QUEEN’S PARK – MPP Jeff Burch (Niagara Centre), NDP critic for Municipal Affairs, took the Ford Conservatives to task during Question Period today, calling out Ford and his Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing for breaking their promise to invest in municipalities – a broken promise that will cause increased taxes for everyday Ontarians.
Municipal budgets across Ontario are facing massive financial gaps from Clark’s Bill 23, which takes away development charge revenues that municipalities count on to build infrastructure, community services, and housing. Clark promised to “make municipalities whole” and replace that revenue – but now says municipal governments are on their own. Even worse, he’s claiming those taxes are the fault of the same municipalities that he lied to.
“Because of the Ford Conservatives’ choices, Peel residents are facing a property tax increase of at least 25 per cent, while Brampton residents face an eye-popping increase of 80 per cent,” Burch said. “This government is inflicting hardship on Ontarians and can’t even take responsibility for it. Instead, they’re passing the buck to municipalities.”
“Last year, the minister promised to help municipalities with these revenue losses – but his budget doesn’t include a single penny to make that happen. Ontario’s municipalities deserve a provincial government they can trust – not one that breaks its promises, then blames others. The disrespect this government has for municipalities is astonishing.
I call on Clark to do the right thing and keep his promise to municipalities.”
A clip of the exchange between Burch and Clark is available here.