About City Budget Watch
Social Planning Toronto's City Budget Watch blog is back, covering the 2017 City of Toronto Budget process. There's a lot at stake this year with the Mayor and City Council calling for budget cuts from every city agency and division. That can't be good news for our communities.
The City Budget Watch Blog is authored by Beth Wilson. Beth is our lead on policy and research at Social Planning Toronto, starting at our organization in 2002. She has a Master of Social Work (MSW), Policy, Organization and Community.
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Most recent blog entries
2017 City Budget Passes: Service Cuts for Vulnerable Communities, Lack of Action on Poverty Reduction
That's it. That's all. Toronto City Council passed the 2017 City budget on February 15. Despite calls from community members to "have a heart and stop the cuts", the final budget included some troubling services cuts affecting vulnerable communities. While filling in budget gaps to maintain many critical services, the 2017 City budget failed to take substantive action to advance poverty reduction goals in Toronto.
2017 City Budget: Executive Committee Makes Its Budget Recommendations
On February 7, the Mayor's Executive Committee met to review and make its recommendations on the 2017 City budget. The Executive Committee made one significant change to the proposed budget, reversing the massive child care fee hike for families using child care centres in schools. Other than that, we did not see any other significant movement on this budget. The budget still contains over $1 million in cuts to shelters, elimination of the cooling centre program for vulnerable residents, over $1.3 million in cuts to care in long-term care homes, the elimination of 111.3 full-time equivalent recreation worker positions, and big increases to recreation user fees and transit fares. As it stands, this budget fails to make real progress on the City's poverty reduction strategy.
2017 City Budget: Budget Committee Fails to Make Real Progress on Poverty Reduction
On January 24, the Budget Committee held its final meeting on the 2017 City budget. While taking many service cuts off the table, the 2017 City budget, at present, contains service cuts including cuts to hundreds of staffing positions, makes big increases to user fees, and fails to make real progress on City Council's commitment to reduce poverty in Toronto.
But there's still time to change this budget ... Next up, the Mayor's Executive Committee meets on February 7 to make its recommendations. Toronto City Council meets on February 15 and 16 to make final decisions on the budget.