Progress For Toronto Despite Tough Fiscal Context Facing The Province And City
Working Together To Build Stronger, More Livable Communities
QUEEN'S PARK -- The Province is working to strengthen the City of Toronto, to improve the quality of life for its residents and revitalize the economic engine of Ontario, said Premier Dalton McGuinty.
"The City of Toronto and the Province are both in tough fiscal spots right now, and neither of us can afford to do all we'd like to do this year. Still, we are making significant progress," Premier McGuinty said.
"In the short term, we are focusing our scarce resources where they will do the most good -- on the TTC and affordable housing -- and we're looking forward to next week's anniversary of the TTC and a significant announcement."
That announcement will build upon the down payment the Ontario government has already made on its commitment to a stronger, more livable Toronto, which includes:
- $89 million for Toronto general hospitals, and $4.8 million for specialty psychiatric hospitals in the city, as part of $385 million in additional funding for Ontario hospitals;
- For Toronto schools, more than $60 million as part of the government's initiative to improve literacy, numeracy and ESL programs for struggling students;
- Property tax flexibility to raise revenues and protect homeowners;
- $64 million for subway safety improvements;
- $62 million for the renewal of aging buses and streetcars;
- $24 million to build 900 units of new affordable housing;
- Donation of $3.5 million in proceeds from the Princess Margaret Hospital site to address homelessness;
- A $580,000 grant to revitalize Toronto cultural attractions; and
- More than $1 million for initiatives to attract tourists to Toronto, including $500,000 for "Late Night with Conan O'Brien."
"At the same time, we are working with Toronto and all municipalities to redefine their relationship with the Province, so they have more flexibility to meet the needs of the people we both serve," Premier McGuinty said.
"We will also work closely with the City to press the federal government -- among the three partners, the only level of government with a surplus -- to put more focus on the urban agenda and dedicate more resources to it."
Premier McGuinty and Mayor David Miller talk and meet on a regular basis and had another working meeting today.
"We are committed to building strong communities, and a strong Toronto is crucial to building a strong Ontario," Premier McGuinty said. "I look forward to continuing to work with Mayor Miller."