ONTD Political

Libraries, child nutrition, Toronto Zoo: Final report suggests deepest cuts yet

12:06 pm - 07/21/2011
The final consultant’s report on city services suggests massive cuts to arm’s-length agencies, including closing libraries, cutting public health programs for AIDS prevention and student nutrition, eliminating $47 million in grants to arts and public health, and selling the Toronto Zoo.

Also on the block are Exhibition Place, the $20 million Toronto Atmospheric Fund that provides environmental grants, TTC routes including night bus service, and public housing improvement loans.

Even if city council votes for a fraction of the several hundred millions of dollars in suggested cuts, Toronto would be transformed in many ways.

Suggestions include:

  • “Rationalize the footprint of libraries to reduce service levels, closing some branches” to save up $13.3 million. Also, reduce daily hours and days of operations for all branches.

  • Eliminate public health’s $6.2-million Community Partnership and Investments Program, and with it 685 student nutrition programs which provides meal subsidies for low-income children, 42 AIDS prevention programs and 38 community drug prevention projects.

  • Sell Exhibition Place or privatize its operations.

  • Negotiate into the contract with Toronto police officers the ability to have “one-officer patrols (and) reduced salary and benefits, retirement benefits and shift overlap.” Also freeze police hiring and entice older officers to take buyouts. (What happened to those '100 new officers,' Ford?)

  • Privatize some TTC bus routes, roll back service improvements on crowding standards and frequency of arrivals, consider eliminating “Blue Night” overnight bus service or charging a premium fare, contract out Wheel Trans and/or make criteria stricter for it so fewer disabled people qualify. Also sell off TTC parking lots. (Wat, wat wat, wat? There is nothing in this that I don't absolutely hate)

  • Reduce or eliminate the capacity to develop new affordable housing given the low level of senior government funding.

  • Consider eliminating Housing Improvement Loans program or delivering through third party or community agency.

Source hates cute animals, reading and freedom

I don't need to tell y'all why libraries, public transit and affordable housing are important. While all of this concerns me, on a personal level I'm really worried about the libraries because when I was a wee and didn't get alone with the other kids and we didn't have money for the kids to do any kind of social stuff the library was my escape, cliché as that is. Books have always been constant friends. And the Ford brothers don't think they're important. Because god forbid the plebs become literate.

Also, the TTC is my lifeline. I would like it if Rob Ford would stop trying to gut my city.
ladypolitik 21st-Jul-2011 05:27 pm (UTC)
My head is going to fucking explode today.
poetic_pixie_13 21st-Jul-2011 05:45 pm (UTC)
Tbqh, this entire week has had me alternating between 'fuck this shit, I can't deal' and 'organize and fuck the shit out of these oppressive systems.'
ladypolitik 21st-Jul-2011 05:49 pm (UTC)
Yes, THIS FUCKING WEEK. Idek anymore. For the first time in a long time, I'm not in the mood for optimism. Just wanna warm my hands and roast marshmallows in the glow of something that was freshly lit on fire.

Edited at 2011-07-21 05:50 pm (UTC)
poetic_pixie_13 21st-Jul-2011 05:58 pm (UTC)

I just found out about Ghana.

I quit.
ladypolitik 21st-Jul-2011 06:00 pm (UTC)

Blow everything up, because everyone fucking fails.
poetic_pixie_13 21st-Jul-2011 06:06 pm (UTC)
You're from Ghana, yes? I'm sure this must feel like a special type of bad. =/

I honestly just texted a friend about it and asked if we could get drunk tonight.
ladypolitik 21st-Jul-2011 07:19 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's right. My folks are from Ashanti region so I honestly dont know much about Western region (different ethnic/language groups), but yeah.

Frankly, we have our own fucking idiotic politicians a la Backmann, Cantor, Ford etc, so Aidoo is not special in that sense, just extra-idiotic for making what is so far a rhetorical, albeit bone-chillingly frightening declaration, just to secure political points with nutter-interest groups.

Anyway, I'll leave a more detailed reply in the actual post.
miss_world13 21st-Jul-2011 05:31 pm (UTC)
I will never understand why people feel the need to remove libraries, other than keep unemployment high and reduce literacy.
popehippo 21st-Jul-2011 05:33 pm (UTC)
I distinctly remember being told by my grandfather that knowing how to read would get me nowhere in life.

