Speaking from Toronto City Hall, Sean Meagher, Executive Director of Social Planning Toronto said: “This budget presents a stark choice for the Mayor and Council: choose between eliminating 780 staff positions, affecting programs and services for thousands of residents, especially vulnerable residents, or adopt new revenue tools to balance this budget”.
A new report estimates poverty is costing Toronto between $4.5-$5.5 billion each year due to increases in cost to the health and justice system as well as lost tax revenue.
Report co-author John Stapleton emphasized the need to see poverty as a drag on our economy: “Whether it’s increased cost to our public health system, criminal justice system or lost tax revenue for our City, we need to focus on poverty reduction as a benefit to our long-term prosperity”.
Today, five advisory committees to Toronto City Council issued letters to Mayor John Tory asking him to reconsider the proposed across-the-board 2.6% budget cuts, citing concerns over the impact on marginalized communities and vulnerable residents that will result from cuts to transit, housing, health services and recreation.
On Monday, November 14, Special Advisor Karen Pitre joined Social Planning Toronto, the SPACE Coalition and more than 60 community members, service providers, and elected officials to discuss community hubs in Ontario.
On the eve of potential cuts to city programs and services, a new report has found that Toronto has the highest percentage of children living in low-income families of any large urban area in Canada.
North York residents speak out against proposed cuts to transit and affordable housing during Community Budget Briefing.
Over 80 residents gathered in North York Memorial Hall last night to learn about the upcoming 2017 City Budget and its impact on transit, housing, shelters and the City's own Poverty Reduction Strategy.
Over 100 Leaders from Toronto's prominent faith communities gathered last night at the Noor Cultural Centre in Toronto to hear from expert panelists and organize ahead of this year's City Budget.
On September 17th & 18th, 2016 staff from Social Planning Toronto joined software Developers, data scientists, mappers and idea people to work together and ‘hack’ through challenges outlined in the City’s poverty reduction strategy (TOProsperity).
Community groups showed cautious optimism today at the Mayor's announcement on dental care as part of the City’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. Sean Meagher, Executive Director of Social Planning Toronto was encouraged by the City’s announcement of expanding access to dental care for low-income Torontonians: “We are glad to see investments in front line services, and count on seeing them extended to key supports like housing, transit and childcare”.
Low-income residents paying more so others can pay less—that is the overall six-year trend for the city’s finances, and a pattern that will continue if the City’s budget process stalls on revenue tools and keeps property tax increases at or below the rate of inflation.
Speaking to the media today, members of the Commitment2Community Campaign pointed to the growing ‘Fairness Gap’ in the City’s finances, and solutions for Council to address concerns over housing, transit and services.