Saturday, January 14, 2006

Big city lights

With the GTA looking like one of the most important battlegrounds in Canada, it may be a good time to point out the Cons' current position - or lack thereof - with regard to Canadian cities. Stephen Harper has made it clear that cities can't count on him for funding:
(Y)esterday, Harper suggested (any reliance on the existing child care deal) was the city's tough luck.

"I'm not responsible for the City of Toronto budget ... The agreements the federal government signed are only guaranteed funding for one year," Harper said.

Meanwhile, with civic leaders calling for stable funding, even the Cons sent into to try to undo Harper's damage won't do much more than to criticize the Libs:
(Monte Solberg) met with Mayor David Miller yesterday in an attempt to mend fences over the federal party's position on a new deal for cities...

The 45-minute meeting in the mayor's office was requested by the Tories, whose leader, Stephen Harper, has been criticized by Miller for not getting behind a new deal. Miller's office said the mayor had no comment on the meeting...

In April, Miller said the Tories had shown little inclination to adopt policies helpful to cities...

"We're just reminding the mayor that the government's been in power for 12 years, it's announced waterfront projects 20 times. Nothing's ever happened," (Solberg) said. "We're here to tell him we're not just going to commit, we're going to deliver."
It's well and good to point out the Libs' failings, but that doesn't mean the Cons have shown any willingness to commit themselves to the stable funding (as opposed to one-time project funding) that municipalities need in order to be able to plan their own operations. Now should be the time for the NDP to point out both which party did the most to get cities on the agenda in the first place, and who's committed to offering cities the certain funding they need in the future.

No comments:

Post a Comment