On February 15th, Toronto City Council will vote on the 2023 budget. Between now and February 15, community and labour have a chance to press councillors and the mayor to invest in the public infrastructure and programs we need to be a livable city for all.
The budget choices our city government makes each year are not only a reflection of the context of our city; they actively shape our context for years to come. Unfortunately, the budget Mayor Tory presented is a “pay more, get less” budget: less services, less safety. Read our statement for our analysis of Tory’s new “strong mayor” powers and what’s at risk in this budget.
Tens of thousands of people have already spoken up about the multiple crises caused by a lack of adequate public supports.
- In an open letter, ATU Local 113 president Marvin Alfred and Toronto Public Library Workers Union president Brandon Haynes wrote about how violence in public spaces is violence in their members’ workplaces and identified the need for better investment.
- A joint statement from Labour Council, the OFL, ATU, and the CLC released today calls for investment in transit
- Yesterday over 100 academics called for the same transit investments.
- The Toronto Youth Cabinet issued a letter endorsed by the TDSB, calling for upstream community investments to meet the needs of youth
- Over 10,000 people signed Progress Toronto’s petition for 24/7 warming centres.
- Progress Toronto’s phone bank or in-person canvass events to demand a better City Budget.
- Over 230 people deputed before the Budget Committee last month, and hundreds more submitted written deputations. Your comments and participation matter now more than ever. By making a submission, individuals and organizations have the opportunity to advocate for their priorities and ensure that their voices are heard. For the budget process, please click here.
Toronto & York Region Labour Council's Submissions To the City Council
- MPB 4.1 Mayor’s Proposed Budget: 2023 Operating and Capital Budgets
- BU 3.1 2023 Capital and Operating Budgets
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February 14 is the city council's final vote on budget. As a resident and member of the working community, your voice and participation are crucial. The budget directly impacts your daily life and the well-being of our city. Take advantage of the many opportunities that Labour Council and our allied community groups have organized. You can learn more about the specifics of the budget through this helpful Budget Watch Blog from Social Planning Toronto. Keep reading for more actions you can take, in person or virtually. Find and Contact Your Councillor here.
We urge you to make a submission and have your voice heard. Let's stand together and work towards a city that works for everyone!
Other Information, Events and Actions:
- Progress Toronto's Petition - Take Action for a City We Can Live In https://www.progresstoronto.ca/toronto-we-can-live-in
- Take part in TTC Riders’ budget action https://www.ttcriders.ca/budget2023
- Join Toronto Environmental Alliance and tell City Hall to fund the TTC with a parking levy in the 2023 Budget https://www.torontoenvironment.org/fund_ttc_parking_2023budget
- Take a look at these budget resources by Social Planning Toronto https://www.socialplanningtoronto.org/citybudgetwatch_resources
- Read the budget summary and highlights https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2023/bu/bgrd/backgroundfile-230875.pdf
Please save your date and join these city budget events! Click the photo to go to the event page.
On February 8th’s regular Council meeting, we narrowly lost a vote on keeping warming centres open. While it is shameful that Mayor Tory and 14 councillors voted to do nothing now to protect unhoused people, public pressure continues to mount. It is more important than ever that we have our say on the 2023 Toronto Budget.
The Toronto & York Region Labour Council represents the interests of 220,000 working people in the city and is concerned about the current budget proposal for the city. The budget prioritizes policing and infrastructure repairs over poverty reduction and addressing equity and racism issues. We are concerned about the proposed 9% reduction in TTC service, which would result in job losses, and the creeping privatization and "alternative financing" schemes that could damage the city's commitment to being a good employer. We suggested the city use more revenue tools, such as progressive taxes, to invest in a more liveable city. Please watch our speech at the Budget Committee deputation on Jan 17, 2023 om YouTube.
Alejandra Bravo is the Councillor for Davenport and a member of the Board of Health and Budget Committee. Her article "Toronto’s budget fails to address our most urgent crisis" was published by The Star this week. Read it here.
In light of February 10th’s revelations about John Tory’s affair, its workplace setting, and his subsequent resignation, the Labour Council has issued the following statement. We call for Tory to resign immediately and for the initiation of a by-election. You can also read our full statement here.
Stay posted for more targeted opportunities to have your say!
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