“Safe drinking water and environmentally safe disposal of solid waste are not frills or budget lines to be passed over. Public health and safety depends on it, and Provincial and Federal legislation demands it,” Local 79 President Tim Maguire told the City’s Budget Committee.
Dear Councillor Del Grande and Members of the Budget Committee:
RE: BU31.1 2013 Rate Supported Budgets – Toronto Water and 2013Water and Wastewater Rates and Service Fees, and
BU31.2 2013 Rate Supported Budgets – Solid Waste Management Services and Recommended 2013 Solid Waste Rates
Maintaining and expanding the City’s infrastructure is not a budget item that can be deferred or ignored. Our water and solid waste management systems are in need of repair and environmental upgrades. Safe drinking water and the environmentally safe disposal of solid waste are not frills or budget lines to be passed over. Public health and safety depends on it, and Provincial and Federal legislation demands it.
Toronto Water and Solid Waste Management Services have been told to flat-line their budgets once again – with the same results. Year after year there has been the expectation of ‘continuous service delivery improvement’, with less resources and fewer front-line staff to deliver the services. This is not sustainable.
Any environmental leadership Toronto has shown in the past is now stalled. Our major capital projects have been undermined and delayed by short-sighted budgets. Our goal, as a City, to divert 70% of our waste is now down to 50% by 2015.
The good citizens of this city are terrific recyclers, but unfortunately, half of our population who live in multi-residential buildings don’t even get the chance to have a green bin or a blue bin. Our Green Lane landfill site is filling up fast with waste that could be diverted and recycled but every year the City budget stalls any progressive environmental advances.
Infrastructure is a priority for every major city in Canada. It’s time for Toronto to make an absolute commitment to the environment and to all the people who call Toronto home.