Some Scarborough residents tell city they're willing to pay more taxe

News Jan 10, 2018 by Mike Adler Scarborough Mirror

Peter Vanderyagt says he’s willing to pay more in property taxes.

So does David Meyers, who let members of a City of Toronto budget subcommittee visiting Scarborough know he’s heard “a lot of” residents say they’d pay more to get a better city.

Meyers, who lives in central Scarborough, told the trio of councillors he’s “very troubled” to see $41 million in poverty-reduction commitments they made are left out of Toronto’s 2018 draft budget.

Scarborough, said Meyers, has many neighbourhoods where poverty disadvantages tens of thousands; the draft budget “fails these communities” he said during public presentations at Scarborough Civic Centre Monday, Jan. 8.

Like others who wanted their views considered at city all, Meyers argued a more “progressive” property tax system and revenue tools the city has rejected would pay for programs benefiting Toronto’s lower-income residents.

Council decided last November on a two-per-cent property tax hike for 2018. Vanderyagt, a spiritual caregiver at Scarborough and Rouge Hospital, said budgets planned around percentage increases, especially zero per cent, don’t allow the city to experiment.

New spending should be allowed if it makes sense, said Vanderyagt.

Gillian Sumi, who lives in southwest Scarborough on Ontario Disability Support payments that she said don’t leave her enough money for nutritious food, wants councillors and Mayor John Tory to activate a low-income TTC pass program they approved.

“I am very saddened to hear it is not funded in the 2018 budget,” she told the meeting. “Please keep your promise.”

Anna Zhang of Agincourt suggested Toronto is not as friendly to its seniors as Vancouver, where an annual senior’s transit pass is $45, or Brampton, where seniors pay $1 a ride.

Sophia Mohammed appeared “on behalf of the kids of Scarborough”, specifically those in her east Scarborough neighbourhood, who, at the end of the day, “have nothing better to do than join a gang”.

Locally, there’s only the East Scarborough Storefront or libraries “to get these kids out of bad things”, Mohammed said, adding the Morningside branch isn’t open Sundays.

She demanded to know what councillors will do in 2018 “for kids in a poor neighbourhood that needs help".

While Toronto’s overall economy is performing well, “Scarborough is suffering from a lack of vision and a lack of jobs”, Jennifer McKelvie, president of Scarborough Community Renewal Organization, told the group led by Scarborough councillor and city budget chief Gary Crawford.

McKelvie repeated the demands her SCRO has made for a $1.5-million development study of the Scarborough Centre area, a $2.5-million study of a Scarborough Living Arts Centre – a “signature iconic structure” which will “rebrand Scarborough and create jobs” – and $500,000 for a Scarborough economic plan.

SCRO also wants 3,000 city employees transferred to posts in Scarborough.

Keiosha Ross said she sees “a hole” in her east Scarborough community, but argued substantial amounts of city money given to community projects “is being mismanaged, and the city needs to be accountable for that".

The city can “show care” for such communities by making sure “there’s an end result” to programs it funds, she said.

Some Scarborough residents tell city they're willing to pay more taxes

Presentations part of Toronto's 2018 budgeting process

News Jan 10, 2018 by Mike Adler Scarborough Mirror

Peter Vanderyagt says he’s willing to pay more in property taxes.

So does David Meyers, who let members of a City of Toronto budget subcommittee visiting Scarborough know he’s heard “a lot of” residents say they’d pay more to get a better city.

Meyers, who lives in central Scarborough, told the trio of councillors he’s “very troubled” to see $41 million in poverty-reduction commitments they made are left out of Toronto’s 2018 draft budget.

Scarborough, said Meyers, has many neighbourhoods where poverty disadvantages tens of thousands; the draft budget “fails these communities” he said during public presentations at Scarborough Civic Centre Monday, Jan. 8.

Like others who wanted their views considered at city all, Meyers argued a more “progressive” property tax system and revenue tools the city has rejected would pay for programs benefiting Toronto’s lower-income residents.

Council decided last November on a two-per-cent property tax hike for 2018. Vanderyagt, a spiritual caregiver at Scarborough and Rouge Hospital, said budgets planned around percentage increases, especially zero per cent, don’t allow the city to experiment.

New spending should be allowed if it makes sense, said Vanderyagt.

Gillian Sumi, who lives in southwest Scarborough on Ontario Disability Support payments that she said don’t leave her enough money for nutritious food, wants councillors and Mayor John Tory to activate a low-income TTC pass program they approved.

“I am very saddened to hear it is not funded in the 2018 budget,” she told the meeting. “Please keep your promise.”

