TORONTO, ON – Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown met with Toronto Mayor John Tory at City Hall today to express his disappointment at the lack of measures to help Toronto in Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals’ recent budget, and to outline a number of concrete promises the Ontario PCs are making to Mayor Tory and Toronto.
“Premier Wynne and the Liberals have taken Toronto for granted for too long,” said Brown. “I am committed to being a partner the mayor can depend on, someone who will keep his word to Torontonians, and who is committed to making life more affordable in the city. Last week’s budget is another reminder that Premier Wynne has turned her back on Toronto taxpayers, the city, and the mayor. Toronto deserves a premier that will stand up for the city, and the mayor deserves a partner he can trust to fulfill commitments from the province to Toronto.”
Brown announced the first in a series of concrete promises outlining what he would do differently than Wynne and her Liberals. These initial promises will be complemented closer to the next provincial election with additional measures to respond to Toronto’s priorities.
Today, Brown promised to Tory that the Ontario PCs would:
- Say yes, where Wynne has said no, by putting vulnerable and law-abiding Toronto residents in community housing ahead of criminals who have been evicted from community housing. Brown has said he will approve the Mayor’s request to allow the city to block violent criminals from re-applying to live in community housing. The Ontario PCs will introduce a private members’ bill to amend relevant legislation to allow the city to block these ex-convicts from going to the top of the waiting list and bumping families in need further down the list.
- Say yes, where Wynne has said no, and help save Toronto taxpayers $6.3 million annually by allowing Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) to purchase natural gas independently, as the mayor has requested. Currently, TCHC is forced to purchase natural gas through the provincial bulk purchasing entity called the Housing Services Corporation (HSC). HSC does a poor job negotiating the best prices possible for municipalities and the City of Toronto has calculated that it can save $6.3 million a year by purchasing natural gas on their own. The Ontario PCs have previously helped expose lavish expenses at the HSC, including paying a board member to go on a luxury trip to South Africa. Toronto taxpayers should not have to pay more for natural gas to cover lavish junkets by Liberal appointees.
- Support Mayor Tory in his efforts to reduce red tape and streamline development processes to increase supply and affordability in the housing market. Brown committed to act in concert with the Mayor where provincial approval may be necessary, a commitment left out of Wynne’s recent housing announcement.
- Commit to getting shovels in the ground on the Scarborough subway project to reduce congestion plaguing the GTA. Mayor Tory and the Ontario PCs have been advocates of the subway, but Wynne and Liberal MPPs from Scarborough have been fair-weather friends, only vocally and publicly defending the Scarborough subway during the 2013 Scarborough-Guildwood by-election.
- Direct Metrolinx to make SmartTrack fares uniform with TTC fares. Wynne has been silent on SmartTrack fares. The Ontario PCs would also continue to fund SmartTrack and direct Metrolinx to treat it as a priority.
- Call on Premier Wynne to personally intervene and show leadership to ensure Bombardier vehicles for the Eglinton Crosstown project are delivered on time and on budget. Wynne recently bragged about her support for the Eglinton Crosstown, but continues passing the buck to Metrolinx rather than personally intervening to ensure Bombardier fulfills its agreement.
- Commit to regular meetings between Mayor Tory and PC Leader Brown to discuss shared priorities, as well as to formalize the regular meetings between Mayor Tory’s staff and Brown’s staff that have already been occurring.
“Unlike Premier Wynne and her Liberals, under my leadership, the Ontario PCs are not taking any part of Toronto for granted. Mayor Tory deserves a partner he can trust and rely on, and who honours commitments the Province has made,” said Brown. “The Ontario PCs will be that partner, and ensure Toronto families who work hard pay less and get ahead in life.”