Hole in city budget puts some construction jobs at risk

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There was no relief check in sight for the city as a budget shortfall forces Toronto city politicians to consider delaying $300 million in capital projects.

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Mayor John Tory’s influential executive committee will discuss a report on Tuesday highlighting $260 million in projects – still short of the $40 million total – that have been halted or may be scaled back, including $87 million in TTC capital projects, $87 million in transportation infrastructure rehabilitation, $34.2 million in real estate rehabilitation initiatives, and $27.7 million primarily in park rehabilitations and repairs.

The city is missing between $815 million and $875 million in its 2022 operating budget.

Don Peat, spokesman for Toronto Mayor John Tory, said the mayor has raised the issue in meetings with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford over the past two weeks.

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“These were incredibly positive discussions and the mayor will continue to advocate for this emergency support which will ensure that several capital projects – and the construction jobs they support – continue this year,” Peat said in a statement. an email. “The mayor’s advocacy with other governments has been incredibly successful during the pandemic and has resulted in billions of dollars in emergency aid for the city, for which we are very grateful.

“We know that the province has committed to providing additional funding to the city in partnership with the Government of Canada and those discussions are continuing unabated,” he said.

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Ontario’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing said, in response to questions about its willingness to address the city’s budget shortfall, that the provincial government has already provided municipalities with more than $1.3 billion in financial assistance during COVID-19, in addition to $4 billion through the federal government. -Provincial agreement on safe restart.

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« The City of Toronto has received more than $2.7 billion to address the effects of the pandemic on local services such as transit, shelters and public health, » a ministry statement said.

Ontario also recently committed to jointly fund $632 million with the federal government to municipalities to support COVID-19-related impacts for public transit and shelters, and $47 million of that money will go to Toronto, the statement said.

« We continue to call on the federal government to provide additional support equal to Ontario’s total investments to date, » the statement said.

One of the big red-ink losses at City Hall has been reduced TTC ridership due to the pandemic.

Toronto also absorbed extraordinary housing costs.


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