Councillor Josh Matlow

680 News: McGuinty hosts one-on-one meeting with Ford

TORONTO, Ont. – Mayor Rob Ford and Premier Dalton McGuinty wrapped up their meeting at Queen’s Park, Wednesday.

The two discussed speeding up progress on the Sheppard subway line, including other issues like daycare, public health, Ontario Place and the sale of 900 Community Housing homes.

McGuinty told 680News the meeting was productive and considered it 55-minutes well spent.  He added that topping the agenda was a request for up to $650-million for the Sheppard line extension.

“The single greatest priority – and he made this very clear to me – was to find a way to see if we might accelerate our contribution on the Sheppard line. So we’ll give that some thought,” said McGuinty.

Ford insisted that he was not asking for a hand out but ensuring that the province meets it’s commitments.

“There’s no new money, by the way, I’m not asking for new money, it’s existing money, and there’s some deadlines that we have to meet,” Ford told reporters after the meeting, adding that it had been a good and productive conversation with the Premier.

Before the meeting, Ford also said his visit was also designed to gather information on the Liberal, Conservative and NDP platforms, ahead of the election campaign.

He said he was hoping for some advanced notice on what each of the party leaders may be offering the City of Toronto in the campaign and after being elected.

“Hopefully the next premier, on October 7th, will put Toronto as a priority. Being the largest city in the province, they should,” said Ford.

On Tuesday, Councillor Josh Matlow told 680News he was optimistic the two would be able to look beyond their political differences.

“I hope that they put their politics aside and talk about: how do we fix transit? How do we support affordable housing,” Matlow said.

Councillor Janet Davis said the city has long been shortchanged on social programs and transit.

“I’ve never considered going to get our fair share from the province as whining cap in hand.” Davis told 680News.

Councillor Sarah Doucette wondered if the city has the right to go to the premier for money.

“We cut the vehicle tax. We cut $64-million from our revenue. How can we go to the province now and say we need money?” Doucette said.


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