Budget cuts blind to poor, homeless

It may be just another budget meeting, but at least this time residents got to tell city council what they thought.

At the Jan. 20 meeting at the Scarborough Civic Centre, residents complained about bus route cuts but also brought up major service cuts throughout the budget.

Council of Agencies Serving South Asians representative Neethan Shan pointed out proposed cuts to community housing funds and a $100,000 cut from the Tenant Defence Fund.

Other community activists like Colin Hughes from the Children’s Aid Society argued against proposals to freeze grants to community arts programs, increases to recreation user fees and the move from shelters to homeless motels.

They all reflected big service cuts which do not serve the good of Scarborough’s 21 low-income neighbourhoods.

It seems mind-boggling, given “Scarberia’s” already poor city services — inefficient transit, sparse local libraries and limited snow removal mechanisms — that the city still contemplates reducing more services.

Some of the services are essential. The homeless still need to have a roof to sleep under.

It is bewildering how city council has the mere thought of making low-income families pay higher fees to use gym facilities or have their children take skating lessons.

The latest budget cuts simply reinforce the fact that when you are poor or homeless, you are invisible.

Good luck to Scarborough when administration at the top is this apathetic, pitiless and indifferent.