Councillor Shelley Carroll

Find out the latest news and upcoming events in your neighborhood. Politics, news, views, and links from Ward 33 Councillor Shelley Carroll.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Jan 7 - Theatre Budgets

The endless budget reviews:
This morning Councillor Rae and myself met with The Hummingbird Centre, the St. Lawrence Centre and, of course, our own North York venue, theToronto Centre for the Performing Arts.

All three theatres have made comebacks from their downturns in 2003. Funnily enough, the year of SARS and the blackout had the least impact on the Toronto Centre for the Performing Arts. The theatre has continued to decrease its financial reliance on the City of Toronto every year since Livent first went bust and left the City holding the bag.

Later in the afternoon, the Budget talk was not so cheery. Met with a few of community group leaders to discuss where the bigger Budget challenges are for this year. We struggle with how we will jigg the dollars to be able to fund the most important community based initiatives, the things that give us healthy communities such as funding food and nutrition programs, equity and antiracism programs, aids and drug prevention programs, new community and settlement programs and the much needed expansion of the Youth Outreach Worker Program but we always come back to that one BIG PROBLEM.

It's that same old TTC CHESTNUT. Councillors Mihevc, Milczyn and myself have been scrutinizing the TTC budget line by line for weeks. TTC senior staff have patiently answered roughly a thousand questions a week since mid-November. In the end, while we will find some small efficiencies, it's clear that Uber-Consultant David Gunn made most of the reductions long ago and most of those are still in place a decade later.

If we went back to sharing funding of the TTC Operating Budget with the Province, as we did in those Halcyon days before Mike Harris, all of the Healthy Community needs listed above would be easily taken care of. And no, I am not bitter!