Toronto Environmental Alliance hits back at Core Services Review
The Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) has responded to the most recently released report from the KPMG-conducted Core Service Review, which proposes that budgetary savings could be achieved via a reduction in tree planting, the elimination of Toronto's Environmental Office, handing over parks facilities and maintenance to the private sector, and the cancellation of zoo programs across the city.
"If these proposed cuts proceed, Torontonians should expect dirtier air, more illnesses, higher energy costs and a crippled economy," said Franz Hartmann, Executive Director of the TEA in a press release. "The consultants didn't find any gravy, rather they identified programs to cut that are key to making a healthy city and healthy Torontonians."
According to the KPMG-report (PDF), 83 per cent of services in the areas under investigation can be considered core or essential. On the other hand, Hartmann notes that "in the recent public consultation around core services, 93% of the nearly 13,000 people surveyed said that environmental programs are 'necessary' for the city."
Despite this, Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti, a member of the City's parks committee, thinks the environment office could be cut. "I would say that the Environmental Office has a role to play, [but] I don't think in my neck of the woods it's a priority and I think in most communities it's not a priority."
Mammoliti joins Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong in dismissing the results of the public consultation. Earlier this week, Minnan-Wong dismissed the finding that those surveyed would prefer a marginal tax property tax increase if it meant no reduction in City services. It's not surprising that these right-leaning councillors and Hartmann would disagree on an issue, but one wonders what the point of the public consultation was if city councillors aren't willing to put any stock into the results.
Photo by sjgardiner in the blogTO Flickr pool.
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