John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press
Printed Tuesday, January 12, 2021 three:16PM EST
Toronto’s mayor is looking on the federal and provincial governments to as soon as once more step up with monetary help for Canadian cities because the COVID-19 pandemic stretches right into a second fiscal yr.
John Tory mentioned Tuesday that if the upper ranges of presidency do not come via with renewed funding Toronto should reduce as much as $860 million of capital spending.
“I don’t suppose it’s an acceptable time to chop companies to individuals, particularly susceptible individuals, and I actually do not suppose it is time for an enormous tax enhance,” mentioned Tory. “So we would be left with no different.
“However I am optimistic. I feel the opposite governments will come ahead as a result of they will notice we have to proceed to make these investments, we have to present companies to individuals.”
Tory made the remarks in a speech to the Empire Membership of Canada that previewed a few of the metropolis’s 2021 price range, which will probably be introduced earlier than metropolis council on Thursday.
Tory had advocated for a “Protected Restart Settlement” for municipalities throughout the nation in 2020, which federal and provincial governments agreed to final yr.
He mentioned on Tuesday that the settlement helped bridge Toronto’s $1.7 billion hole for 2020, to assist fund town’s COVID-19 response and reply to shortfalls for its public transit.
He argued that Toronto — and all massive cities in Canada — want a second settlement in place as native economies proceed to endure in the course of the pandemic.
“Given the size of time it took to succeed in settlement on protected restart in 2020, the time to take care of 2021 is now,” Tory mentioned.
The mayor pointed to lowered ridership on the Toronto Transit Fee for instance of how town’s earnings has been harm. He mentioned that ridership has dropped from 1.7 million individuals every day to 504,000, resulting in a lack of $650.four million in 2020.
He mentioned that the TTC will obtain a $789.eight million metropolis subsidy on this yr’s price range however will even require a further $796.four million to offset COVID-19 impacts.
Different investments from Thursday’s price range that Tory previewed included a further $281 million for shelters, plus an extra $15 million for supportive housing.
He additionally mentioned Toronto Public Well being, city-owned long-term care houses, and Toronto Neighborhood Housing will get extra funding.
This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed Jan. 12, 2021.