Going into Toronto city council’s two-day budget talks, Mayor Rob Ford had a plan. Ford had prepared a series of 18 motions that outlined what he would do to save the city $60 million dollars.
When the dust settled on Thursday night, only a few of those motions had been passed, the most controversial being a motion to explore corporate sponsors for the Pan Am Games. Ford says this could have saved the city up to $19 million dollars.
“We’re squandering away money. Why not give it back to the taxpayers?” Ford asked in council. “There are lots of little companies that would do it for the advertising.”
Also passed was a motion to eliminate the Our Toronto newsletter publication, which will save the city upwards of $476,000, and a motion to eliminate the employee engagement survey, saving $250,000.
“I’ll take anything right now!” Ford said as the motion passed.
The list of proposed cuts rejected by council included cutting $7 million dollars for planting new trees and eliminating security at libraries. This was a contentious motion for Coun. Mary-Margaret McMahon, whose ward experienced a murder at the Main Street library in 2010.
“I don’t think we’re going to have two six-year-olds battling it out over a dinosaur book,” Ford said.
Other rejected motions put forward by Ford included re-instating waived library fees and reducing the staff budget by $1 million dollars.