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Executive Committee Meeting Toronto

Executive committee defers decision on key service cuts

It was another all-nighter at city hall, but despite some amusing and fiery deputations from the public, it would appear that the real fireworks have been deferred until further discussion of the 2012 budget takes place later this year. Wrapping up past 5:00 a.m. this morning, the executive committee did, however, vote for some of the recommendations from the KPMG Core Services Review, including the sale of the Toronto Zoo and three city-run theatres (the Sony Centre, the St. Lawrence Centre and the Toronto Centre for the Performing Arts).

Councillor Adam Vaughan expressed frustration at the process, arguing that the mandate to cut department budgets across the city will inevitably lead to the widespread cuts regardless of the outcome of the meeting. "Under Mayor Ford every city service is going to get worse and that's because you have a budget committee that has to make a 10% cut," he said. "So what happened here today is absolutely, totally irrelevant."

Just for the record, though, here are some highlights from this morning's vote:

Recommended for cuts/sell-off

  • Sell the Toronto Zoo and the aforementioned theatres
  • Close museums with the lowest attendance
  • Scrap the Christmas Bureau
  • Eliminate requirement for paid duty police at construction sites

Deferred

  • Library closures
  • Community groups will be given time to save the Riverdale Farm (and other community farms/zoos)
  • The phasing out of 2,000 subsidized daycare positions
  • community grants that makeup less than 5 per cent of a program budget
  • snow plow services / windrow clearing
  • grass cutting in parks
  • TTC Blue Night bus service

Sent back to City Manager

  • Reduction of library hours
  • Reduction of police force
  • Reduction of new affordable housing
  • Cuts to various environmental programs
  • Elimination of the the four free garbage tags
  • Elimination of the Hardship Fund

Photo by Samantha Tan in the blogTO Flickr pool


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