They Came In The Hundreds: City Hall Meeting Swamped With Talk On Budget Cuts

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A typical meeting of Mayor Rob Ford’s executive committee draws its share of civic-minded Torontonians. A dozen or two names may be listed on the speakers list; residents will fan out throughout the room, awaiting a turn at the podium.

But there was nothing typical about Thursday, as officials hunkered down for a meeting that drew hundreds of people to weigh in on budget cuts at City Hall and promised to go into the wee hours of the morning.

The speakers list, eight pages long, had 302 names and counting. By dinner time, the committee had heard from about 40.

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Holyday says city could save $16M

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Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday estimated Tuesday that contracting out garbage could save more than $16 million a year.

Holyday’s comments came a day after Mayor Rob Ford announced the city would look at privatizing all collection west of Yonge St.

Based on the $2 million saved annually in Etobicoke, where garbage is contracted out, Holyday said the savings if it were contracted out across the city could be anywhere from $16 million to $18 million.

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Budget Talks Continue – Outside of City Hall

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The City’s budget committee wants to hear from you.

Councillors heard from speakers in 2 of 4 public consultations into the 2011 budget Wednesday night. The last 2 are set for Thursday, one at the York Civic Centre in Etobicoke and the other at the Scarborough Civic Centre, starting at 6. Councillor John Parker, who sits on the budget sub-committee, says it’s meant to show the budget process to Torontonians, so they can have a say before it’s voted on, “what the proposals are. To give them a chance to look them over, to kick the tires, slam the doors and then find out what they think of the proposals that are put forward. What their thoughts are, what their concerns are and what their ideas are.”

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Have Your City Budget Say

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You’ll have a chance tonight to have your say on what the city should do with its budget.

Councillors on the Budget Committee will hear budget deputations at the civic centres in East and North York tonight, then at the Scarborough and York Civic Centre tomorrow.

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Budget committee wants to hear from the public

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Councillors on the budget committee will be taking the show on the road Wednesday.

Split into two subcommittees, councillors tasked with hammering out the 2011 budget will be hearing from the public Wednesday and Thursday night at civic centres across the city.

Budget chief Mike Del Grande along with Councillors Michelle Berardinetti and Chin Lee will be hearing budget deputations at the East York Civic Centre Wednesday starting at 6 p.m. and at the York Civic Centre on Thursday.

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Scrapping The T.O. Car Tax

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The Toronto Taxpayers Coalition is urging city councillors to “put the brakes on the car tax” when they meet this Thursday.

Matthew McGuire, president of the coalition, issued an appeal to councillors Monday asking them to give Hogtown car owners a break by sending the “unfair tax” to the scrapheap.

“It is ultimately an unfair tax,” McGuire said. “It creates a disincentive to live in Toronto.”

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