New Year, New Deal for Toronto
Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday with friends and family. Thank you to everyone who came out to our Skate with Santa in December! It was great to celebrate the season with residents of all ages.
A New Deal for Toronto
At our December meeting, Toronto City Council unanimously adopted recommendations to implement the Ontario-Toronto New Deal, an agreement between our governments to work together to help achieve long-term financial sustainability and address the growing needs of our city.
I have been very vocal that Toronto cannot continue to pay for responsibilities of other levels of government from the property tax base. It’s not sustainable and it’s not fair.
I’m delighted that the Province of Ontario is stepping up over the next three years to help Toronto with costs related to shelters and homelessness ($200M annually over three years), transit safety ($300M in one-time funding) and operating support for the new provincial transit projects (Eglinton Crosstown and Finch West LRTs – $110 annually over three years).
In addition, the province will also provide significant relief to our capital costs. Notably, the deal includes provincial uploading of responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep of the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway. These highways serve the region with 40% of trips from outside of the city. This change saves the city a minimum of $2 billion over 10 years and will unlock opportunities for urban development and housing initiatives. Additionally, under the new deal, the province is also ready to invest $758 million in much-needed subway cars.
The province’s funding for shelters and subway cars is dependent on federal government contributions. This includes meeting our repeated requests to provide funding to support refugees and asylum seekers, including those in the shelter system.
Eglinton East Light Rail Transit
In December, Toronto City Council committed to advancing work on the Eglinton East Light Rail Transit (EELRT). This priority project will provide higher-order transit service to an additional 71,000 people in Eastern Scarborough and to communities that historically have had limited transit options and more significant barriers in accessing shopping, school and employment.
To date, the City of Toronto has completed critical design work and set aside more than $1.2 billion for the EELRT, and we have asked the province of Ontario and the federal government to do their part to provide funding for improved higher-order transit in Scarborough.
The province of Ontario and their agency Metrolinx are currently exploring options to extend rapid transit along Sheppard Ave. and leading other transit work that may impact the design of the EELRT. In order to keep moving the EELRT work forward, Toronto City Council has asked the province and Metrolinx to decide and communicate their intentions to the city as soon as possible.
Budget Town Hall
Our office will be holding a budget town hall on Monday, January 15. We will be joined by Stephen Conforti, Toronto’s Chief Financial Officer, who will share information and answer residents’ questions. Please join us to hear more about how the budget is funding local projects and ask any questions you may have. You can follow our e-news to stay up-to-date on the details of the event at jennifermckelvie.ca/newsletter-signup.
Residents can also register to speak to the Budget Committee on January 22 and 23. To register to speak, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416-392-4666. Please register by 4:30 p.m., Friday, January 19.
We’re Working for You
For assistance with municipal issues, to stay up to date on local projects, and/or to receive my newsletter, please email email@example.com.