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Monday, October 2, 2023

Ford, Chow agree ‘new deal’ is required to assist sort out Toronto’s huge deficit | Globalnews.ca Specific Occasions

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Ontario Premier Doug Ford agreed Monday that town of Toronto wants a “new deal” to handle its rising monetary pressures, however shot down two of the mayor’s key requests for easy methods to obtain that.

Mayor Olivia Chow sat down with the premier Monday on the legislature for a gathering that stretched previous its scheduled one hour, bringing a message of economic urgency concerning the metropolis’s $1.5-billion deficit. It’s a largely structural gap, Chow mentioned, and as a result of companies being downloaded to the municipality.

“The premier and I agree that Toronto is an financial engine – we generate half of the GDP in Ontario – and we additionally agree that the current monetary association is simply not sustainable,” Chow mentioned.

“We have to have a long-term monetary deal, a brand new deal, a greater deal that…would have some form of income that’s safe, in order that we don’t should — yearly or virtually each month — we’re simply speaking about looking for income sources.”

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Toronto metropolis council voted earlier this month to usher in a brand new surtax on high-value house gross sales and ask the provincial authorities to make use of its authority to usher in a municipal gross sales tax for Toronto, or to provide town a portion of its current Harmonized Gross sales Tax.

“I’m simply not in favour, and particularly in these occasions that individuals are struggling, to place extra of a burden on the backs of the taxpayers,” Ford mentioned in response to a query about these proposals throughout a press convention with Chow following their assembly.

“There’s all the time methods to have a look at income development, versus taxing folks.”

Ford additionally mentioned, “No, not proper now,” when requested if he was open to sharing a slice of the HST.

Along with agreeing that one thing structural wants to vary with Toronto’s funds, the mayor and premier additionally agreed Monday to type a working group with provincial and metropolis officers to provide you with options and report again by the tip of November. The working group has a mandate to keep away from new taxes and charges.

Chow mentioned whether or not it’s by means of tax income or importing companies, Toronto simply wants sustainability.

Click to play video: 'Premier Doug Ford meets with Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow at Queen’s Park'

Premier Doug Ford meets with Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow at Queen’s Park

“The town of Toronto actually doesn’t fully care the place the cash comes from,” she mentioned, giving examples of companies akin to youngster care, policing and public transit that town delivers.

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“As to the place the funding comes from, it’s actually as much as the province of Ontario. I do know Premier Ford has a beautiful surplus that makes me fairly jealous and wherever he can discover the funding, I’ll simply welcome it.”

Ontario has projected a $1.3-billion deficit for this fiscal yr, shifting right into a small surplus subsequent yr and being $4.4 billion within the black by 2025-26, however the finance minister additionally introduced final September that the province ended 2021-22 with a shock $2.1-billion surplus, a far cry from the $33-billion deficit projected within the earlier funds.

The Monetary Accountability Workplace has projected a lot bigger surpluses, going from $3 billion this yr to $10.6 billion by 2025-26.

Shortly earlier than the assembly Monday, Ford introduced that the province is including $42 million in funding to a transportable housing profit, with greater than half going to town of Toronto.

The premier mentioned the cash by means of the Canada-Ontario Housing Profit will assist about 4,000 new households, going towards shifting extra folks into housing and releasing up shelter house.

Metropolis officers say the variety of asylum seekers in Toronto’s shelter system grew by 500 per cent in 20 months.

The federal authorities in July introduced $97 million for Toronto to assist cope with the problem, however Ford and Chow have mentioned it falls in need of the $157 million town wanted.

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Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow meets with Ontario Premier Doug Ford on the Queen’s Park Legislature in Toronto on Monday, Sept. 18, 2023.


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