This from Wednesday’s Toronto Star:
Faced with its own massive deficit, the provincial government has no plans to bail out the cash-strapped Toronto Transit Commission, Premier Dalton McGuinty said Wednesday.
“We’ve been there for the city of Toronto in the past. This year’s different,” a sombre McGuinty told reporters at Queen’s Park.
Toronto wants the province to restore a 50-50 funding arrangement that was cancelled in 1997 by then-premier Mike Harris. Worth about $80 million that year, today that agreement would cost the province $256 million, based on the $513 million operating subsidy for TTC and Wheel-Trans.
“It’s different because we’re running ourselves close to a $25-billion deficit. We have huge challenges of our own. [bolding ours] That makes this year different,” the premier said.
“I’m not sure whether there is funding. What I’m saying is we’ve got to look after our own house [bolding ours], work as hard as we can to get it in order,” he said.
I’m sorry, what’s that Dalton? Huge challenges of our own?! You’ve got to look after your own house!?
It’s like, to the Premier the province’s capital city is some pesky panhandler who hits him up every 12 months or so for a little change. Mi casa, su casa, Dalton. Su casa, mi casa, amigo. We are still part of Ontario, I think, if the maps are to be believed.
Someone might want to tell the Premier that as much as he’d like to think of the city of Toronto as merely a headache to his administration and a drain on the coffers, the place remains the economic engine of the S.S. Ontario. For a politician as attuned to the fiscal imbalance between the federal government and the provinces, McGuinty seems remarkably oblivious to the fiscal imbalance between Toronto and the province. Much more is taken out of here than is returned in moneys and services. Even more so come July with the province’s HST.
So dial down the patronizing tone there, Dalton. When push comes to shove, you need us much more than we need you.
— threateningly submitted by Urban Sophisticat