More McGuinty promises won't help municipalities: Hampton



    QUEEN'S PARK, Aug. 20 /CNW/ - NDP Leader Howard Hampton says Ontario
families won't be fooled by Dalton McGuinty's pre-election promises of help
for municipalities.
    "For four years Dalton McGuinty claimed Ontario couldn't help
cash-strapped municipalities - now he claims he has a plan. Ontario families
won't be impressed by pre-election band-aid solutions. They won't be fooled by
more McGuinty promises," said Hampton.
    Media reports today indicate McGuinty will announce a four-year plan to
have the province take over Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) costs
now being paid by Ontario municipalities. Howard Hampton and Ontario's NDP
have already committed to this measure as part of their comprehensive strategy
to help municipalities. In addition to uploading ODSP costs, the NDP plan
includes:

    
    -  Two-year transit fare freeze to keep cars off the road and protect
       transit riders from punishing fare hikes by assuming Ontario's
       traditional responsibility for paying 50 per cent of public transit
       operating costs. Municipalities and property taxpayers will see
       $220 million a year in benefits starting next year.

    -  Uploading court security costs to provide needed relief for
       municipalities and property taxpayers by assuming the cost of
       providing security services in courtrooms. Municipalities and
       municipal property taxpayers across the province will see $200 million
       in benefits which they can choose to use for initiatives that keep our
       communities safe, like hiring more police officers starting next year.

    -  Honouring Ontario's cost-sharing and funding agreements and pay the
       $225 million the McGuinty government has been shortchanging
       municipalities.
    

    Under McGuinty's plan, Toronto, struggling with a $575 million deficit,
would receive only $44 million in new funding next year. Under the NDP plan,
Toronto would receive $221 million in 2008.
    Ottawa, facing a $118 million shortfall, will receive only $14 million
next year under the McGuinty plan. Under the NDP plan, Ottawa would receive
$93 million in 2008.
    "Dalton McGuinty promised fair property taxes for hard-working families
but Ontarians are paying the highest property taxes in Canada. He promised to
protect public services but he's forcing communities to cut services. He
promised to show leadership but he's still hiding behind a task force that he
timed to report back after the election. McGuinty got it wrong. New Democrats
will make it right," said Hampton.




For further information:

For further information: Marion Nader, (416) 325-2601

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