Toronto Tory MPPs say they stand by Ford's budget cuts - 2019-05-12
Local Progressive Conservative MPPs under pressure to stand up for Toronto against deep funding cuts say they're standing behind Premier Doug Ford, even if a couple don't want to talk about it. The Star emailed questions to the 10 Toronto Tory MPPs other than Ford, including whether they are uncomfortable with any of their government's cuts pegged by the city manager at $178 million this year for public health, transit maintenance, child-care spaces for low-income parents and more.
Mayor John Tory, city councillors and some of their constituents are urging them to convince Ford and his cabinet to rescind the budget cuts, including one that hits Toronto harder than other cities, and sit down with municipalities to explore ways the province can save money and cut the deficit. Ford's office quickly let the Star know the MPPs would respond with a joint statement, which said: "Our government is protecting what matters most for Toronto families — like health care and education — by balancing the budget in a reasonable and responsible manner . . . "While our government protects what matters — like health care and education — and cleans up an inherited fiscal mess, we are asking our municipal partners to work alongside us to find efficiencies."
Six of them spoke to the Star, at least briefly, when approached after question period. Two, Stan Cho (Willowdale) and Christine Hogarth (Etobicoke-Lakeshore), agreed to longer phone interviews about the downloading and the pressure being put on them to oppose it. But Raymond Cho, a former longtime Toronto city councillor and, as minister for seniors and accessibility the most senior local PC MPP next to Ford himself, refused comment when approached by a Star reporter before bolting into a private PC backroom.