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FORUM: Budget passes in a consensus vote (Mar. 2023)

April 12th, 2023 · No Comments

New support for vulnerable residents

By Dianne Saxe

I hope this message finds you well and enjoying the end of winter. The events unfolding at city hall have been nothing short of extraordinary lately. From the first ever “strong mayor” budget to the mayor’s first loss on a major vote (the Yonge Street Complete Street) to 280 development applications in Ward 11 alone, there’s been a lot going on.

And then, the dramatic resignation of John Tory triggered the largest byelection that Canada has ever seen.

I have been working closely with my colleagues to keep the city running. Together, we engaged in extensive budget negotiations which resulted in consensus motions on Feb. 15 to reallocate $8 million to Toronto’s vulnerable residents.

Council provided $800,000 to pilot a 24/7 warming centre until mid-April, $1.7 million for community organizations catering to the most vulnerable, funds for eviction prevention, $100,000 for the 519, and $1 million for property tax relief for low-income seniors and disabled individuals. Council also reallocated $500,000 to a credit enhancement program which will

expand the Home Energy Loan Program. While there is still much to be done, I am proud to have helped obtain vital funding for those who need it the most.

I am equally proud of the Cecil Community Centre, which has repeatedly gone above and beyond in its efforts to provide a warming centre to those in need during this month’s extreme cold weather.

The Yonge Street Complete Street is now permanent from Bloor to Davisville, thanks to the very hard work of city staff and community activists and to 15 of my colleagues who supported me at city council. Together with the traffic safety study that I requested, this major milestone will improve safety, reduce traffic congestion, and promote sustainability in our city. 

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this initiative with their advocacy and feedback.

It’s also great news that Metrolinx finally agreed to move its layover facility out of the Don Valley.

As we navigate the post-John Tory landscape, I will continue to provide steadfast representation and unwavering leadership at city hall, ensuring that the voices of our community are heard, that Ward 11’s needs are met, and that our city takes seriously the risks and opportunities of our climate crisis.

To stay informed on my progress or any other city matter, please sign up for Ward 11’s newsletter here:

Dianne Saxe is city councillor for Ward 11, University-Rosedale.


Tags: Annex · Columns · Opinion