Politician says province ‘playing games’ with cities

Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion is misguided if she thinks a provincial government promise to funnel surpluses into municipal infrastructure will pay off, says Coun. Carolyn Parrish.



"They are playing games with us," Parrish said yesterday, adding McCallion "is willing to take crumbs. I’m not."



Parrish, who has been known to cross swords with McCallion on occasion, slammed the provincial plan, saying the proposal leaves too many questions unanswered and would leave cities in the lurch if there’s a recession.

On Wednesday, provincial Finance Minister Dwight Duncan said the government will introduce legislation that would, once the surplus hits $800 million, begin diverting $200 million or more to cities and towns, to pay for roads, bridges, transit and social housing.

But what is needed is consistent long-term funding, not a system that leaves municipalities dependent on the possibility of a surplus, Parrish said yesterday. The legislation still puts municipalities in the situation of having to go cap in hand to Queen’s Park every year.

While the provincial plan won’t solve all the problems, it’s a step in the right direction, McCallion said in responding to Parrish yesterday.

surplus projection

  • The province is projecting a surplus of $750 million for 2008, although some observers say it will be higher.