John Tory tabled his first budget on Tuesday and it was found wanting — specifically wanting $86 million.
The $86-million gap is a result of provincial funding cancellation for the Toronto Pooling Compensation in 2013. The Compensation funded social housing.
The province has offered a $200-million loan with interest at “commercial market rates,” Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa said.
Tory however calls the budget “the right thing” and will announce at the end of the week whether he will be taking the loan.
He remains optimistic that council his “sensible, prudent, balanced budget” will pass in mid-March.
The budget also includes:
- A property tax increase of 2.75 percent (2.25 proposed plus 0.5 from Scarborough Subway levy)
- 8% water rate increase
- A hike in user fees for ice rinks and fields
- $626 million for building and maintaining parks
- $14.4 million for supporting the city’s most vulnerable, including 181 new beds in shelters
- According to Tory and Budget Chair Gary Crawford $80 million can be raised if each City division reaches efficiency targets of 2%.