Frank Klees

Press Release

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February 23, 2009

 

Downloading Opposed By MPP

 

(Queen’s Park) Newmarket-Aurora MPP blamed the McGuinty government for forcing York Region politicians to slap a $12 million hospital levy onto the backs of property taxpayers.

Klees raised York Region Council's decision in the legislature in a question to Dalton McGuinty asking why his government is "downloading the cost of capital costs for the three hospitals in York Region onto the backs of property tax payers at a time when they can least afford it."

Klees emphasized that York Region's rapid growth places extraordinary pressure on the Region's hospitals and that it is the province's responsibility, not the municipality's, to make up for the growing funding gap.

"This sets a dangerous precedent," said Klees. "There is nothing that this government wanted more than to see the Region step in to let the province off the hook for under-funding healthcare in York Region.”

Klees said York Regional Councillor John Taylor and East Gwillimbury Mayor Jamie Young had it right when they opposed the Region's move to assume the additional costs. ¬†Both warned of the precedent this sets. Taylor referred to the move as being "essentially voluntary downloading.”

Predictably, the McGuinty government welcomed the help from York Region. "I view the actions taken by York Region council as actions that should be applauded," Smitherman said in response Klees' question about the downloading. Klees vowed to continue his efforts to press the provincial government to adequately fund York Region's health care costs.

"Given the provincial taxes and the additional health care taxes already imposed by the McGuinty government on York Region taxpayers, the last thing we should be doing is laying on another layer of taxes onto property taxpayers," said Klees.

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Frank Klees, MPP

416 509 8999