QUEEN’S PARK — Mike Schreiner released the following statement in advance of today’s emergency session at the legislature:
“I will not oppose today’s legislation, nor will I block the expedited process to pass it.
But I am disappointed the government is doing the bare minimum to help Ontarians at this critical time.
The problem is not what’s included in the legislation, it’s what’s missing, most importantly direct financial relief for people, local businesses and nonprofits.
At a time of crisis, we should not be nibbling at the edges.
The measures being debated today are not controversial, but they do little to help people, businesses and municipalities that are falling further and further into debt.
I have been calling for the following actions to be included in a relief package:
- Basic income security payments for people who do not quality for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
- Increase to social assistance rates to match the CERB
- Emergency Rent Relief for tenants, including small businesses at risk of closure
- Additional funding for nonprofits, shelters, food banks and community groups
It is very disappointing that this government refuses to access the $3.8 billion in contingency and reserve funding to soften the financial blow that everyone is experiencing.
I’m also growing worried that municipalities are being abandoned when they need us the most. The Ford government must do more to offset lost revenue from transit, parking fees and property taxes.
If we fail to act, we could see the collapse of key municipal services, including local transit.”