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article imageLatest suggestions for Toronto include axing city-run childcare

By KJ Mullins     Jul 14, 2011 in World
Toronto - Will 2011 be remembered as the year it became too expensive to live and work in Toronto? The latest list of proposals for city budget cuts include reducing slots for child care and amalgamating the city's fire and EMS services.
The elderly are also facing cuts to nursing homes.
The consulting firm KPMG is suggesting vast cuts to services in Toronto that many consider essential. The latest suggestions include axing city run childcare, merging the EMS with the fire department and getting out of long term care facilities.
The key word at City Hall these days is privatize. That term is being bandied about when it comes to childcare and long-term care facilities run by Toronto.
CTV reports that City Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti is telling parents in the city not to worry about their kids being cut from daycare.
"Nobody is cutting your child out of daycare. That is not going to happen. If we get into this debate it will be whether or not Toronto should be running programs."
KPMG says that the city could save up to $140 million with getting out of the childcare and long-term home business along with merging fire services and the EMS. The fourth report for the consulting firm also suggests that the city plants fewer trees and let the grass grow longer.
The National Post quotes Councillor Norm Kelly as saying that this is an exciting time for the people in Toronto.
“I’m not looking at planting fewer trees, I’m not looking at reducing at standards,” said Mr. Kelly. “Obviously we’re going to have to look at engaging the public at managing the parks … this is where flexibility comes in, it could be a mixture of city, private sector and the public maintaining the park, planning the park. I think this will be an exciting time for many people in the city of Toronto.”
Don't tell that to the firefighters in the city though. They could be facing layoffs. Toronto is asking for a reduction of 10 percent from Toronto Fires Services that would include 400 laid off firefighters and more than 20 trucks off of the road.
The Toronto Police are also being asked to look into what laying off 500 officers would do for the City of Toronto.
At this time it appears that there is no sector of essential services in the city that are immune from the budget knife. The cuts that are suggested will have a huge impact on the city but is that impact one that will make the city a better place to live?
It costs money to support a city the size of Toronto and allow it to grow in a way that is to the benefit for all. Laying off police officers and fire fighters, turning city run childcare and long term homes into private sector business and giving less to parks would make a huge impact. The question is if these plans go through will the impact be one that the everyone in the city can live with or only the rich?
More about Childcare, Toronto, Long term care, Ems, Fire department
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