Yesterday, Mayor Tory's Executive Committee discussed a report on the City's Long-Term Financial Plan. Our city has grown substantially and the needs and interests of residents and businesses have grown concurrently over the past decade. The City of Toronto has responded by developing plans and strategies to ensure Toronto remains a livable, accessible and inclusive city for everyone, but City Council has not ensured the funding to implement these necessary services. A new model for budgeting and financial planning is long overdue.
Determining the priorities of a city and the methods and means to pay for the services and programmes, is not an easy task and requires City Council to dig deep and make smart decisions. This is not something we can put off for any longer as our infrastructure crumbles and Toronto becomes increasingly unaffordable for so many.
The options put forward by the City Manager will force City Council to cut services or reduce service levels, which are already insufficient in meeting resident needs, or develop new revenues to pay for a growing city. It will not be an easy decision for City Council, but it is one that cannot be delayed.
Which is exactly what Mayor Tory and his Executive Committee have chosen to do. Instead of governing, they have deferred these important decisions until the next term of Council. Please contact Mayor Tory to encourage him to bring the report to City Council next week. Let him know you believe City Council should debate this plan immediately and not delay this decision until after October's election.