TORONTO – Toronto CAN (Toronto Civic Action Network) will urge the city to change its mind about budget cuts that will hurt children, tenants, and the homeless, in a deputation this afternoon before the City of Toronto’s Community Services Committee.
“One group that will be really hurt by these cuts is children and children do not get to come and make presentations at city hall,” Dr. Lauraine Leblanc, a sociologist and Toronto CAN spokesperson, will tell the committee. “Children with special needs and the children of low-income parents will be especially affected by these budget decisions.”
Dr. Leblanc will condemn the following cuts to children’s services that are being recommended in the budget documents:
- Cuts to funding for child care centres
- The deferral of help for children with special needs, outlined in the City’s Special Needs Resource Program
- The cutting of recreation programs for homeless children
“Many parents do not realize that they will be forced to pay additional fees to cover rent charges for child care centres,” Dr. Leblanc will tell the committee. “The deferral of services for children with special needs and the slashing of recreation programs for homeless and low-income children are especially repugnant.”
Toronto CAN is also alarmed that the city is cutting the tenant defense fund by 50 per cent. “The fact that 150,000 people a year use this service shows that it is essential,” says Dr. Leblanc. “We continue to have a housing crisis in this city. The rights of developers are supported more than the rights of tenants. This is one of the few services that helps protect tenants. Vacancy rates are still high and low-income people are still paying exorbitant rents. We will see more evictions and more families will suffer if this crucial service is eliminated.”
Toronto CAN will also condemn the cuts to hostel staff and shelter services. “These cuts mean that more homeless people will be unable to get off the streets,” says Leblanc.”
Toronto CAN is a recently created coalition of community and labour groups and individuals who want to preserve city services and programmes.
Shannon McManus, Communications Officer,
416-292-3999 or 416-766-3252 or
Dr. Lauraine Leblanc
416-351-0095 or 416-469-8074