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March 27, 2003
Eves Budget a Disappointment: Mayor
  
Toronto - Mayor Mel Lastman today called Premier Ernie Eves' budget
"disappointing" for
a city that needs "long-term, sustainable funding" to secure its future.

"A helicopter doesn't cut it," Lastman said. "What happened to a portion of the
gas tax? What happened to re-investing in the economic engine of Ontario? This
government is ignoring the needs of Toronto and the position they put this City
in."

Even more disappointing, the Mayor said, was the amount of money being spent
around and outside the GTA - billions in transit and infrastructure dollars
that Toronto desperately needs.

Only $62.3 million of the $750 million in municipal transit renewal program
funds are earmarked for Toronto in 2003, the Mayor pointed out - and that money
has already been announced by Queen's Park.

Adding insult to injury, he said, the province's announced expansion of GO
Transit will actually cost Toronto millions of dollars which weren't budgeted
for.

Earlier this week, Lastman asked Eves to "go down in history as the Premier
that saved Toronto.

"If Queen's Park were to take back responsibility for social housing, Toronto
wouldn't have a budget crisis," the Mayor wrote the Premier. "If the province
returned to pre-amalgamation funding levels for the TTC, we could ensure the
future of our transit system.

"I urge you to rise to the challenge our federal government shrank from."


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