Just a tad…
With Toronto in the red, $700 million dollars and counting Rob Ford feels cuts to Police, Fire and EMS, social programs, Riverdale Farm, Zoos in High Park and Centre Island, 2000 daycare spots, cutting the Jarvis bike lane, etc will get the flow of gravy to stop. We need to put our foots down. Stop thinking about what we need to do to save OUR Toronto and start mounting a come back. Call it, “Taking Back Our City” Ford Nation my have run through Toronto but it doesn’t mean it needs keep on running. Let’s start tripping it up. A few road blocks with real people, families, organizations that truly believe that Toronto is a better place without Ford and gang screwing things up.
Toronto as we know it is about to undergo drastic surgery. What emerges by year’s end could be a fiscal transformation that ushers in a period of municipal budget wonder or a civic catastrophe.
Mayor Rob Ford, the catalyst behind the unprecedented makeover, is such a polarizing leader — and proud of it — that the transition is bound to be tumultuous.
This week’s dizzying blitz of proposed service cuts sets up another round of daily offerings, starting Monday — an orchestrated raid with one main goal: the sacking of Toronto the Good, Toronto the Beautiful, Toronto the Caring, Toronto the Livable.
The stated intent is to wrestle with a $774 million budget shortfall, an annual but manageable challenge. But that’s only a convenient ruse to deliver what Ford has intended since he arrived at city hall: to cut the government down to size.
In 2006, the shortfall was $646 million. It spiked at $821 million last year. Each year the city managed to survive without gutting treasured service. In essence, it is an opening pressure that council erodes using multiple tools as the year progresses. Already, staff and council have identified $330 million in “revenues” to whittle the 2012 amount to $443 million — before budget deliberations even begin.
But the strategy is to use the $774 million figure as a whipping post to keep councillors in line and to justify this broad hunt for savings. And, on this quest, Ford knows he has public support. It’s why he was elected: to stop the gravy train.
Even as critics giggle at Ford’s inability to generate huge savings from more than a few services that could be considered “gravy,” the list of potential cuts grows, creating unease for some and glee for others.
The showdown, landing at city council in late September, promises to be epic.
Read Royson James full article in the Toronto Star here ~ http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1025671–james-we-may-not-recognize-post-rob-ford-toronto