A labour rally took over Yonge-Dundas Square on Saturday afternoon, with demonstrators then marching to City Hall to protest Mayor Rob Ford’s cuts to social programs and services.
Thousands of people showed up to support the Rally For Respect, including labour and community groups.
“We’re here as citizens of the city of Toronto to stand up and demand that Rob Ford and the other city councillors respect us as taxpayers too,” Jeff Irons, vice-president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, said outside City Hall.
“Don’t cut our services, don’t cut good-paying jobs…we want to say enough is a enough,” Irons said.
Demonstrators are asking for more open consultations on civic services, including changes to public transit and increased user fees for city programs.
Others were there to protest the recent firing of the entire Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) board following a damning auditor’s report.
“Tenants are standing up and fighting back that their elected tenant representatives were removed from the board by city council at the request of the mayor,” TCHC tenant representative Catherine Wilkinson said.
“We’re also fighting back against privatization, as the mayor has indicated he would privatize Toronto Community Housing,” she added.