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March 7, 2002
Flaherty's extremism getting old: mayor
TORONTO -- Mayor Mel Lastman today called on Provincial leadership hopeful Jim
Flaherty to "tone down the rhetoric" after the dark horse candidate said
Toronto doesn't deserve any more help from Queen's Park.

"This is not the first time we have seen him make ridiculous, extreme comments
during this leadership process but I hope it is the last time," Lastman said.
"Mr. Flaherty is shamelessly grandstanding for his leadership bid and I wish it
would stop."

Flaherty has refused to acknowledge that the province created the problems
Toronto is facing through four years of merciless downloading.

"I would suggest that Mr. Flaherty sit down and have lunch with his own
provincial auditor, who found that downloading cost the City of Toronto $140
million between 1998 and 2000 and who clearly understands the financial
problems we are facing," Lastman said, noting that in 2001, the cost of
downloading rose to $276 million.

"I'll even pay for the lunch."

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