QUEEN’S PARK – NDP MPPs Jeff Burch (Niagara Centre), who is the Official Opposition Municipal Affairs critic, and NDP House Leader Gilles Bisson (Timmins), have urged Doug Ford to commit to providing emergency operating funding right away for municipalities so they can continue to run day cares, transit systems, public health units, water treatment facilities and so much more, after the pandemic has left municipal budgets on the brink.
“Cities and towns across this province are passing motions, sending letters and pleading for emergency operating funding to help them weather this storm,” said Burch on Wednesday at the Ontario legislature during question period.
“From Niagara to Sudbury to Toronto, local governments are bleeding cash and facing shortfalls in the millions yet this government refuses to act – and it’s cities, towns and everyday Ontarians who will pay the price with tax increases and cuts to services. Will the Premier commit to supporting municipalities by providing emergency operating funding now?,” asked Burch.
Burch and Bisson reminded the Premier that municipalities are at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic, with growing pressure on services such as public health, ambulance and bylaw enforcement.
“The Premier and Minister Clark should be doing something, not just talking to the federal government. That’s the long and the short of the story,” said Bisson. “Will you please help our municipalities? They can’t afford it.”