Rob Ford to Ontario: Thanks for the subway; now spend less
Watch above: Charles Sousa responds to Rob Ford’s criticism.
TORONTO – Rob Ford is glad the province is paying the lion’s share of the city’s three-stop Scarborough subway, which is costing Toronto more than a billion dollars after the city scrapped a seven-stop light rail line it could have gotten for free.
But he’s still shaking his gravy-finding finger at Ontario for not spending less.
“I am highly concerned with the lack of any apparent plans to reduce spending, drive efficiencies and reduce the burden of government on Ontario taxpayers,” Ford said in a press release on Tuesday. “While Ontario has committed to eliminating its $12 billion deficit, we see no proof of this in the 2014 budget.”
Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government has promised to eliminate the $12 billion deficit and balance the budget by 2017-2018 while also investing nearly $15 billion in transit and transportation in the region over ten years.
But Finance Minister Charles Sousa pointed out Tuesday the city of Toronto is getting billions in infrastructure funding from the city and the mayor is asking for more money.
Sousa also called on the federal government – from whom his government is hoping to get up to $10 billion in infrastructure cash over the next decade – to commit more to infrastructure projects.
Both the opposition and several economists have warned Wynne will have to cut jobs or hike taxes in order to reach its targets. In a recent interview, Deputy Premier Deb Mathews wouldn’t say whether the government would cut jobs to balance the budget.