FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 10, 2017
The 2017 Toronto Budget is failing women and families
This morning, a diverse group of women gathered outside of the City of Toronto Budget Committee meeting to demand gender equity in the City of Toronto Budget. Women shared their personal experiences of how the City of Toronto is failing them and their families.
In July, 2016 City staff were directed by City Council to incorporate a gender equity perspective into the 2017 Budget. The objective is to ensuring equitable access to services and economic opportunities and to create a more open and transparent budget process. The proposed budget includes disproportionate increases to user fees for public sector services used primarily by women and families; and service cuts that will hurt low-income women across the City.
Long-time child care advocate Jane Mercer remarks, "The City of Toronto already has the highest child care fees in the Country. Proposed fee increases & cuts to subsidies will create devastating hardship for families and force women to leave work. This runs contrary to the Poverty Reduction Strategy, a policy that Mayor Tory claims in a priority issue for him. At the Toronto Coalition for Better Childcare, we say prove it."
Terri-Lynn Langdon, a member of the City of Toronto's Disability, Access & Inclusion Advisory Committee said, "59% of women living with disAbilities are living in poverty. I am a disabled Woman. These poverty rates are directly tied to the lack of affordable and accessible housing in Toronto. Women's shelters, are at 100% capacity forcing women to stay in violent and unsafe situations because the City has not invested in affordable housing. This is a particular challenge for women with disabilities, as many shelters remain inaccessible and without needed attendant care services.
Akio Maroon, mother and activist said, "Toronto currently has the lowest property taxes in the GTA and it's being subsidized on the backs of women living in poverty and working families through harsh services cuts and unaffordable user fees. Residents expect City Council to honour their commitments to poverty reduction. This is irresponsible and unacceptable."
City Council will vote on the Budget at its February 2017 meeting.
For more information, please visit http://www.twca.ca/to-budget/ or contact:
Doly Begum, firstname.lastname@example.org; cell: 416-937-8072