Toronto City Budget 2013: Stop the Cuts Jan.15th!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013 8:00 AM
Toronto City Hall (100 Queen St. West, front entrance)

Dear OCAP members and supporters,

In this year's budget, due to be brought to Council on Tuesday, the
City of Toronto is once again targeting the poor of this city for
cutbacks. While shelters are at capacity and homelessness is on the
rise (especially as we face provincial cuts), the City is planning to
cut approximately 115 shelter beds and to eliminate the Personal Needs
Allowance (PNA) for homeless people in those shelters. PNA is being
uploaded to the Province meaning people in shelters will now be told
to apply for the 'basic needs' portion of welfare (OW). However, many
people, especially those without the necessary I.D, are sure to left
with literally no income at all.

And while the City is uploading the cost of PNA, the Province is
downloading Community Start-Up and introducing a new funding model for
all 'homeless prevention services'. Essentially we are seeing the
shuffling around of money from province to city and back again - all
while the poor pay the price through lack of housing, services, and
adequate income supports.

OCAP is going to City Hall on the 15th to challenge these measures.
Last year's budget fight-back, the saving of the School House Shelter
this past October, and the forcing of the Province to restore $42
million of the money they took away with the elimination of the
Community Start Up, shows that fighting back can make a difference. So
join us at City Hall on the 15th (details below) and whatever pressure
you can put on your local councilor between now and then we strongly
encourage you to do so!

Beyond this Tuesday, please get involved in OCAP, and join us January
26th as we mobilize against the Ontario Liberal Party Convention.
See here: 'No one should be left out in the cold' from Together
Toronto tool to send a message to local councilors:

Speak Out Against the Budget! Join the Stop the Cuts 'Budget Breakfast'

Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Toronto City Hall (100 Queen St. West, front entrance)

It’s time once again to speak out against the Toronto City Budget. The
2013 budget has massive cuts to services the people of Toronto
desperately need. City Council votes on the budget on Tuesday, January
15th. Join us as we fight to Stop the Cuts for 2013.

How to get involved:

1. Contact your local councilor demanding that they vote against any
cuts in the 2013 budget. Demand more services, not less. (Find your
councilor here:
2. Talk to friends, family, co-workers and neighbours about the cuts.
Distribute the Stop the Cuts Budget flyer:
3. Join us for the Stop the Cuts Budget Breakfast on January 15th. We
will be at City Hall to voice our opposition before council votes.

Key Issues in this Budget

Ideology over Common Sense
• Service and staffing cuts from last year have not and will not be
reversed. The loss of revenue from cutting the Vehicle Registration
Tax and freezing property taxes in 2011 leaves a lingering hole in the
budget that is used as an excuse to cut services.
• Property taxes are once again only being raised by under 2% instead
of the 3% needed to match inflation. Corporations continue to get
handouts as their property taxes are being raised by less than 1%. A
3% increase would cost the average homeowner only $80-$90/year. The
cost of not increasing taxes is massive cuts to services we all need.
• The City is again refusing to use last year’s surplus to balance
next year’s books. This is another justification for cuts. Using
surplus is a common budget practice - not the recklessness that Ford
claims it is.
• Budgets that were cut by 10% last year are frozen for this year.
Including inflation and growth in the city, most departments are down
16% or more. Less funding means fewer services.

Proposed Cuts and Fee Hikes
• Shelter, support and housing is being attacked when we already have
a housing crisis in this city. Due to federal, provincial cuts there
is a cut of $72 million from last year’s budget. City Council should
be fighting these cuts on behalf of Torontonians. Instead they are
adding their own cuts through the elimination of the Personal Needs
slashing the budget for TCHC repairs, rent subsidies and reducing the
number of shelter bed nights by a whopping 41,172
• We already face another TTC fare hike while service levels remain
grossly inadequate
• Dialysis patients are going to lose Wheeltrans access
• The Global AIDS Initiative is being axed
• Cuts to the Fire Department that put everyone’s safety at risk
• Police, who actually got a budget increase last year, are only being
asked to freeze their $1 billion budget.