The Axe

As you probably are somewhat aware, the City is proposing some very large cuts to its budget.  Essentially, 10% across the board.  The proposed budget recently went through the Budget Committee and will be going to full Council in January (and Councillors will vote on the budget at that point).

As you can imagine, there is significant resistance to these proposals.  Here is an article in the Toronto Star about the impact of the proposed cuts on nutrition programs – it features local school, Secord.  I understand that the cuts to the nutrition program are no longer being considered, after much wailing and knashing of teeth.  Also, it was announced today that the Toronto Public Libary Board (members include several Ford-ites) rejected the 10% cut.

And now, I will fully expose my bias – it is being proposed to de-classify the Secord Community Centre as a priority centre.  My family uses and lives near this Community Centre, as do many of our friends and the school mates of our four year old son.  A de-classification means that the programs that are currently being offered free of charge will be offered for a fee.  A major outlet for people and their children in a high-needs area will no longer be as accessible.  Let me tell you, this Community Centre is BUSY, PACKED and POPULAR in an area that needs it.

If you would like to voice your opposition to de-classification of the Secord Community Centre (among other cuts) a petition is being organized through the Secord School Parent Council.  A form letter has been made, and is available to sign in the main office of the Community Centre at 91 Barrington Ave.  If you’re walking by, poke your head in and sign a form.

For more information, you can email Secord.Council@gmail.com

It’s going to be really important that the many small details of the City’s proposed budget, like this one, don’t get lost amidst the noise of the larger issues like TTC and the Police.  It’s these little programs – death by a million cuts – that will affect the daily lives of all Toronto residents.  And when you look at it from a 50,000 foot perspective, it’s almost impossible to believe that the City’s budget ‘crisis’, imagined, perceived, or even slightly real, can be solved by taking away programs from our children.

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5 Responses to The Axe

  1. Jenn says:

    gosh, they get us on all fronts at once, hmm? I don’t know how many “budget cut watches” I’m on now, for the library, the portlands, city museums, riverdale farm–things we cherish, that make Toronto liveable. I’m betting that Ford is betting on our collective fatigue through all these cuts. I’m feeling it already–but I think we’ve got more stamina than Mr. Ford. So let’s make him run!

  2. V24 says:

    I’m all in favour supporting smarter spending & efficient use of our public funds. But, I do not agree with this current administration & their aggressive “bully” approach towards the residents of TO. Especially those who are vulnerable and do not have a voice like the corporate special interest groups. It seems like they are doing a good job of making Toronto a less liveable friendly city. This administration’s first decision when they took power over a year ago, will cost a good chunk of change of desperately needed public funds. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/cost-of-cancelling-transit-city-could-hit-65-million/article2270358/

  3. Sue Yardley says:

    I know how valuable the after school programs were to my boys when they were younger. I would never have been able to afford to have them play all those different sports, let alone be so close to home. They still keep in touch with some of the counsellors they knew there.

    Kids in a not-wealthy neighbourhood, playing a different sport or game after school five days a week, led by fantastic park’n’rec staff…Who in their right mind would vote to do away with this program? It has long be proven that investing in kids pays off hundredfold.

    Lets get into the community centre and sign, sign, sign.

  4. If you do try and go to the Community Centre and sign a petition and find that the office is closed, there is a white cubby/shelf across the hallway from the Office. There will be petitions in there too to take and sign. The drop-box is in the Community Centre office (perhaps slide under the door, if not open?). Please tell your friends and neighbours about this – not everyone is on the blog or up-to-date on what is happening at City Hall!

  5. p.s. the link you included about the $65 million fee the City will have to pay to the Province for backing out of Transit City is well noted, Vito. Somehow the current administration can justify paying this exorbitant fee for backing out of a perfectly good transit plan that would bring public transit to the far reaches of the city, and at the same time cry “gravy” thereby proposing to cut the things that make the city livable, such as cultural sites, programs for children and seniors (etc)? Don’t get me started…

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