Protecting and Investing in Critical City Services


Several groups across the city are mobilizing in advance of the Toronto budget — which goes to Executive Committee on February 7th and to City Council on February 15th and 16th — to protect and invest in critical services.

Today, TTCRiders and allies are taking part in a day of action to stop cuts to TTC services. Their goal is to engage with thousands of transit users on the routes currently facing service cuts, and they have created maps of these routes in all 44 wards to help people understand what cuts to service could mean for communities across the city.

Additional funding to the TTC from both City Council and the provincial government would help to address constant overcrowding, improve service across the city, and even introduce rider-friendly fares, such as a low-income pass. Our friends at TTCRiders have joined forces with Social Planning Toronto and TogetherToronto to ask people to send a message to their City Councillor on these issues. You can also learn more about today’s day of action.

Reliable and affordable transit is just one of the city services that the Toronto Can Do Better campaign is advocating for in advance of the budget. This campaign is a collaboration between Canadian Union of Public Employees and our friends at Commitment2Community. They are asking people to tell their City Councillor that we need to maintain city services — such as child care, public libraries, and parks & recreation — and make real investments in public transit, good jobs, and affordable housing. You can take action on their website, and you can also attend one of the remaining Budget Town Halls:

  • Thursday, February 2nd: South Etobicoke-Lakeshore; 5:30pm at New Toronto Public Library, 110 11th Street (organized by Women’s Habitat Etobicoke, LAMP Community Health Centre & Social Planning Toronto)
  • Wednesday, February 8th: Ward 22, St. Paul’s, Josh Matlow: 7pm at Elliot Hall, Christ Church Deer Park, 1570 Yonge Street
  • Thursday, February 9th: Ward 21, St. Paul’s West, Joe Mihevc; 7pm at Theatre Direct, 601 Christie Street

You may also remember that the Toronto Food Policy Council, along with a number of advisory groups organized through Social Planning Toronto, submitted a letter in late November to the Mayor and City Council, highlighting the impacts that proposed cuts would have on the City and its residents. The letter, also shared on our blog, was signed by our Executive Director Rachel Gray, who is Chair of the Toronto Food Policy Council. You can learn more about their work on their website.

This is all just a snapshot of some of the work being done by groups and organizations across Toronto leading up to the budget. Follow #TObudget on Twitter for the latest news and actions taking place over the coming weeks.

Image above from the Toronto Can Do Better campaign.