“I think if one is politically astute, when one is asking maybe for other things in the future, that you’d want to be on more friendly terms with the province.”
—Budget chief Mike Del Grande (Ward 39, Scarborough-Agincourt), regarding yesterday’s Budget Committee decision to accept the provincial government’s offer to pay for three public health nurses. Earlier this year Ford’s administration voted to reject a previous offer of two other public health nurses—which wouldn’t cost the City any money at all—on the grounds that if the province pulled its funding, then the City might be in the awkward position of feeling like it needed to pick up the tab. (Letting the nurses’ contracts expire would also be an option in that case.) This caused something of an outcry, striking critics as a rather overly ideological position on accepting valuable resources from other levels of government. Del Grande conceded that the widespread criticism helped change the administration’s mind on the subject. Yesterday’s decision needs to be approved by city council before it will take effect.