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Queen's Park Wants to Steal Our Land
25/02/2003
I'm in Saskatoon on business, and it is -34C here. However, this latest news from Toronto has me angry enough to steam up all this snow. From today's Toronto Star:
A $250 million grant and loan package Toronto received after amalgamation in 1998 is coming back to haunt city council. The city has pleaded with the provincial government which advanced a $50 million grant and $200 million in loans to forget about being repaid. But the province is adamant it wants either the money back or some city land of equal value. ..."Rumours are that they want the port lands and I don't think that's right," Councillor David Miller said in an interview. "I think the loan should be forgiven and if not, then we should pay it off," said Miller (Ward 13, Parkdale-High Park). "We shouldn't be giving away land." ...Tina Molinari, associate minister of municipal affairs, has said the city has many valuable land holdings and Queen's Park is willing to discuss transferring ownership of them to help Toronto repay its debt.
This is bordering on outright theft. First, the province imposed amalgamation and downloading onto us. They promised that amalgamation would save loads of money and that downloading would be revenue-neutral. These were both blatant lies. The people of the cities said "no", and voted 3-1 against amalgamation, but the PC government ignored our vote. When the new amalgamated city had trouble paying the hundreds of millions that amalgamation cost, and the further hundreds of millions that downloading cost, the province generously agreed to help us out. With loans. Gee, thanks guys. We really appreciate having our own income tax dollars loaned back to us so that we can pay for the mess you made of our previously well-run communities. Now the Harris/Eves government wants to take $184 million (the balance owing) out of our hide in the form of land. If the past is any guide, they will turn around and sell this land to their friends, for about $40 million.
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