Anna Zhang of Agincourt suggested Toronto is not as friendly to its seniors as Vancouver, where an annual senior’s transit pass is $45, or Brampton, where seniors pay $1 a ride.

Sophia Mohammed appeared “on behalf of the kids of Scarborough”, specifically those in her east Scarborough neighbourhood, who, at the end of the day, “have nothing better to do than join a gang”.

Locally, there’s only the East Scarborough Storefront or libraries “to get these kids out of bad things”, Mohammed said, adding the Morningside branch isn’t open Sundays.

She demanded to know what councillors will do in 2018 “for kids in a poor neighbourhood that needs help".

While Toronto’s overall economy is performing well, “Scarborough is suffering from a lack of vision and a lack of jobs”, Jennifer McKelvie, president of Scarborough Community Renewal Organization, told the group led by Scarborough councillor and city budget chief Gary Crawford.

McKelvie repeated the demands her SCRO has made for a $1.5-million development study of the Scarborough Centre area, a $2.5-million study of a Scarborough Living Arts Centre – a “signature iconic structure” which will “rebrand Scarborough and create jobs” – and $500,000 for a Scarborough economic plan.

SCRO also wants 3,000 city employees transferred to posts in Scarborough.

Keiosha Ross said she sees “a hole” in her east Scarborough community, but argued substantial amounts of city money given to community projects “is being mismanaged, and the city needs to be accountable for that".

The city can “show care” for such communities by making sure “there’s an end result” to programs it funds, she said.

Some Scarborough residents tell city they're willing to pay more taxes

Presentations part of Toronto's 2018 budgeting process

News Jan 10, 2018 by Mike Adler Scarborough Mirror

Peter Vanderyagt says he’s willing to pay more in property taxes.

So does David Meyers, who let members of a City of Toronto budget subcommittee visiting Scarborough know he’s heard “a lot of” residents say they’d pay more to get a better city.

Meyers, who lives in central Scarborough, told the trio of councillors he’s “very troubled” to see $41 million in poverty-reduction commitments they made are left out of Toronto’s 2018 draft budget.

Scarborough, said Meyers, has many neighbourhoods where poverty disadvantages tens of thousands; the draft budget “fails these communities” he said during public presentations at Scarborough Civic Centre Monday, Jan. 8.

Like others who wanted their views considered at city all, Meyers argued a more “progressive” property tax system and revenue tools the city has rejected would pay for programs benefiting Toronto’s lower-income residents.

Council decided last November on a two-per-cent property tax hike for 2018. Vanderyagt, a spiritual caregiver at Scarborough and Rouge Hospital, said budgets planned around percentage increases, especially zero per cent, don’t allow the city to experiment.

New spending should be allowed if it makes sense, said Vanderyagt.

Gillian Sumi, who lives in southwest Scarborough on Ontario Disability Support payments that she said don’t leave her enough money for nutritious food, wants councillors and Mayor John Tory to activate a low-income TTC pass program they approved.

“I am very saddened to hear it is not funded in the 2018 budget,” she told the meeting. “Please keep your promise.”

Anna Zhang of Agincourt suggested Toronto is not as friendly to its seniors as Vancouver, where an annual senior’s transit pass is $45, or Brampton, where seniors pay $1 a ride.

Sophia Mohammed appeared “on behalf of the kids of Scarborough”, specifically those in her east Scarborough neighbourhood, who, at the end of the day, “have nothing better to do than join a gang”.

Locally, there’s only the East Scarborough Storefront or libraries “to get these kids out of bad things”, Mohammed said, adding the Morningside branch isn’t open Sundays.

She demanded to know what councillors will do in 2018 “for kids in a poor neighbourhood that needs help".

While Toronto’s overall economy is performing well, “Scarborough is suffering from a lack of vision and a lack of jobs”, Jennifer McKelvie, president of Scarborough Community Renewal Organization, told the group led by Scarborough councillor and city budget chief Gary Crawford.

McKelvie repeated the demands her SCRO has made for a $1.5-million development study of the Scarborough Centre area, a $2.5-million study of a Scarborough Living Arts Centre – a “signature iconic structure” which will “rebrand Scarborough and create jobs” – and $500,000 for a Scarborough economic plan.

SCRO also wants 3,000 city employees transferred to posts in Scarborough.

Keiosha Ross said she sees “a hole” in her east Scarborough community, but argued substantial amounts of city money given to community projects “is being mismanaged, and the city needs to be accountable for that".

The city can “show care” for such communities by making sure “there’s an end result” to programs it funds, she said.