Toronto Social Planning Council and 50 Community Organizations Respond to City Budget

The draft 2021 budget presented yesterday fails to respond to the dire emergency impacting communities across our city as the pandemic grinds on. In response, 50+ community organizations have joined to submit an open letter to Mayor John Tory and Council urging them to focus this budget on inequality, move resources to where they are most needed, and develop a budget that addresses the urgent, unmet needs of residents.

We reminded Council of the 10 principles for a bold, green, and just recovery that we submitted in April, and of the vision articulated by thousands of residents and organizations who took part in the Toronto Office of Recovery and Rebuild’s consultation process. The 2021 budget summary all but ignores both.

Council must be bolder in assuming revenues for vital services and in its negotiating position with higher levels of government, and should not address shortfalls by gutting its under-resourced capital budget and setting the city back a decade. Other governments must come to the rescue, but Council must also raise its own revenues.

Years of chronic under-investment in community infrastructure and social supports have left gaping needs — in crisis services, policing, child care, and so much more.Torontonians are depending on Council for investment in services, programs, and infrastructure to not only address their immediate health and survival needs during the pandemic, but also to begin our city’s recovery from it.

 Read our letter here
Social Planning Toronto

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