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City of Toronto launches petition against Ford government's cuts

Last Updated May 22, 2019 at 10:59 am EDT

Mayor John Tory announcing the creation of a new website called “Stop the Cuts” to push back against Ford government budget cuts, May 22, 2019. CITYNEWS/Adrian Golombek

The City of Toronto is fighting back against the cuts made by the Ford government by launching an online petition.

Mayor John Tory made the announcement on Wednesday standing behind a new sign affixed to his usual podium that read “Standing Up For Toronto.”

He said he believes it’s important to engage the people of Toronto in the city’s efforts to stop the cuts.

“We are facing and unprecedented $177-million in cuts to our budget due to the province’s sudden actions taken again in the middle of the year,” Tory explained.

“Our professional city staff have been honest with people that this will either lead to service cuts or tax increases.”

The new petition, titled “Stop the Cuts,” is demanding the province reverse the funding cuts it has made to the city.

“The fact is, this is just not a sensible or business-like way to achieve efficiencies — by imposing cuts in the middle of the year, months after municipal budgets had to be finalized,” Tory said.

“I believe this step in launching a petition is necessary to help draw peoples attention these cuts before they happen so that they can add their voice to this campaign and urge their local MPPs to stand up for Toronto.”

Tory added that the website was created using existing city resources to keep the costs as low as possible.

Meanwhile, more cuts could be on the way.

The Financial Accountability Office’s economic outlook for the province found Ontario’s deficit is down $900-million over last year.

However, the FAO says if the Ford government plans to balance the budget by 2022-23, it will need to find another $6-billion in spending cuts.

The FAO is also warning of slower economic growth, saying revenues are projected to increase just 3.2 per cent per year which is down from the previous gains of 4.2 per cent over the last five years.

The provincial government has come under fire over the last year for its cuts to services – including funding to Autism services, education and child care.

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