Warning message

Please note that this page is from our archives. There may be more up-to-date content about this topic on our website. Use our search engine to find out.
TORONTO Canada’s largest city will pave the way to poorer public health if it proceeds with funding cuts for public recreation, says the Toronto Civic Action Network (TorontoCAN).

The coalition of community and labour groups is calling on the public to send a message to city councillors to make the 2003 budget recreation-friendly by:
  • voting against proposed user fee increases
  • voting against proposed staff and service level cuts
  • committing to work towards the phased elimination of user fees
  • committing to increase funding for public recreation.
Current budget proposals include $1.8 million in new user fees, cuts to programs and the loss of about 45 recreation staff. It’s the wrong way to go at a time when concern is growing about obesity and other health concerns related to lack of activity among children and adults of all ages, according to TorontoCAN.

“User fees prevent many people from being able to afford recreation for themselves and their children,” said Rob Howarth, a member of the TorontoCAN steering committee. “Public recreation can provide spaces and programs for people of all ages, incomes, backgrounds, and abilities to come together, take part in physical activities, enjoy themselves and learn new skills.”

Toronto city councilors, who are debating the proposed budget measures this week, may believe they are helping taxpayers save money. But, when it comes to recreation and active living, it’s a simple matter of pay now or pay later, Carmen Smith, TorontoCAN steering committee member, said.

TorontoCAN is asking city residents to call their councillors and tell them not to cut Parks & Recreation programs and services.


For more information, contact:

Rob Howarth, 416-656-9322
Carmen Smith, 416-977-1629 ext 226