Thursday, March 4, 2010

Budgets, Budgets, Budgets

The Toronto City $9.28 Billion Budget proposals have been presented. Public input has been invited - although certain councillors like Paula Fletcher do not seem to like this: ... doesn't this just show how bad things are at city hall, the sense of entitlement? I saw Ms Fletcher live and she really abused a citizen who had input. It is okay to disagree, but to shout him down like he was on trial is so wrong! Where is the respect for citizens?

The city budget will be finalized and voted upon April 15-16, so any citizen can contact their councillors and make their opinion known. The details on the budget can be found on the city website here:

Right now I am online watching the live presentation of the $280 Billion federal budget that tells us we now have a $54 Billion deficit and noticing that the Conservative MP's are trying to implement a somewhat tough budget to eventually get back to balanced budgets. They are cutting back on foreign aid and arts.

One thing I like is that they are freezing the growth of bureaucracy and may? freeze MP salaries to show leadership. It would be nice if the city followed this example!

What I don't like is that our federal government is completely ignoring poverty, housing, the environment, transit and pretty much any social programs. Why was it okay to generate a gigantic deficit to bail out banks and big corporations, but wrong to generate a relatively much smaller deficit to help real people? I guess this is where I can say I am most definitely NOT a right wing conservative! (were I ever to join any party, which I doubt).

Next up will be the provincial government budget which will be coming up since they prorogued today (Lik calling it hitting 'reset' on your computer). In that one, we will likely not see any money for the TTC and little help for our city, since the province is crying poor too. Although, to be fair, they did help out a lot with that in the last budget. We shall see if Toronto's chronic shortfalls will be rectified (like the downloading of social assistance, which was wrong when Mike Harris did it and is still wrong).

So... we still see a 4% property tax increase and a wide variety of increased user fees. The biggest chunk of the budget is the TTC, which will see another increase... does the money spent on the TTC reflect better service? I think all Toronto's citizens will vote on that come October!