Toronto Centre City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam has laid out some of the challenges faced by Canada’s largest city (population over 3-million); GTA over 6-million.
– We’re facing a financial crisis that could reverse all the progress we’ve made.
– Without support from the provincial and federal governments the budget won’t balance.
– 40,000 child care subsidies could disappear.
– Over 1,000 beds from long-term care homes might be cut.
– Toronto Transit services will be reduced by 50%.
– Our social safety net, affecting many working families, has cracks in it.
Ms. Wong-Tam goes on to say:
– The City of Toronto is facing a $1.9-billion deficit by the end of 2020.
– Toronto has found 513.7-million in savings, leaving a year-end shortfall of $1.35-billion.
– Without support from senior governments, property taxes could increase by 60%.
– Services could be cut devastatingly.
– The encampments we see across the city will continue to grow.
– Opioid overdoses could result in more deaths.
– Crime will no doubt increase and safety will decrease.
And there’s more:
– In July the provincial and federal governments announced a tentative $19-billion funding agreement to restart the national economy.
– Money will be distributed nation-wide to support testing and contact tracing, PPE purchasing, sick leave, child care, and funding for public transit. We haven’t seen those dollars yet.– Meanwhile Toronto is left spending hundreds of millions of dollars on temporary measures to help families get through the pandemic.
– There are evictions, business closures of shops, bars and restaurants, and the Canadian winter is getting much closer.

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