TORONTO – Mayor John Tory thanked councillors for their “prudent and respectful” work a day after council passed the 2015 operating and capital budget.
Tory, standing beside Budget Chief Gary Crawford and TTC Chair Josh Colle during a scheduled post-budget press conference at the Eglinton Bus Garage, reiterated the city’s focus on transit and “keeping the city moving.”
“Investments from the budget will keep the city strong, prosperous and fair,” Tory said.
City council passed Toronto’s 2015 operating budget of $11.4 billion dollars Wednesday night as well as approving a 10-year capital budget plan of $31.7 billion.
The operating budget includes a hike in the property tax rate, 0.5 per cent of which will help fund the Scarborough subway.
Only councillors Rob Ford and Giorgio Mammoliti voted against the budget which passed 42-2.
Tory said the budget puts a heavy emphasis on improving transit service, which includes adding new bus routes, expanded overnight bus service, more streetcar routes and subway trains during rush hour and off-peak trips.
“We are running the city better. We are getting better value for your money,” said Tory.
Meanwhile, Tory admits there is more work to be done in the coming months to reign in mismanagement at city hall, especially when it comes to TTC and infrastructure projects.
“We cannot go on as has been with huge cost overruns,” Tory said. “We have much more work to do. We’re not even close to being satisified with the status quo.”
The Spadina subway line expansion is believed to have gone another $400 million beyond the original budget.
The price tag in 2006 was pegged at $1.5 billion, but was later raised to $2.6 billion.
2015 BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS:
10-Year Capital Plan
Solid Waste Management Services
(a $54 increase compared with 2014 for the average Toronto household using 280 cubic metres)
Source: City of Toronto