Right now, Toronto is rated as the most unequal city in Canada one in four children live in poverty. Will Toronto’s 2017 budget widen the gap between the rich and the poor?
Over the last six years, those who can least afford it have paid more in fees and fares, while facing cuts to service and the 2017 budget makes it worse.
We can do better.
Tell your councillor Toronto needs to do a better job providing services we can all depend on and investing in transit, affordable housing and good jobs.
Services we can depend on
Our public services aren’t keeping pace with the growth of our city. 18,000 kids are waiting for affordable childcare and the waitlist for recreation programs has grown to a shocking 189,000. Both services are facing cuts in the budget at a time when they should be expanding.
While fares continue to rise for the sixth straight year, bus service is being reduced on routes all over the city, and overcrowding is getting worse. The TTC is making service cuts on dozens of routes across the city. The City needs to put all of its buses and streetcars into service and start buying more vehicles right now.
111 youth jobs are being cut from City Recreation at a time when the service should grow to meet needs of our growing city. With a youth unemployment rate of 18%, let’s hire more youth, not less.
We need to immediately expand our shelter system reverse cuts to programs that help the homeless find housing so that people aren’t left in the cold. Right now, the shelters are full and the city cannot meet its own shelter space standards. All levels of government must invest in affordable housing now and for our future.
How do we pay for it?
Services cost less when we all share the load. For example, For fifty cents more a week in property taxes, we could:
- Add 40 more childcare subsidies and keep the Capri Childcare Centre open.
- Hire over 100 youth to provide recreation programs we need.
- Bring all recreation fee increases in line with inflation.
- Increase bus service across the city.
- Expand emergency shelters and bring housing support services back online.
- Stop cuts to staff at our seniors’ homes.
How do we invest in our future?
City Council can make better choices about how they spend our money. It’s time to say no to gold-plated projects like the Gardner hybrid expressway. Rebuilding the eastern part of the Gardner as a boulevard at ground level frees more than half a billion dollars for transit, housing, and recreations centres and libraries for our growing communities.