Ahead of their second official meeting, Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow and Ontario Premier Doug Ford are asking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to come to the table and help the city figure out its financial woes.

“Our provincial and municipal governments are working constructively under this arrangement, but firmly believe that the federal government has an important role to play,” the pair wrote in an open letter dated Oct. 30.

The request comes after the establishment of a “new-deal” working group announced following Ford and Chow’s first meeting in September which has been tasked with achieving the “long-term stability and sustainability” of Toronto’s finances.

Toronto is facing a $1.5 billion deficit and city council has voted to explore a range of new revenue-generating options to fill the hole, including increasing the Municipal Land Transfer Tax on luxury homes worth $3 million or more and jacking up on the vacant home tax.

As well, Chow said last week that part of the working group’s recent discussions include potentially uploading the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway to the province to ease the financial strain on the city.

Despite those money-making efforts, the city has said and Ford agreed in Monday’s letter, that without “wholesale intervention,” Toronto’s long-term viability and the services it provides are at risk.

“We both invite your government to come to the table as a partner and collaborator in this new-deal working group given the significant fiscal room the federal government has available,” Chow and Ford wrote.

Olivia Chow/Doug Ford

Ford has made clear that while Toronto’s financial troubles are “not sustainable,” he has also said he is not in favour of any new taxes to solve the problem.

According to the letter, Chow visited Ottawa prior to the group starting its work and offered the prime minister a seat at the table. It’s unclear what response, if any, the group received from Trudeau to that invitation.

Chow and Ford have said they hope the working group will have an interim report on its progress ready for November.

The pair is set to meet at 1 p.m. at Queen’s Park.