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Youth Outreach Workers ask Budget Committee to fund program until it can be reviewed by staff

(Toronto) — Youth Outreach Workers and the youth they support will speak at Toronto’s Budget Committee today to ask that their positions be maintained until the Youth Outreach Workers program can be properly reviewed as part of the Recreational Services Review.

“The decision to eliminate the majority of these Youth Outreach Workers positions was made when the City thought it had less money, but now the 2011 surplus has ballooned to $292 million,” stated Tim Maguire, President of Local 79 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents the workers. “We hope Council uses this opportunity to reconsider how much these workers do to help youth in our city succeed.”

In January, as part of its budget deliberations, City Council moved to re-examine cuts to the Youth Outreach Workers Program through the Recreation Service Review, and increase funding requirements if necessary to maintain critical supports for youth. The review was originally slated to go to Community Development and Recreation Committee before the program cut was enacted. The review is now not anticipated until sometime this fall, yet the deletion of over half of the workers in the program is happening within the next few weeks.

“The youth and their families who’ve been helped by this program are sorely disappointed at the prospect of losing these Youth Outreach Workers,” said Maguire. “We are just asking that the City provide bridge funding for these positions through the fall and support Council’s intention of giving the future of this program the thorough review it deserves as part of the overall planning for recreational services.”

Youth Outreach Workers, clients and others will be deputing today at the City of Toronto Budget Committee, which begins at 9:30 a.m., in Committee Room 1, Toronto City Hall.

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For more information, contact Katrina Miller – 647-272-5024

 

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