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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

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)

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  1. george sawision posted on 01/14/2013 07:39 AM
    LO I ran against my councilor I am sure he would appreciate a call for me considering he only cares about what his political party tells him to do not the residents
  2. J. posted on 01/14/2013 10:32 AM
    Nothing like 1010 allowing one-sided Mayoral 'pre-election' propaganda on it's airwaves...definitely not "My father's radio station"!
  3. Samantha posted on 01/14/2013 10:48 AM
    Vote against the budget cuts to Toronto Fire Get the facts!! #TOfirecuts #secondscount
  4. Samantha posted on 01/14/2013 10:53 AM
    Put little stock in this..... "Fire Chief" he was firefighter/EMT for three years then went into prevetion then management.... So no experience from what I have been ablke to find out. Oh and he is good personal friends with John Levy the city manager... hmmm wonder how he got the job? Oh yes they worked together in Markham and Sales is a yes man! So I will take the word of the firefighters in my are who have 130yrs collective of experience in firefighting when they tell me what the results will be. I heard on guy say .... If you called 911 and the dispathcer put you on hold for 30secs while your house was on fire or child was choking would you accept it? So if No why would you accept it on the back end?
  5. Loretta posted on 01/14/2013 12:09 PM
    I have not heard any firefighters say that this city is coming to an end. I have heard front line firefighters frustrated with the fact that they have been operating with less manpower than what was originally outlined and approved by council according to National Fire Protection Association standards back in 2007. Apparently, the approved numbers have never been met. In the interim, our city has grown by hundreds of thousands, buildings continue to go up and as important as sprinkler systems and smoke alarms are, they do not mean that we need less front line firefighters.
    As the outgoing fire chief (who worked in Toronto and should have first hand knowledge) stated, the biggest challenge ahead was in fighting fires in the condos and overcoming the traffic snarls of our city. Unfortunately, less firefighters would definitely seem to translate into more seconds before arriving at a fire. As for me, that's a chance I really don't want to take with my family.
    1. CoffeeCon posted on 01/14/2013 12:17 PM
      @Loretta When they cut down all the firefighters working as tradesmen around the city by managing sick days it would double the number of firefighters. Simple fix, simply presented.

      Also, nice job with the 'astro-turfing'. Goons.
    2. Loretta posted on 01/14/2013 12:47 PM
      @CoffeeCon Nor have I ever met a firefighter I would consider to be a goon.
      Nice comeback.
    3. steve posted on 01/14/2013 01:36 PM
      @Loretta I have met several firefighters who I would call goons. A firefighetr once told me that when they have finished their shifts they will go to someone's garage and drink a couple of "boxes" of beer. (his terminology). I think firefighters do a tremendous service, but they do moonlight and a lot of them drink too much. I'm not saying it's true in every case but they certainly aren't saints.
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