“I think we all understand that the city is facing a budget crunch and we have to look everywhere to find solutions to the problem. Quite honestly, just off the cuff, I can’t see that a two dollar fee for anything is anything that should get anyone too riled up.”
—Councillor John Parker (Ward 26, Don Valley West), commenting during budget talks yesterday. A raft of proposals was floated during the day-long meeting—part of a sequence of meetings running throughout the week—calling for $2 charges on a variety of previously free City services, such as accessing outdoor pools or visiting Riverdale Farm. (Apparently, in some councillors’ math, charging families the equivalent of $60 over the course of a summer to go swimming is not at all a big deal, while levying a $60 vehicle registration tax is intolerable.) The proposals will be voted on by the budget committee this Friday; if they pass, they will come before a meeting of full city council for final debate.