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.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Shelley's Introduction of the Capital Budget 2007

We introduced the Capital Budget on behalf of the budget Committee this morning. My opening remarks are below. To find out more about deputations you can check the City's website at The most interesting add on thwe the consultation is this monday evening down in the City Hall Rotunda. We will have staff available to deal with your questions, one on one, from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Feb 12/07.

Councillor Shelley Carroll
Capital Budget Introduction
Thursday, February 8, 2007

Good morning. I’m pleased to be here to introduce the capital budget, as proposed by city staff, for public consultation and review. I will speak briefly this morning, and then turn it over to City Manager Shirley Hoy and Joe Pennachetti, our CFO.

What is a capital budget?
Toronto’s capital budget supports the investment and reinvestment in the foundation of a liveable city.
Funded by property taxes, cost-recovery charges, and debt, the capital budget supports Toronto’s essential infrastructure like roads and bridges, creates and maintains public spaces like community and recreation centres and public squares, and grows our city for the future.

Members of staff in finance
Staff in city departments
Members of the budget committee who conducted detailed reviews

Budget Committee has been charged by the Executive Committee to prepare a viable budget:
o A budget that meets the objectives of City Council and the Mayor’s Mandate, including state of good repair, the environment, and projected growth.
o A budget that is fiscally responsible, meeting the debt guidelines set for 2007
o A budget that takes the long view, setting a clear plan for the next 5 years.

In years past, we have begun our process with the fiscal gap, which has then become the focus of our discussion. This year, staff have prepared a viable budget that meets our targets, so we can instead talk about what this budget DOES for the citizens of Toronto.

The proposed budget reaches all across the city, and into every agency, board, commission, and department. It supports our capital program in every ward, and will touch every Torontonian with the services it supports.

Here is just a sample of the recommendations. Among many projects and programs, this is a budget that will:
o Build new mixed-use, transit-friendly communities in the East Bayfront, and the West Donlands parks on the Waterfront
o Promote economic development by investing in city infrastructure on public streetscapes with over 60 of Toronto’s Business Improvement Areas spread over all four regions of the Megacity.
o Rewewal of our cultural facilities like Casa Loma, Fort York, the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, and the Don Valley Brickworks
o Invest in alternative transportation with $3 million in the bike plan, and enough staff support to implement it
o Provide resources to help meet our goal of 70 percent waste diversion by supporting the purchase of new recycling carts, a network of Reuse drop-off Centres, and organics processing
o Implement the 311 initiative, which will put the entire public service under one phone number for easy access and better service
o Enhance the city’s website to make it more user-friendly so users can register and pay for several city services online
o Construct a new childcare centre in Thorncliffe Park, which will preserve 57 spaces in an area of much need
o Add 72 replacement shelter beds at Eva’s Youth Shelter and 110 Edward St., and add 60 spaces in the new Bethlehem United Shelter
o Expand the libraries in the Jane/Sheppard, Bloor/Gladstone, and Thoncliffe neighbourhoods
o Add four new splash pads – three of them in priority need neighbourhoods
o Renew and enhance our road infrastructure, including resurfacing of 124km of roads and rehabilitation of 16 bridges
o Enhance safety and response times by completing work on a new fire station at Sheppard and Leslie/Bayview area
o Invest in the Toronto Police service facilities, including a new and enhanced $76 million training facility, and the purchase of land for both 11 and 14 divisions

Finally, this is a budget that supports public transit. In addition to state-of-good-repair programs and new infrastructure like the Mount Dennis bus garage, this budget recommends an unprecedented investment, including:
o Installation of a state-of-the-art signaling system on the Yonge-University line, which combined with the new subway cars, will increase capacity on that line by 20 percent. (Yes, Sheppard Subway riders, you will soon be able to get on the train when you arrive at Sheppard Station!)
o A massive investment in new transit vehicles. Over the next five years, this investment will total nearly $1.8 billion, including 234 new subway cars, 1,225 new accessible buses, and 204 accessible streetcars.
o These vehicles will be purchased with the ongoing support of all orders of government, much of it already committed. With these recommendations, it can safely be said that:
o This is a transit budget.

Staff have made tough choices to prioritize and develop a budget that serves Toronto’s needs, meets our debt guidelines, and plans for the future. Now, it is our job to work through the numbers, and make sure we have met our priorities, as directed by the Executive Committee

Staff have prepared a budget for your input – but this is just the beginning of our conversation. We want you to tell us if we got it right, and how you think we can make it better.

Councillors are invited to speak on the budget tomorrow. Organizations and individuals can get involved in the budget process in three ways:
o Make a presentation on Friday, Feb 9 (Stakeholders) or Wednesday, February 14 (General Public)
o Discuss issues with City Staff at our public infosession on Monday, Feb 12 – 2 p.m to 7 p.m.
o Write to the committee

I look forward to the opportunity to hear your questions and comments