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Mayor Tory says city will have to cut $3 billion in cuts over four years

Mayor Tory says city will have to cut $3 billion in cuts over four years

Mayor John Tory stands firm on low taxes in the face of massive budget shortfall, declining city services and a ‘growing anger’

THE man who brought his own budget to council and pushed for tax hikes is back at it.

Mayor John Tory returned to council Wednesday morning for the first time since he took over from former Mayor Rob Ford following a 2014 council defeat. Mayor Tory was absent for the final vote of the 2017 Ontario Municipal Board in September, following his decision to fire the majority of his budget committee.

City council is now debating the remaining $3 billion of the mayor’s budget, and the mayor will hold a press conference in front of council Wednesday evening.

He said Monday the city would have to make $3 billion in cuts over the next four years, and the remaining $3.3 billion of his budget is being examined by city lawyers.

COURT HEARING: How much council has to cut

“It’s not just cuts,” he said. “It’s everything that’s non-essential.”

Toronto’s municipal operating expenses, he said, are going to “deteriorate significantly” starting in September, and he would be forced to make cuts that mean the city won’t be able to attract new investment.

He said it was crucial to create a city operating budget that would continue to fund important services for retirees, including parks, libraries, transit, streetcars and social services, and he hopes council votes in his favour.

In January, staff presented to council a city operating budget that would have left the city without the additional funding to build a second subway line, the Gardiner Expressway or the Scarborough subway extension, both of which are deemed essential by city staff.

Councillors were not immediately able to respond to Tory’s report, so for now, we will just have to guess.

It’s not the first time — before he became

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