Liveblog: City Council's Final Debate on the 2012 Budget
The people of Toronto can breathe a sigh of relief (for now). For the most part, the majority of Toronto City Council voted against the mayor Rob Ford's plan to gut city services.
Centrist rookie councilor Josh Colle moved to reverse most of Ford's planned service cuts. Council voted 23-21 in favour of the motion.
Other motions to save city services also passed:
- To save the libraries from an additional $3.9 million in cuts - passed 22-21
- to give Toronto Community Housing the $ they saved in property taxes rather than shunting it to overall surplus - passed 33-11
Still not safe yet: 3 dozen TTC routes will have their service reduced.
I must commend the centrist councilors who finally showed some backbone tonight.
Outside, the protest got a little heated and there were a few arrests as the crowd decided to try to enter City Hall:
Live: Protest Outside City Hall Budget Talks
Details from Now Magazine:
Cuts reversed Tuesday include:
- Restore $2.3-million in funding to community grants, including HIV prevention and programs geared towards seniors, youth, and immigrant women in priority neighbourhoods
- Avoid the closure of the Downsview Dells, Birchmount, and Bellwoods shelters
- Maintain crowding standards and wait times on TTC routes slated for reduction
- Preserve current service levels at libraries, including hours, programs, and material collections
- Continue free recreation programming for youth and seniors at priority centres
- Avoid the elimination of the Women’s Immigrant Health Centre
- Maintain school based childcare rent subsidy
- Avoid closure of three city-run childcare centres
- Keep ice-rinks open during off-peak hours
- Maintain programs at shared-use pools in TDSB schools
- Reject $2 user fee for drop-in swims at pools
- Provide funding to keep three staff positions at the Toronto Environment Office
- Allow the Toronto Community Housing Corporation to keep $6 million in tax savings
- Maintaining mechanical leaf collection