OTTAWA – Ontario Greens leader and Guelph MPP, Mike Schreiner, is calling for a New Deal for Municipalities – a fair fiscal framework with less downloading of costs to the municipal property tax base and stable long-term funding to plan responsibly.
Speaking at the annual meeting of the Association of Municipalities Ontario (AMO) in Ottawa today, Schreiner called for provincial-municipal cooperation to “build communities that work for people, not for speculators.”
Commenting on the Ford government’s new “Strong Mayors Building Homes” legislation, Schreiner said: “Instead of concentrating power in the mayor’s office, let’s quickly build more homes by ending exclusionary zoning so municipalities can ramp up housing supply without threatening our food security and the $50 billion food and farming economy.”
Schreiner said that building vibrant, successful mainstreets requires the province to invest in caring for people, especially the most vulnerable.
“Poverty costs this province $33 billion per year. So let’s end legislated poverty by doubling social assistance rates.
“Let’s invest in expanding mental health and addiction services. And let’s house the most vulnerable with wrap-around mental health, addiction and other supports.
“These investments will save lives, improve quality of life, boost local economics and, ultimately, save money. Surely funding these solutions is more important than inflated electricity subsidies and licence plate gimmicks.”