Jan 19, 2015
By Jane Brown
John Tory’s first budget will be unveiled tomorrow, but very little of it has been crafted by Toronto’s new mayor.
Tory’s budget chief, Councillor Gary Crawford, says it’s very much “a staff-generated budget with not a lot of councillor input.”
There will be some room for Mayor Tory to put his stamp on the budget. He’s made transportation and traffic his top priorities along with homelessness and poverty.
“It’s a difficult and it’s a big issue that has many aspects to it which include affordable housing, generally. It includes mental health issues. It includes a whole lot of things, but I’ve certainly been trying to show leadership and to take the measures we can to make the situation better,” Tory explained last week.
Mayor Tory is also planning a funding announcement for the TTC, alongside transit chair Josh Colle at 10:30 this morning. A release says it will be related to the budget.
The budget includes an operating budget now approaching $10-billion, which covers day to day spending on programs and services and a capital budge for infrastructure construction and repairs. By law, the operating budget must be balanced.
This year’s balancing has to be done despite the loss of $86-million in provincial funding and what city manager Joe Pennachetti says is a depleted pool of efficiencies left to squeeze out of the system. The squeeze would get tighter if the mayor fulfills his campaign promise to freeze TTC fares.