WATCH: Mayor Tory accusing province of short-changing city in budget
Toronto's mayor is accusing the Wynne Liberals of turning their backs on the city's most crucial needs.
John Tory says he is disappointed, frustrated and puzzled by the lack of new provincial funding in the budget for social housing and transit. "I don't think the public thought that as they saw the federal government starting to invest, again, in transit and housing that at that very same moment the provincial government would say its work is done in terms of future new investment in transit and housing."
He says the province has now left major transit projects in the lurch. "Let's be clear. Without matching dollars from the province the relief line cannot be built and as I have said repeatedly that means no Yonge Street north extension. Waterfront transit will not be built. The Eglinton east LRT cannot be built. "
Tory acknowledges the province has taken steps to cool the housing market and make things more affordable for those who can afford to buy. "The province also owes something to those who rely on social housing for a roof over their heads; a roof past provincial governments built, failed to maintain, and then handed off to cities, especially Toronto."
He thinks Toronto is being completely short changed. "When you do have the federal government stepping up in a significant way, you have the city government saying it will step up and has stepped up in these areas. We've missed the opportunity, at least for this budget, of having all three governments act in concert. I believe that is a grave mistake, it is a short-sighted point of view and it doesn't acknowledge the need to keep building."
He says he will now be expressing Toronto's expectations to all provincial members of parliament representing the city, as well as party leaders, heading into the next election.
"If you look at their budget, they're going to take in several hundred million dollars more in land transfer tax this year, that we're in now, the new budget year and I would just say that we know a couple hundred million of that is coming out of the city of Toronto in transactions that will take place this year in the city of Toronto. Why wouldn't they have said even that kind of an amount was going to be given over to fund housing repairs as new money."
Mayor Tory's comments have struck a nerve with Premier Kathleen Wynne. "I'm disappointed in that analysis."
She says the province is investing billions of dollars in Toronto transit. "Whether it's in the Finch LRT, whether it's in Smart Track, whether it's in the Eglinton Crosstown."
When it comes to housing, the Premier is defending her government's investments in Toronto. "We are very committed to both affordable and social housing. We're demonstrating that by putting $500 million from cap and trade revenue through the Climate Action Plan to restore and renovate social housing. Toronto will get $130 million of that. We're putting $200 million over the next three years to build 1,500 new supportive housing units."
Wynne argues the province is meeting what Tory is looking for.
WATCH: Premier Wynne was asked about mayor Tory's comment that she has turned her back on Toronto in this year's budget pic.twitter.com/lGG1yB8yjX— NEWSTALK1010 (@NEWSTALK1010) April 28, 2017