Tag Archives: taxes

Toronto budget public input

Residents, business people have their say on 2011 budget
Opinions vary widely on priorities
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier Jan. 21)

Margaret Watson advocates to sub-budget committee to not increase user fees for recreation. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

Councillors got an earful from residents, businesses and community groups who came out to speak on the city’s budget at North York Civic Centre.
New councillor Doug Ford, brother to Mayor Rob Ford, chaired the meeting at times with occasionally humourous results.
He mistakenly introduced Margaret Watson from the Canadian Pensioners’ Concern as a deputant about prisoners’ issues. He made a joke of it by saying he needed glasses and playfully referred to former budget chief Councillor Shelley Carroll as “the warden”.
For her part, Watson gave a feisty presentation about preserving services.
“Many seniors are tenants who receive pressure from landlords. We are disappointed you have cut $100,000 from the tenant defence fund,” she said at the Jan. 19 public meeting. “We hope council doesn’t want to put more tenants at risk of homelessness.”

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Mayor Ford’s unveils 2011 budget

No “major” service cuts announced
However, some councillors not keen on those that did occur
Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier Jan. 10)

Mayor Rob Ford promises no major service cuts, zero tax increase in proposed 2011 city budget. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

Mayor Rob Ford had announced the introduction of the 2011 Respect For Taxpayers budget by repeating his promises of zero property tax increases and no major service cuts.
“This budget follows one of the largest consultation processes in Canadian politics. It was called the Toronto municipal election,” said Ford, referring to the 10 month election campaign. “(Voters) told us very clearly they want us to stop the waste and reduce city expenses.”
Monday, Jan. 10 was the first day of an expedited process that will see the 2011 budget approved by the end of February rather than early April.
Reduce expenses
Ford had asked all departments to reduce their budgets by five percent but a preliminary look shows this request had mixed results. Municipal Licensing and Services requested an additional 12 percent while Employment and Social Services cut its budget by 26 percent.

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St. Paul’s byelection debate heated

Candidates answers questions on hot button issues at Town Crier debate
A chance for voters to grill candidates leading up to Sept. 17 byelection vote
By Kris Scheuer
(Written Sept. 11 for Town Crier)

John C. Turmel causes a disturbance in audience after voters chose not to direct questions to him. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.

PC Sue-Ann Levy voices concern over the Liberals' handling of eHealth. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.

Liberal Eric Hoskins shares his views at the debate. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.

The race to replace former MPP Michael Bryant in the riding of St. Paul’s heated up Sept. 10 at the Town Crier’s all-candidates debate.  Nine of the 10 registered candidates took to the stage in front of a standing-room-only crowd of some 350 raucous residents, business people and party supporters.
About 20 people in the audience peppered the candidates with questions about the environment, health care, education, homelessness and taxes.
The Town Crier kicked off the discussion by asking candidates to respond to concerns the proposed Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) would result in increased rents.
New Democrat Julian Heller said Premier Dalton McGuinty’s proposed HST was a bad policy. 
“The HST is the wrong tax at the wrong time. It’s unfair to seniors, students, unemployed and families,” said Heller, who has lived in the riding for 25 years and ran for MPP twice before. “And don’t be fooled it will be passed on to tenants through (utility) costs. It will result in an increase of three percent in tenant rents.” Continue reading