Moving forward to the final meeting of the Budget Committee, Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly is pleased to confirm his support for the Budget Committee and their work they have undertaken to bring forward recommendations to deliver a fiscally sustainable budget.
“We must move forward in a fiscally responsible manner, ensuring that we acknowledge the challenges of our individual taxpayers,” said Deputy Mayor Kelly, “At the same time we cannot ignore the social challenges and the growing needs of our communities.”
Deputy Mayor Kelly is pleased to support the motion of Councillor Michelle Berardinetti at Committee to reduce the residential tax rate to 1.75 percent, from the original staff proposed 2 percent. The 0.5 percent tax levy for the subway expansion remains as is.
“I will also be supporting a number of motions that include: increase to library hours, afterschool recreation and care programs, continued expansion of our student nutrition programs, retention of our heritage with the High Park Zoo, as well as additional investments in the Community Partnership and the Arts and Culture sector. These investments can help Torontonians meet the challenges and seize the opportunities that lie before them.” said the Deputy Mayor.
The staff recommended budget already includes funding to assist the TTC growth needs, as well as additional Wheel-Trans funding. The budget proposes to invest in the health and safety of the community with fifty six new paramedics, additional fire prevention officers and three new recruitment classes of police officers.
“I look forward to a collegial and a constructive budget process” said Deputy Mayor Kelly, “Councillors will be discussing new and changing priorities within the City of Toronto to address the growing needs and realities in our communities, while ensuring value for money spent. The greatest investment we can make in our City is in ourselves, our residents, our youth and our future.”
Toronto is Canada’s largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world’s most livable cities. Toronto is proud to be the Host City for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.