Join us for Harvest Fest on October 14!
Happy Thanksgiving! I hope all of you are enjoying the autumn weather with friends and family.
Charlottetown Tennis Club
Last month, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Charlottetown Tennis Club. For five decades, the club has been building friendships, uniting neighbourhoods, and celebrating the sport of tennis in Scarborough–Rouge Park. I would like to thank Dianne Weatherby for her service to the club and congratulate her on her retirement after 17 years as president. Thanks also to Parks staff for doing a wonderful job resurfacing the courts.
My office will be hosting our first Harvest Fest on October 14 in partnership with CUPE Local 416. Join us from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Port Union Community Centre (5450 Lawrence Ave E.) and shop locally grown produce from community farmers, participate in family-friendly activities and enjoy a community barbecue.
To learn more, please visit www.jennifermckelvie.ca/events. I look forward to seeing you there!
Toronto’s Long-Term Financial Plan
Toronto needs a new fiscal framework with the provincial and federal governments. Our City of Toronto operating budget shortfall is estimated at $1.5 billion in 2024 alone. Municipalities across the province are facing unprecedented operating budget challenges as a result of inflation, decreased transit farebox revenues and increasing demand on our shelter systems.
Since the onset of the pandemic, the City has found more than $2.5 billion in savings, offsets and mitigation strategies. In 2023, Council introduced the largest residential property tax increase since amalgamation of 7%. The City has also increased revenues through the Municipal Accommodation Tax, increased TTC fares and introduced the Vacant Home Tax.
To further increase revenue in 2024, the City will increase the Municipal Land Transfer Tax rates for high-value residential properties valued over $3 million. Through the budget process, the City will also develop a multi-year approach for property tax rates, review on-street parking rates and consider increasing the Vacant Home Tax rate.
These measures alone are not sufficient to tackle the structural deficit faced by the City of Toronto. In September, Toronto City Council approved the Long-Term Financial Plan, which demonstrates the need for a new fiscal framework with the provincial and federal governments.
On an ongoing basis, the City delivers key services that are extensions of federal and provincial responsibilities, such as child care, long-term care, employment and social services, public health and refugee response. Approximately $1.1 billion, or 22% of the City’s annual property tax revenues, reduces the financial burden for other orders of government. Property taxes were not intended to fund these responsibilities, and it is not sustainable to do so.
We must continue to have critical conversations with our provincial and federal partners to ensure we can move forward sustainably towards priorities, including housing, transit and climate action. As your Councillor and Deputy Mayor, I will continue to advocate for a better deal for Toronto; this includes increased funding by the province and federal government for their areas of responsibility, a better realignment of service responsibilities, and new revenue tools that grow with the economy, to ensure the essential services that Toronto residents rely on are not impacted.
We’re Working for You
For assistance with municipal issues, to stay up to date on local projects, and/or to receive my newsletter, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow me on social media @McKelvieWardTO