No more cash for Toronto: Federal finance minister

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland
Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has passed the ball, and the responsibility, to the Ontario government for helping Toronto recover from pandemic-ravaged finances, offering no new federal dollars.

Freeland told Mayor Olivia Chow says the province has the constitutional responsibility and fiscal capacity to support the city, concludig it’s the federal government’s “firm expectation” the province will step up.

Chow is looking for funding in light of a nearly $1-billion shortfall in this year’s budget, in large part tied to decreased transit revenues and increased shelter costs.

Also, city staff have estimated next year’s budget deficit at up to an estimated $927 million.

Freeland says federal spending is “not infinite.”

“Our government has been – and will continue to be – a committed partner for the City of Toronto,” Freeland wrote in a letter to the mayor.

“However, the ability of our federal government is not infinite – and the emergency support we provided during the pandemic led directly to the excellent fiscal position that the Province of Ontario currently enjoys.”

The federal government will provide the city with $1.86 billion this fiscal year through various programs, such as funding for public transit, infrastructure and addictions programs,” Freeland said.


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