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March 19, 2002
Mayor, urges Feds, Province to finish cultural projects funding
TORONTO - Mayor Mel Lastman today urged the Federal and Provincial governments
to conclude their discussions and move forward with the building program to
fund at least $200 million worth of cultural projects in Toronto.

"It's time for Ministers Collenette and Hudak to meet face-to-face and resolve
this impasse," Mayor Lastman said, noting work on Toronto's Opera House, the
Royal Ontario Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario and several other institutions
won't begin until a consensus on funding is reached.

"Both men have been working hard to get us there but this is too important for
Toronto to let the current stalemate go on much longer. We need action and
agreement now."

Lastman sent a letter to Prime Minister Jean Chretien and Ontario Premier Mike
Harris yesterday voicing his concern over the length of time it is taking to
conclude the talks, a copy of which below.

Negotiations for cultural project funding through the Canadian Infrastructure
and Ontario Superbuild programs have been ongoing for several months.


March 18, 2002

Prime Minister Jean Chretien
Government of Canada
Langevin Block
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A2

Premier Mike Harris
Government of Ontario
Legislative Building
Queen's Park
Toronto, ON
M7A 1A1

Dear Prime Minister Chretien and Premier Harris:

I am writing to express my concern over the apparent impasse your governments
appear to have reached over cultural project funding through the Canadian
Infrastructure and Ontario Superbuild programs.

Although I have been encouraged by the on-going discussions between Federal
Minister David Collenette and Provincial Minister Tim Hudak, I don't believe
they will be able to resolve the current stalemate without your intervention.

I urge you both to encourage Ministers Collenette and Hudak to meet
face-to-face on this most pressing issue. Your investment in culture will pay
dividends for years to come and ensure Toronto's role as one of the great
cities of the world.


Mel Lastman

Media Contact
Access Toronto



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