FMTA Appeals to City Budget Officers to Save the Tenant Defence Fund

“This cut is about a quarter of our budget. So what do we cut? Is it hotline services? One-on-one consultants with tenants? ... Language and translation?” -Effie Vlachoyannacos, Federation of Metro Tenants' Associations Board of Directors

 

Toronto Star: What citizens had to say

Published On Thu Jan 20 2011

David Rider and Robyn Doolittle Urban Affairs Reporters

 

Here’s a sample of what more than 70 speakers told budget committee members Thursday night at simultaneous public consultations at the York and Scarborough civic centres. On the second and final night of public deputations, individuals and groups each got five minutes.

 

Name: Seema Jethalal

Group: Manifesto non-profit arts and cultural organization

Issue: Arts grants should be raised, not frozen; the city should meet the target of $25 per capita arts funding; billboard tax revenue should all go to the arts.

“Consider how incredible it is that thousands of young people became engaged in municipal politics because of the arts funding issue ... It’s like getting a room full of children to eat brussels sprouts.”

 

Name: Mark Ferguson

Group: CUPE Local 416

Issue: Spending restraints are degrading services and irresponsibly raiding surpluses and reserves.

“This budget eliminates 397 jobs. These jobs are lost forever and impact our ability to deliver quality services to the citizens of Toronto.”

 

Name: Jason Kung, 16

Group: AGO youth council

Issue: Raise current arts per capita funding from $18 to $25.

“Creativity helps people problem-solve in everyday life ... We would like more funding for the arts because we feel it is important for every youth in Toronto to experience what we have experienced with the Arts Gallery of Ontario youth council.”

 

Name: Effie Vlachoyannacos

Group: Federation of Metro Tenants’ Association

Issue: $100,000 reduction to the tenant defence fund

“We are not meeting everyone’s needs now as (it) is ... This cut is about a quarter of our budget. So what do we cut? Is it hotline services? One-on-one consultants with tenants? ... Language and translation?”