harper, explaining that "our municipalities face
tremendous pressures, and that, in turn, is placing pressure on property
Turning over one cent of the GST would provide Ontario municipalities
with $1.9 billion. The City of Toronto would receive an additional $400
million a year from this initiative, helping address major pressures that the
Toronto Transit Commission is facing. Hamilton would receive $80 million and
$130 million would go to Ottawa.
Municipalities are still recovering from the downloading of
responsibilities and costs imposed by the previous Harris Tory government in
Ontario, McGuinty said.
The Ontario Liberals have uploaded these responsibilities as fast as the
province can afford, while digging out of the $5.6 billion deficit the
previous Conservative government also managed to leave behind, he said.
"There's more for us to do with municipalities, and with the federal
government now sitting on such a massive surplus, there is much more they
should be doing to help municipalities to deliver quality public services, and
reduce the pressure on property taxpayers, at the same time," McGuinty said.
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