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TORONTO – The quality of life of Torontonians will suffer if city services and programs are eliminated or allowed to deteriorate because of a lack of money, say representatives of the Toronto Civic Action Network (Toronto CAN).

This is the richest city in the country and it is cutting services and programs that serve working families throughout Toronto”, says John Cartwright, the president of the Toronto and York Region Labour Council. “This a city that says it cares about its young people, but cannot find the money to keep its swimming pools open.

On January 1, Queen’s Park squandered $2.1-billion on corporate tax cuts but it is refusing to pay its fair share for the people of Toronto,” says Cartwright. “We need our city councillors and the public to demand more funding from the province and the federal government and we need them to do it now. The quality of life in Toronto has always been a key asset for this city. Now it’s threatened because the city will continue to deteriorate without decent funding.”

Toronto’s city council has agreed to examine the potential of every city service for alternative service delivery. “Privatization is not the answer. It costs taxpayers more – hydro deregulation is evidence of that,” says Cartwright. “ If city council abdicates its responsibility for services and programs by turning them over to for-profit companies, there is no way service levels will be maintained.”

Community agencies are losing ground

Peter Clutterbuck, a volunteer with Community Voices of Support, made a presentation before the city’s grants subcommittee today regarding the proposed city budget. “Last year the community sector held off an attempt to cut community grants severely,” Clutterbuck told the committee. “That was good, but community agencies still lost ground while trying to meet growing community needs, especially to underserved communities. That is why we are proposing a very reasonable increase to the grants budget so that children, young people, families, newcomers, and others can get the support they need.”

Toronto CAN is a coalition of individuals and labour and community groups that want to preserve Toronto’s city services and programs.

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Released: Jan. 9, 2001

Contact:
Shannon McManus, Communications Officer:
416-292-3999 or 416-766-3252