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April 30, 2002
Mayor applauds Sgro task force findings
  
Mayor Mel Lastman today called the findings of a Liberal task force on urban
issues an "important step forward" in improving Toronto's fiscal health and
urged Ottawa to follow the task force's advice and give more tax authority to
Canadian cities.

"This confirms what we have been saying at the C5 and at FCM: We need federal
investment in our cities and we need it soon," Lastman said after details of
York West MP Judy Sgro's report were leaked to the press. "Now is the time for
action. The federal government needs to make real progress on this front -- and
they need to start right away."

Lastman said he hopes Ottawa recognizes the vital role Canada's cities play in
the nation's economy -- and the precarious position cities like Toronto will
remain in without a long-term, sustainable source of revenue.

"The provincial and federal governments have to invest in our cities if they
want to keep collecting taxes in our cities," Lastman said. "This isn't about
one government winning and another losing; it's about everyone winning."

The Sgro report makes more than 50 recommendations, including giving cities the
power to collect hotel and entertainment taxes. Her 90-page report is to be
released to the public on Thursday.


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