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Letter to the Star: Asking the wrong question - Toronto Star

Asking the wrong question

July 30, 2011
Sucheta Rajagopal, Toronto

Re: Meat or gravy, July 29

With respect to budget committee chair Mike Del Grande’s frustration with public input into the core services review (“I’m not hearing any suggestions on how to deal with our shortfall”), may I suggest that the question you ask defines the answers you receive. Rob Ford asked Torontonians to identify which of the programs in the core service review document were important to them, and we came out in droves to defend what we consider most vital.

If he had said, “there’s not as much gravy at city hall as we thought, can you give us some ideas on how to balance the budget,” I have no doubt the smart and innovative citizens of Toronto would have risen to that challenge. Instead we were presented with the Sophie’s choice of (in the words of the mayor) “are libraries more important than child care?” and we refuse to make that decision. In one of the deputations I heard, Franz Hartmann of the Toronto Environmental Alliance said, “If Toronto were a family and we didn't have enough money to buy shoes for all the children, instead of debating which child should go through the winter without shoes, we should be putting our energies into figuring out how we can get more shoes.” Framing the situation in that manner might result in a more fruitful discussion of how to manage the budget.

As originally published here:
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/letters/article/1032472--asking-the-wrong-question

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