WELLAND – NDP Municipal Affairs critic Jeff BurchMPP (Niagara Centre) has written an open letter to Doug Ford urging him to respond to the dire financial situation facing municipal governments across this province. Burch says this cannot wait any longer, and the province must find a solution with the federal government that will provide emergency operating relief funding for municipalities.
“Local governments are at the forefront of this pandemic, including enforcing by-laws and provincial orders, overseeing municipal long-term care homes, and funding local public health units which are leading the charge to test and trace cases and to contain local outbreaks. Municipalities have risen to the challenge but without immediate final support these critical local services, which are saving lives every day, are in jeopardy.” said Burch in his letter to Ford.
“Time is running out, money is running out,” he added.
Burch says that without emergency operating funding, taxpayers will be looking at deep service cuts and property tax hikes. Toronto alone is predicting that without assistance, they would have to increase property taxes by 56 per cent.
“The provincial government must act quickly to prevent widespread financial ruin in Ontario’s municipalities. Ontario has the responsibility and capacity to act to ensure the governments closest to the people in this province are protected immediately,” said Burch.