2022 City Budget: Budget and Executive Committees Make No Changes to Draft Budget - No New Funding, No Reallocation of Police Budget

The Budget Committee and Executive Committee have concluded their work on the 2022 City of Toronto budget, making no changes to the staff-recommended budget launched nearly one month ago. No new funding was added to introduce or expand programs and services, beyond what was already included in the staff-recommended budget. One attempt to reallocate a small amount from the increase to the police budget to programs to support tenant housing conditions was defeated at Budget Committee.

Budget Chief Crawford spoke against making any changes to the budget at Budget Committee or Executive Committee, referring to the need for restraint to show the provincial and federal governments that the City is doing its part to address the pandemic-related funding shortfall. City finance staff commented that the City is in its third year of pandemic budgets with financial impacts expected for years to come.

One thing's for certain, a future path of status quo, austerity budgets will contribute to deepening social, racial and geographic inequality and more hardship for residents at the receiving end of the city's multiple and intersecting crises.

Despite strong calls at public deputations to reallocate funding from the police budget to critical programs and services, there was no appetite for this change at the Budget Committee or Executive Committee.

At the February 7 Budget Committee, Councillor Layton introduced a motion to reduce the $25 million increase to the police budget by $2.6 million and use those funds to hire more inspection officers to improve the RentSafeTO and Multi-Tenant Homes programs aimed at ensuring landlords meet housing standard requirements and leading to proper housing conditions for tenants. His motion failed with a vote of 1-5. Committee members did not support the use of police budget funds identified in the motion. 

Councillor Layton's Motion: City Council increase the 2021 Staff Recommended Operating Budget for Municipal Licensing and Standards by $2.600 million gross and net to support the expansion of RentSafeTO and Multi-Tenant Housing inspections and decrease the Staff Recommended Operating Budget for the Toronto Police Services by $2.600 million gross and net. Failed 1-5.

 

Final Week to Call for a Better Budget!

There's one last opportunity to change the 2022 City budget. Toronto City Council meets for final budget votes on Thursday, February 17.

Several community groups are calling for a better budget that prioritizes urgent community issues and advances equity, environmental and reconciliation goals. You can support these important calls to action by signing on to campaign petitions and contacting your City Councillor! Check out our Advocacy for a Better Budget page with all the campaign information.


Photo credit: Rosy Nguyen from Pixabay

 

© Copyright 2017-2020 Social Planning Toronto. All rights reserved.