Friday, November 30, 2007

Don't mess with Hazel, part II

Her words carry great weight in the GTA and she's continuing to hammer Jim Flaherty over the infrastructure deficit facing cities:
Armed with fresh ammunition from yesterday's Ontario Throne Speech - which called on the federal government to share its GST revenues with cities - Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion took dead aim at federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.

"I will challenge him to a debate on this," Ms. McCallion declared, adding that Mr. Flaherty "does not seem to get the message" that cities face a growing infrastructure deficit and need extra federal help.
Irked by what she described as Mr. Flaherty's recent "unprofessional" comments about municipalities - he called mayors "really grumpy" and said they could better control their own spending to pay for roads, bridges and transit - Ms. McCallion said the minister "should be reminded how he downloaded on us" when he was finance minister of Ontario.

"I challenge him to come out to Mississauga and show us where we are not efficient and have not set money aside," she said, noting her suburban municipality is debt free. Even with reserves of $600-million, she adds, "we cannot afford to pay for infrastructure on the property tax base."
The Conservatives have fires to put out all over this country...