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Toronto Budget 2014

We're worth investing in

For the third year in a row, the city’s proposed budget does nothing to invest in necessary environmental services and programs we need to prepare us for climate change, improve transit, divert more garbage and reduce toxics. Read more here.

Read more about the City budget process and TEA's analysis of what it means for the environment on our 2014 Budget page.

We're Worth Investing In

Think of the city like a house. Any homeowner would know the wisdom of replacing a roof before it started leaking because once the leaks have started, the damage and costs of repairing the damage get worse, very quickly. Environmental services and programs are like a roof. If they’re not maintained they break.

For the third year in a row, the city’s proposed budget does nothing to invest in necessary environmental services and programs we need to prepare us for climate change, improve transit, divert more garbage and reduce toxics. We need a new roof (better environmental services and programs). We already have lots of evidence that the roof is leaking (eg. bad air kills people; massive flooding that costs us dearly, worsening transit service). So, it’s time the City Council starts investing in our future because we’re worth it!

Read TEA's full commentary on the challenges with this year’s budget. 

About the city budget process:

The annual budget is time for Council to set priorities, programs and
service cuts for the year ahead. Toronto's budget is considered in two

Water & Waste budgets are voted on first. These budgets (called 'Rate-Supported Budgets') are supported by user fees paid like a utility.

The Operating & Capital budget is the major budget for all
other City services, programs and activities (including roads, city
planning, emergency services, social services and environmental
programs). This budget is supported by property taxes paid be residents
and commercial properties.

Operating & Capital Budgets

The 2014 Operating and Capital Budgets were publicly launched on November 25th, 2013. For the third year in a row, the budgets simply maintain the status quo. While there are no significant cuts to existing environmental programs, there are also no new investments to deal with key environmental problems facing Torontonians. Below are key programs and services the budget fails to invest in:

  • - Better TTC service and affordable fares to help people keep their cars at home and clean the air
  • - Resources to prepare city infrastructure for more severe weather events (like the July 2013 flood) and extreme heat
  • - Actions to improve air quality based on the findings of Local Air Quality Studies (like the ones in South Riverdale and South Etobicoke), which provide valuable information about the air we breathe
  • - Green economy investments to help Toronto's manufacturing sector implement pollution prevention action.

Key dates:


Water and Waste Budgets

Toronto's 2014 budget process began on November 1st when the Water and
Waste budgets were launched - these will be voted on at the mid-December City Council meeting (Dec. 16-17). The Capital and Operating budgets for all other City services was launched on November 25th, and will be voted on in late January.

The 2014 Waste budget once again failed to invest in Torontonians and waste diversion. There is no plan to begin building another organics processing facility the city needs to process the organics it should be collecting from apartment buildings. Nor is there any real investment in more public education and assistance to help people divert more of their waste.

The 2014 Water budget takes some steps to respond to the challenges of basement flooding experienced by residents and businesses across the city. However, Toronto Water is not making any investments in pollution prevention programs to support businesses in eliminating toxic substances entering our sewer system. TEA is calling on Economic Development to provide financial assistance to help with business retention and competition in this regard.

Key dates:


What you can do

Councillors are faced with many budget issues at this time of year, and
it helps them to hear from their residents about what's important to

Contact your City Councillor today with this very simple message: We’re worth it! I want my city to invest more in cleaning the air, improving waste diversion and preparing us for climate change. So, I want more of my tax dollars to be invested in better TTC service, waste diversion education and assistance, pollution prevention, and the planning and infrastructure we need to prepare us for climate change.