Jan 15, 2013
By Jane Brown
City Councillors begin debate today on the proposed $9.4-billion 2013 City of Toronto operating budget. Critics of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford say priorities should include reducing transit overcrowding, boosting student nutrition and adding more firefighters. Mayor Ford says his administration has recently proposed to augment breakfast and lunch programs for 144,000 children and boost firefighter personnel. But he tells CP24, it’s never enough for some of Toronto’s City Councillors. “The left wing of council will never be happy. They just want to increase taxes as high as they can and keep spending on all the pet projects. We’re finding efficiencies. We’ve contracted out garbage, saving $80-million or $90-million a year. We’ve got a union deal. That’s saving $150-million. It’s big money.”
Mayor Ford also says the last minute spending increases are as far as the city can go while still keeping the residential tax increase at 2-percent. Mayor Ford has received praise for allocating billboard taxes to arts and culture funding, adding $200-thousand for library materials, over $210-thousand for free adult recreation, and hiring 40 paramedics.