Toronto City Council passed its first City Budget since declaring a climate emergency. Read the Toronto Environmental Alliance’s analysis and recap of this year’s City Budget process.
Toronto City Council approved its 2020 budget this week - and thanks to advocacy by TEA staff and supporters it includes important actions to address the climate emergency.
When the proposed 2020 City Budget was released, our team reviewed the budget line-by-line, published our initial analysis, and deputed before the Budget Committee.
TEA signed on to an open letter with more than 79 organizations calling on Council to make 2020 a turning point and create new revenue sources to ensure we’re investing in the city we need.
TEA encouraged Budget Committee members to propose - and adopt - improvements to the proposed budget, such as additional funding for greening the City’s vehicle fleet, and an option to request additional funding for TransformTO in mid-2020.
On February 19th, Council approved its final budget. The final budget includes additional staff and funding for climate action, along with new investments in low-carbon housing and transportation, such as TCHC energy-efficiency retrofits and the purchase of additional buses and streetcars.
Finally, along with our allies, TEA secured a key win during the final budget vote: a commitment to explore a new commercial parking levy as a dedicated revenue stream for transit, climate initiatives and investment in resilience.
Bolder action is needed to put Toronto on track to meet its emissions reductions targets and truly address the climate emergency that our city is facing.
While the 2020 Budget took some important steps forward, further action is needed. TEA will continue working hard to ensure that the City’s 2021-2023 TransformTO climate plan includes actions that achieve emission reductions on a much larger scale, especially in transportation and housing, which present opportunities to improve affordability and quality of life for Torontonians.
Toronto’s climate plan will require major investments in 2021 and beyond to ensure we meet our emission reduction targets and build a just, healthy and low-carbon city. Moving forward with the implementation of a new commercial parking levy is an important step in that direction.
As Councillor Mike Layton said during his final budget speech, which cited TEA’s role in fighting for a better budget: “Activism works!”