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'Respecting the taxpayer' is not about selling off city services

This letter was presented to the Community Development and Recreation Committee by Ann Dembinski, who says Mayor Ford’s attempts to cut city services have all been publicly and soundly discredited by the experts and by the people who call Toronto home.

Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti, Chair
And Members, Community Development and Recreation Committee

 RE: CZ1.2 – Core Service Review

As President of CUPE Local 79, I am proud to represent over 18,000 members who spend their every working day taking care of Toronto.

I was dismayed by the findings and supposed options that were brought forward in July by KPMG, the outside consultants hired by the Mayor and paid for by the taxpayers of this City.

The Report. Its findings. The process. All have all been publicly and soundly discredited by the experts and by the people who call Toronto home.

Councillors have heard from their constituents about how cuts to services affect their lives, their neighbours and their communities. The KPMG options for cutting services under the watch of the Community Development and Recreation Committee go right to the heart of every household in the City.

I would like the Councillors on this Committee to pass along this message to the Executive Committee, City Councillors and the Mayor:

How is it ‘respecting the taxpayer’ to sell off or transfer 57 child care centres run by the City to outside operators – when there are over 19,000 children on waiting lists and thousands of children waiting for subsidies? Parents and families desperately need child care in order to work and live in Toronto. Abandoning the City’s award-winning child care system when people need it the most is throwing the baby out with the bath water. The system needs more funding and stability – not less. Child care is a core service – and a vital one.

How is it ‘respecting the taxpayer’ to sell off or transfer 9 of the 10, City-run long-term care homes? Long-term care homes provide care and programs for residents of all ages. Selling off all but one of the homes will have a dramatic impact on families and communities. Do not put the future of Toronto’s vulnerable seniors and young adults living in long-term care homes at risk by acting on the options of the KPMG Report.

How is it ‘respecting the taxpayer’ if the City effectively loses control and oversight of Parks, Forestry and Recreation? The options outlined in the KPMG Core Service Review run counter to the City’s stated Recreation Service Plan principles of Quality, Equitable Access, Inclusion, and Capacity Building. If the options put forward by the Mayor’s consultants are adopted by City Council, Parks, Forestry & Recreation will no longer be able to deliver on these principles – commercial operators and profit seeking companies will be in control.

So much for respect. So much for the guarantee there would be no cuts to services.

Yours truly,

Ann Dembinski
President

 

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