John Tory 'encouraged' by Kathleen Wynne's words on housing
After nixing road tolls, Wynne's regular meeting with Tory appears less chummy than usual
Toronto Mayor John Tory was sounding somewhat mollified on Monday after meeting with Premier Kathleen Wynne, just days after announcing she's rejecting the city's request to put tolls on the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway.
It couldn't be business as usual today.- Mayor John Tory on today's meeting with Premier Kathleen Wynne.
Speaking to reporters after the hour-long meeting at Queen's Park, Wynne hinted at a willingness to boost provincial funding for Toronto's affordable housing needs.
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Tory said he'd pressed the housing issue during the meeting.
"I stressed again, now more than ever, that the province must immediately come to the table to address our city's social housing crisis," Tory told a news conference at City Hall on Monday. "I was certainly very firm, again, that we need that help, that some of the most vulnerable people in our city need that help."
Based on discussions in Ottawa last week, Tory said he is confident the federal government will put "substantial funding" for housing in its upcoming budget. He wants the province to match that money.
In a separate news conference at Queen's Park, Wynne referred to her "recognition for the need for increased housing support," but stopped short of promising money.
"We need a three-way partnership on affordable housing — the municipality, the province and the federal government working together as we move into this budget cycle," she said.
Tory said he was encouraged by Wynne's message.
"I found that a significant step forward because I'm not sure that I've heard those words said before," Tory said.
Wynne meets Tory on an almost-monthly basis. Monday's meeting had been scheduled well in advance of last week's announcement about tolls.
The pair usually hold a photo opportunity inside Wynne's office as their meeting wraps up, then a joint news conference. This time, the cameras were not allowed inside, the pair shook hands quickly outside Wynne's door, then Tory departed for City Hall. It created the appearance of a less-chummy-than-normal get-together.
"It couldn't be business as usual today," Tory told his news conference, yet called the discussion "very constructive." .
"The mayor and I had a very good conversation this morning," Wynne told reporters at hers.