Save the Date and Register: Ward 13 Budget Town Hall February 9th, 2021, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST
Every year, the City of Toronto embarks on a lengthy consultation process to review our budget. This is where we decide which programs to fund, including the Toronto Police Services; the TTC; Housing and shelters, and youth and recreation programming, and how we intend to pay for them. A budget expresses our values. It should reflect a commitment to real community safety.
While Toronto looks to rebuild and recover, these conversations are critical in ensuring that no one is left behind. Now, more than ever, we have to be specific about how we direct our finances. How do we determine the health of our communities? How can we make sustainable investments for our future? How can we help take care of ourselves and each other? Community revitalization is not just about bricks and mortar. Successful community revitalization is one where both the physical infrastructure and social development receive equal commitment and focus. Looking towards the future, this is how we can make our priorities known.
On February 9, 2021, join Councillor Wong-Tam and guest speaker, Anthony Ng, as they present the upcoming 2021 City of Toronto Budget. They will discuss key learnings from our Making Centsspeaker series, as well as explore how you would spend your tax dollars with a new tool called Citizen Budget. There will also be an opportunity for you to ask any questions.
Since the pandemic began in mid-March, the City of Toronto has experienced significant financial impacts in the form of both added costs and revenue losses as a direct result of COVID-19. This pandemic has exposed and brought attention to a number of gaps in the system, and has applied significant strain on our social programs and community supports. We cannot look to recreate the same systems that failed us before the pandemic. We must emerge and create a new path forward, with an economic and social recovery that leaves no one behind.
In the fall, Toronto begins its budget planning process for 2021. We know that the City of Toronto is under immense financial pressure because of COVID-19. For our final panel held on Monday, November 23rd, we looked to the future and discussed a vision for our city that works for everyone. Building on each previous panel, we took what we’ve learned and considered what recovery looks like for the City of Toronto. What have we learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, and how can we move forward creating a City that works for everyone? How can our municipal budget evolve to support the creation of this new vision for our City? This panel explored these questions and more, as we look towards a recovery for all.
Below, find a recording and transcript of the Aftermath: COVID Recovery panel event.
In 2019 we successfully campaigned for the creation of an Intersectional Gender Equity Strategy and Gender Equality Office, which was finally approved and funded as part of this year's budget. The Gender Equity Strategy and Gender Equality Office participates in our City budget process by analyzing and evaluating the budget through an intersectional budget lens. This work is important, but there is more we can do to ensure our city works for everyone. Throughout the pandemic we have received report after report after report which shows that marginalized and oppressed communities are experiencing the brunt of the issues related to COVID. When all members of our communities aren’t adequately supported, we all suffer.
On Monday, November 9th we came together to learn more about how and why it is important to apply an equity lens to our municipal budget, and where our municipal budget can address gaps in equity planning in our city. Joined by experts in the field and panelists with lived experience, we asked what an equity lens is and how it can be applied to our municipal budget, why an equity lens is critical to the budgeting process, and where our current funding gaps exist in the system and how we can fix it.
Below, find a recording and transcript of the Equitable Cities panel event.