Mayor and the MPP exchange letters; MPP slips an advance copy to some media.

News 100 redBy Staff

April 25th, 2019



In the world of politics you send out the bad news media releases late in the day on a Friday. Works even better when there is a long weekend.

Last week Burlington MPP Jane McKenna went even further.


MPP Jane McKenna at a public event.

Late last Thursday, that would be the 18th of April with the Friday being a holiday, “MPP Jane McKenna sent a letter to my office”,said Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, “expressing her concerns with my April 15th statement about the recent provincial budget.

“She also shared her letter with the Burlington Post/Inside Halton where it appeared in a story on April 20th. Having personally received her letter yesterday morning, I then had the opportunity to review it and respond.

The following response was sent to her yesterday:

Dear Ms. McKenna, M.P.P.,

Much discussion is being had in the public domain since the release of the Provincial Budget earlier this month. As a result of the many cuts that were announced by Premier Doug Ford and his government, citizens and communities continue to voice their concerns over the impact they will see and feel to services they count on and priorities they value. From increasing classroom sizes to slashing funding for indigenous affairs to changes in funding for families dealing with autism, there are many issues of concern.

As Mayor of Burlington, I am focused on the list of things that directly impact our municipal bottom line and represent a downloading of costs to our tax payers. Issues of particular concern to our city involve cuts of over $300K to the Conservation Authority that will hurt flood mitigation strategies and impact public safety, recent Province-wide public health funding cuts which were only disclosed late last week and whose impact (both financial and practical) to our residents is yet to be clarified, and the cancelled promise of incremental gas-tax funding increases which would have helped fund essential transit improvements in Burlington and beyond.

As I said in a previous statement, I am particularly disappointed in the government’s decision to cancel the incremental increases in Provincial gas-tax funding over the next 10 years – a promise that was made by the conservative party during the election campaign as reported in a recent article by the CBC. The related numbers you referenced in your letter are incorrect. I would welcome a discussion with you, myself, and Joan Ford, our Director of Finance, who can furnish you with the correct numbers. For example, your letter referenced transit ridership data from 2013 to 2015, and we have already seen increased ridership from 2016-2018 that add new context to this issue. The gas tax increase from 2% to 2.5% would be enough to fund one additional bus purchase each and every year: a substantial impact to our city.

While the Council of the City of Burlington acts prudently and does not budget for any upper-level government transfers promised during election campaigns, federal or provincial, we do get them consistently every year and they amount to millions of critical dollars (originally collected from our own tax payers) being delivered back to us so that we can reinvest in our city’s infrastructure and services. Over the past week, I have spoken with Mayors in neighboring municipalities who share our concerns and we are now discussing a joint response.

Health, the environment, transit and infrastructure are not the places to be making cuts. Ultimately these decisions will download millions in costs to municipalities and their tax payers in order to maintain the services they’ve come to count on.

Once again, I would welcome a further discussion on these issues in person with myself and my team anytime.


Mayor Marianne Meed Ward City of Burlington

What did the MPP say to the Mayor? We don’t know yet – Ms McKenna doesn’t send her media material to the Gazette – she doesn’t like the stories we right about some of her public behavior.

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3 comments to Mayor and the MPP exchange letters; MPP slips an advance copy to some media.

  • Alide Camilleri

    Sorry, Eve St. Clair, if cuts must be made, they should never be made to areas affecting the health of citizens in all its various forms, and never, ever to education. As for the provincial debt, there is a bit of a Pinoccio syndrome in the statements from the Ford government.

  • Carol Victor0

    Good for our mayor….she is doing a great job…the conservative agenda will always favour cuts and they will justify it in any way it suits them….

    • Eve St Clair

      “Favour cuts” Really ? Previous Liberals practically drove Ontario into escalating debt and drastic cuts are sadly necessary to restore Ontario’s credit rating and budget .