Mayor Calls on Residents to Support Budget
There's a showdown brewing on two fronts at Toronto City Hall this week over the proposed operating budget for the next fiscal year.
Council has set aside three days starting Tuesday to give the final approval to the operating and capital budgets.
On Sunday's edition of NewsTalk 1010's the City, Mayor Rob Ford urged Torontonians to come out and show their support for his proposed budget.
"This budget represents a turning point in our administration, a turning point in the history of this great city, " says Ford.
The mayor and his brother Councillor Doug Ford took several shots at left-leaning councillors that they expect will push for higher levels of spending.
"The left's going to be all over it trying to get more out and we’re going to fend them off, but the taxpayers, you’ve got to call your councillor, say hey, enough is enough. It’s a great budget, we don’t have to spend anymore."
It's known that some councillors, including Gord Perks will push hard to increase the amount spent on issues such as public housing and homelessness, either by increasing residential property taxes beyond the proposed 2 per cent or taking money out of reserves or a combination of both.
The issue that will likely get the most attention is proposed changes to the budget for Toronto Fire Services. The firefighters union are expected to attend en masse and have been running a public campaign called 63 Seconds.
Sixty-three seconds is how much the union claims firefighter response times would increase if Toronto City Council’s reckless plan to cut millions from fire services goes ahead. The union calls them irresponsible cuts that will mean fewer firefighters, station closures, and will put us at risk.
But the mayor insists there is no truth to the firefighters union's claims.
"Firefighters are saying that the city's coming to an end. Is the city coming to an end? Why are they out protesting, handing out these door hangers and making a big stink about something that's just not true."
And Fire Chief Jim Sales who was a guest on the mayor's show says he doesn't know where the union is coming from with that number.
Sales says they've looked at the situation, including the plan to close the little-used Runnymede station and found the run times to be less than what the union is claiming.
(w files from D. Agar)