Budgeting the Budget.

The Record Editorial praised Mayor Craig for his comments on transit increases and agreed that the Region should go slow and not put all 4.1 million into transit this year. This Saturday morning, a large article talked about the plans for the Drayton Theatre in Cambridge. Cambridge council is putting 6 million into the theatre and the Record also thought this was a good idea.

It’s all about priorities. I will be supporting the increase in transit. This doesn’t mean that we can’t trim in other areas. I will be looking at the budget over the next few weeks.

I note that an extra one million always goes to increasing the roads budget. We have increased that budget by millions over the last 10 years, it could do with a cut of a million.

The new issues papers could increase the budget by .55%  Other than help for the homeless and the daycare subsidies, everything is up for grabs in my opinion.

We are also putting 3 million of supplementary taxes in the Capital levy reserve.
This is a good idea as this helps us save on the interest costs of debentures in the future. However this year we could put some of that money to a one time tax decrease.

Deep cuts would require program cuts. Keeping the staff at 0 percent increase would mean a lot of labour unrest and strikes. Do you want the buses to stop and the ambulances to not take certain calls and the police to work to rule and restaurants to not be inspected? Daycares closed.

Reducing wage increases is a slow process that involves bargaining in good faith with our employees.

Yesterday I had a long conversation with a constituent who is actually going through our budget presentations that are on the web. Good for her! I wish more people did that. She has just returned from 18 months working in Africa. She said we don’t know how fortunate we are to have a region that has public services that work.

Link to budget information

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