Sousa Says Toronto Mayor’s Complaints about Funding Cut are Off Base

The Finance Minister, Charles Sousa, made a flaring statement on Friday asserting that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is out of line with complaints of a $150 million cut in provincial funding to the city, alleging that it might lead to property, tax hikes or program cuts. Addressing reporters at Queen’s Park, Sousa stated that the change is an offset of a scheduled rises in other funding that will result in Toronto having an extra $110 million by 2016, which is a step taken due to concerns from other municipalities that Toronto “was getting even more money than they were.”

During a heated 22-minute statement, Sousa stated “there’s only one taxpayer. If the mayor feels that it’s appropriate for other levels of government to increase taxes so that he can say he didn’t, I’m not for that.” He added that “I compliment the mayor in being able to provide for surpluses this year, that’s great. And taking initiatives to protect the taxpayer, as I am doing as well, because also important here is to balance our books.” Sousa is expected to meet with Ford on Monday for discussing the funding, though he claims that “Toronto knew because we’ve been talking about the phase-out…the city won’t be losing money because they have a net benefit increase.”

On the other hand, Mayor’s brother Councillor Doug Ford alleged that “we’ve been prudent managers of the taxpayers’ money but these folks, the province, wants to come back and put the burden on the back of the hardworking people of Toronto, the residents of Toronto. It’s not fair.”

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