So, probably. :|
miss_world13 21st-Jul-2011 05:35 pm (UTC)
Wait...why would your grandpa tell you that??

(I'm working on my MLIS, so all these library cuts breaks my heart)
popehippo 21st-Jul-2011 05:46 pm (UTC)
He's a construction worker/rancher so in his opinion, 'real' American jobs don't need it as much.

miss_world13 21st-Jul-2011 05:48 pm (UTC)
brewsternorth 21st-Jul-2011 05:35 pm (UTC)
Yeah, since it's not just books inna libraries; it's internet as well. Some folks' only exposure to a computer may be at a library (even if they can FB from their phone).
poetic_pixie_13 21st-Jul-2011 05:46 pm (UTC)
Honestly, it's to keep the poor 'in their place' by reducing their access to books, newspapers, the internet, and whatever else.
romp 22nd-Jul-2011 04:48 am (UTC)
Libraries help keep the public informed which can make them opinionated and uppity...
alryssa 21st-Jul-2011 05:42 pm (UTC)
contract out Wheel Trans and/or make criteria stricter for it so fewer disabled people qualify.

poetic_pixie_13 21st-Jul-2011 05:44 pm (UTC)
This was pretty much my reaction. HOW CAN YOU TRY AND ACT LIKE THAT'S A GOOD IDEA?
ladypolitik 21st-Jul-2011 05:51 pm (UTC)
The exact part where I felt brain matter start to leak out my ear. I feel like my city is being obscenely trolled.
shoujokakumei 21st-Jul-2011 05:51 pm (UTC)
Sure, nobody needs affordable housing, food for kids, or usable transportation. /eyeroll
sephystabbity 21st-Jul-2011 06:01 pm (UTC)
Because no one in Toronto relies on the TTC at all. And of course we don't need libraries, no one reads in this city! And hell why not cut out affordable housing while we're at it, so that we can kill even more senior citizens like the assholes of Toronto Housing have done so far!

But no let's not cut funding for the football team that Mayor Ford is trying to bring to Toronto. Because, you know, everyone in Toronto cares about football it's SO MUCH more important than housing or libraries or transportation!
pageup 21st-Jul-2011 06:14 pm (UTC)
I work in a library so my opinion on cuts is probably clouded but I am thoroughly sick of governments/councils/local authorities and such throwing libraries under bus in a bid to save cash. They use these bullshit comparisons about people choosing between a hospital and a library when it comes to money allocation, failing to grasp that one might be about saving lives but the other is about the quality of life and that BOTH are important, especially when every other public service is being hacked to death.
For a hell of a lot of people, children and adults a like, the library is the ONLY place they can get access to books. Governments moan about the state of literacy at the moment and what to they do? cut the one place that is proven to help in that area.

Yeah, bit of rant there but I'm sick of libraries being sacrificed when we live in a age that lets bankers and what not award themselves millions in bonuses.
celtic_thistle 21st-Jul-2011 06:28 pm (UTC)
Rob Ford, kindly fuck right off and stop fucking up my hometown, you asshole. jfc, the TTC is VITAL, you can't fuck with that!
origamicage 21st-Jul-2011 06:37 pm (UTC)
As a future librarian, I say

epithetique 21st-Jul-2011 09:55 pm (UTC)
Fuck Rob Ford. I'd like to find a deep hole to throw him into, along with Harper.

advancedcookie 22nd-Jul-2011 12:55 am (UTC)
I have been so stressed out by this that I have been crying and waking up stressed, I shit you not. Rob Ford is a fucking moron. A fat, white, homophobic, millionaire, illiterate, college ball player and university drop out jock who lives in fucking SCARBOROUGH WHO THINKS HE CAN FUCKING RUN A METROPOLITAN CITY.



Sorry, I am BEYOND angry about all of this.
romp 22nd-Jul-2011 04:57 am (UTC)
the library union has a Project Rescue site for TPL--Cory Doctorow helped get the word out

It's hard to explain to someone who only values profit why the common good is worth supporting even when it doesn't break even. It requires a rebuild of their entire world.
smirk_dog 23rd-Jul-2011 11:06 pm (UTC)
As someone who wants to be a children's librarian, this is rage coma inducing.
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