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Executive committee to discuss Toronto's 2019 budget Monday

Last Updated Mar 4, 2019 at 11:51 am EDT

Mayor John Tory speaks to the media ahead of the executive committee meeting, May 14, 2018. CITYNEWS/Tony Fera

Mayor John Tory’s executive committee is going over the 2019 budget during their meeting on Monday, and it took no time for the inner circle to approve hikes to both the water and waste budgets.

The three-per-cent increase in water rates and the 2.2 per cent raise in garbage fees would see an increase of approximately $123 per household — depending on water usage and garbage bin size.

The final item on the agenda is the operating and capital budget.

“Every year, every budget involves making choices and they are difficult choices, that is what we’re elected to do here, to make the difficult choices, and we do those within the context of the things we’ve said to the people of the city of Toronto when we have elections,” Tory explained.

The mayor said the budget provides increases for city services with investments in things like the TTC, Toronto Police as well as community housing.

“This budget moves our city forward in a balanced, responsible way,” Tory claimed.

Budget Chief Coun. Gary Crawford is determined to deliver on Tory’s election promise to keep any tax hike at or below the rate of inflation, so the 2019 tax increase target is set at 2.55 per cent.

“It would be easy to raise taxes sky high to appease some of the loudest voices that we hear every year around budget time but I know, I know that budget chief Crawford knows, and the majority of councillors know that that is just not the responsible thing to do,” Tory said.

If approved by the executive committee, the budget will head to city council for debate and final vote on Thursday.