Jun 29, 2023

By Jane Brown

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Canada’s prime minister is brushing aside calls to help reduce Toronto’s $1.5 billion budget shortfall.

While in Mississauga Wednesday to make a $625-million investment announcement in early childhood facilities, Justin Trudeau said the provinces need to step up now to support the cities that are their area of jurisdiction.

Trudeau said he spoke on the phone with Toronto’s Mayor-Elect Olivia Chow, and told her his government will be there as a partner, but not in replacing the province in areas where they have the need and the means to continue to invest significantly in their cities.

“In regards to Mayor Chow, I can say I’m really excited to have a strong progressive as mayor of Toronto and I know she’ll be a real partner on a lot of things we agree on, whether it’s standing up for minorities and fundamental freedoms, whether it’s women’s rights or 2SLGBTQI+ rights, whether it’s moving forward on investing massively in housing,” Trudeau told reporters.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is also ruling out more funding for Toronto, saying his government is doing its “fair share” and there is “a lot of waste” at city hall, though he didn’t provide specific examples.

The prime minister and Mayor-Elect Chow are planning to meet in person soon.

Chow will take office Wednesday July 12th, a week before the next Toronto City council meeting.

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