Poverty and climate change are two of the greatest challenges facing our city -- and they are deeply connected.
The 2017 City Budget proposes a number of cuts to existing city services that will simultaneously undermine poverty reduction efforts and our ability to respond to climate change.
We need to tell Council not to cut services like shelters, emergency cooling centres, libraries and pools that protect vulnerable residents during hard times and extreme weather. For the last six years, Torontonians have paid more in fees and fares each year. The 2017 budget cuts will only make this worse.
But we need to do more than stop these budget cuts. Just last month, City Council adopted a new climate plan with no funding to implement it. We need to invest more money into local climate solutions that can alleviate poverty such as cheap and reliable public transit and energy-saving building retrofits. The City needs $1.6 million in the 2017 budget to get started on crucial actions to reduce our emissions.
Toronto is becoming unaffordable for too many and inaction on climate change will mean higher costs for energy, healthcare, and severe weather impacts. Building a better city starts with the 2017 Budget.