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$150 million not enough to bail out cities

Mike Schreiner released this statement after the government announced an additional $150 million for municipalities to help with housing and homelessness:

QUEEN’S PARK — Mike Schreiner released this statement after the government announced an additional $150 million for municipalities to help with housing and homelessness:

“Although this funding is welcome, the Premier needs to come to the table with a lot more than $150 million to bail out Ontario’s cities from the COVID-19 crisis.

This pandemic has brought municipalities to their knees, and Ottawa responded by fast-tracking $2.2 billion in infrastructure funding for cities.

Doug Ford has yet to announce anything comprehensive, instead trickling out small amounts of money that will only leave municipalities deep in the red.

Toronto is still waiting for help after sounding the alarm that it was losing $65 million per week back in May.

Cities need a comprehensive rescue package that includes bail-out money to keep local transit services, child care operators, and nonprofits alive.

And the Premier should start by doubling municipalities’ share of the gas tax funding, an election promise he has yet to fulfill.

The Premier should not point the finger at Ottawa while refusing to dig into his own pockets.”