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Toronto has always taken pride in being a big city “that works” but the pressures of downloaded services and strangled revenues are taking their toll. Some at City Hall are pushing “alternative service delivery” as the way to renew municipal infrastructure and deliver community services more efficiently.

But there’s no evidence that increased reliance on the private sector will help Canada’s most diverse city save money without reducing quality, limiting access or increasing safety and environmental concerns. On the contrary. Early examples show the high cost of cutting corners, and raise concerns that increased private sector participation will only widen the growing gap between the city’s wealthy and the working class, threatening the quality of life for everyone.

Groups representing the city’s diverse ethnic and racial communities are banding together with environmental and neighbourhood activists to stop this threat before it takes hold.