Ford will not settle for “bad deal”

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Ford government introduces omnibus stimulus bill





© Provided by The Canadian Press



TORONTO – Ontario Will Not Be Content With “Bad Deal” On Billions Of Financial Aid To Municipalities, Premier Doug Ford Said Wednesday As The Gap Between The Province And The Federal Government about municipal funding seemed to be growing.

Ford said Wednesday that he is engaged in active talks with Ottawa to secure funding for cash-strapped municipalities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayors said earlier this week that an aid program from the two senior levels of government was needed to prevent tax increases and cutbacks in services.

The Prime Minister has said that he is not prepared to settle for the current federal offer, which he says is short of more than $ 1 billion to meet the needs of Ontario communities.

“If I agreed, municipalities would not be very happy with the amount the federal government is currently offering,” said Ford.

Meanwhile, the Ford government has introduced a new omnibus bill that the Premier says will help the province’s economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bill – dubbed An Act to foster economic recovery from COVID-19 – proposes to amend 20 existing laws that govern schools, municipalities and the justice system in the province.

Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark said that if passed, the bill would speed up environmental assessments, provide new protections for consumers and help fight unemployment.

Clark said the bill would also create an economic agency to help attract more international investment to the province.

The bill also includes measures announced this week by Minister of Education Stephen Lecce to end suspensions for kindergarten to grade 3 students.

NDP House Leader Peggy Sattler said the bill was an abuse of government power under the province’s current state of emergency.

Liberal House Leader John Fraser has denounced that things like changing the way justices of the peace are appointed have nothing to do with recovery from the pandemic.

The government was also scheduled to table a motion Wednesday to extend the province’s state of emergency until July 24.

The current state of emergency declared at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic will expire on July 15.

Ford’s office has said the government wants to extend the measure to ensure there is no gap between the end of this state of emergency and a new bill extending the measures emergency services.

Solicitor General Sylvia Jones introduced this bill, saying that the province will need to keep certain emergency measures in place in the coming months.

On Wednesday, Ontario reported 118 new cases of COVID-19 and nine new deaths from the coronavirus, bringing the death toll to 2,700.

The total number of cases now stands at 36,178, of which 31,805 are classified as resolved.

The province also reported 202 new cases resolved and performed more than 22,832 COVID-19 tests in the past 24 hours.

The number of people hospitalized for the virus, those in intensive care and those on ventilators has decreased slightly.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said 30 of the province’s 34 public health units have reported five or fewer new cases, and 18 have not reported any.

Shawn Jeffords, The Canadian Press

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