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City’s relationship with province ‘significantly impacted’ after road tolls nixed: Tory

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Mar 14th, 2017

0313-torysousa

Mayor John Tory says it has not been “business as usual” with the province since the City of Toronto was denied road tolls by the premier.

Tory met with Finance Minister Charles Sousa on Monday, to discuss what the city would like to see in the provincial budget.

It was the first meeting between the two since Premier Kathleen Wynne turned down the city’s request to charge tolls on the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway. And the sting of rejection was still very much on his mind.

Tory said the city’s relationship with the province has been “significantly impacted” since then.

“It hasn’t been business as usual, and I would say to you that the relationship won’t get back to business as usual until we can find ourselves in a position to satisfy the needs of the nearly 3 million people that call Toronto home,” Tory said after the meeting, with Sousa at his side.

Back in January, Tory lashed out after Wynne nixed the city’s road toll plans, saying it’s time to stop being treated like a “boy in short pants” when dealing with the province.

At the time, Wynne said there weren’t enough commuter options in place to justify adding tolls, where Tory has said he wanted to charge a $2 toll.

Finance minister on impact of ‘toll issue’ on relationship with Tory. Watch the video below or click here to watch it.

Despite the ongoing tension with the province, the mayor wasn’t shy about telling Sousa what the city needs. He said to get things back to “business as usual,” the province has to address the many needs of the city.

“We need a better deal with the province when it comes to transit, when it comes to housing, and when it comes to the regional highways that we fund entirely, and when it comes to the economic potential of the city’s waterfront,” Tory said.

Tory said it would be a “grave mistake” for the province not to step up and provide funding for transit and housing. He also asked the minister to provide funding for the the Port Lands waterfront protection and Gardiner rehabilitation.

For his part, Sousa said he has listened to the needs of the city.

“Just as Toronto is looking for support, Ontario is trying to ensure that the province receives a fair share as we move forward, and the priorities of Toronto is part of that,” the finance minster said.

With files from Cynthia Mulligan and Momin Qureshi

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