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The KPMG Core Services Review is seriously flawed

Letter to the Executive Committee Regarding the KPMG Core Services Review from Local 79 President Ann Dembinski, reminding that public consultations showed that Torontonians value their public services; and pointing out that the KPMG Core Services Review is flawed.

Mayor Ford, Chair
And Members, Executive Committee

Re: Item # EX8.1 Core Service Review

On behalf of Local 79, I wish to begin by reminding you of the following:

  • Mayor Rob Ford continually guaranteed during last year’s election campaign that, if elected Mayor, there would be no major service cuts. Each of the KPMG options are major service cuts.
  • It is reported in the Core Service Review – Public Consultation document, that the first choice for those who participated is to pay more property tax to maintain current service levels.

The participants made it crystal clear that residents of Toronto value their public services and want them to remain public.

The KPMG report brought forward a multitude of options which, if adopted, would reduce, jeopardize, or eliminate many valued programs and services altogether. This is definitely not what Mayor Ford guaranteed during the election campaign!

The hundreds of deputants who took the time to speak at the many Committees over the past two weeks, and the almost 13,000 concerned people who participated in the Public Consultation, emphasized the fact that the KPMG Core Services Review report is not taking the direction that they want for their Toronto.

It is important to note that Torontonians, particularly low income families and women, will bear the brunt of many of the options proposed by KPMG, through increased user fees and less access to vital services.

 A survey published earlier this year by the U.K.-based group the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Toronto the fourth most liveable city in the world.

Local 79 wishes to remind everyone that Toronto is such a liveable, world class city for residents, newcomers, visitors, and, national and international businesses because of the following:

  • front-line City workers, who are there every day to provide programs and services, even during a crisis such as the SARS outbreak, Legionnaires’ disease, the Blackout, the Wellesley Street apartment fire
  • a renowned child care system
  • recreation centres and skilled staff who provide a lifetime of activities for everyone – babies, children, youth, adults and seniors
  • nurses providing programs such as Healthy Babies, Healthy Children, and Vaccination and Immunization
  • cleaners who maintain a healthy environment in our City facilities and protect City assets
  • ambulance dispatchers who talk individuals through a crisis, sometimes of life and death proportions, until Emergency Services arrive
  • planners who grow and revitalize the City’s tax base by identifying the best use of lands for residents, businesses, and visitors
  • inspectors who check the water quality, enforce building codes, make sure that restaurants are rodent and bug free and safe to eat in, and your grocery store is clean
  • affordable, quality long term care for our many seniors, and young adults, who require it
  • social services helping strengthen the social and economic well-being of low income families, and assisting newcomers to settle.
  • services and programs for the homeless such as Streets to Homes, and shelters

This list is by no means exhaustive. It is intended to highlight the wide range and variety of programs and services that are available to meet the needs of Toronto’s many diverse communities.

Local 79 urges you, as elected officials, to remember the outstanding reputation that Toronto has on a worldwide level. Toronto is a great City due, in no small measure, to all of its quality public services and programs!

Yours truly,

Ann Dembinski
President

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