January 30, 2021
Dear Toronto voters!
The Toronto 2021 budget is in front of the budget committee which will make its recommendations on Feb 4th. The proposed budget will then go to the executive committee on Feb 11th, and to full council on Feb 18th.
The position your Councillor takes on the budget is crucial to the future of the City we live in and love. City Council must follow through on the commitments made in the Climate Emergency Declaration, despite the budget pressures created by COVID.
We are asking that you take a few moments to carry out one of the actions listed below:
Write your councillor using the message below.
Phone your councillor using the message below as a telephone script.
Note: The letter is long; for a phone message please focus on ask #1 - $2.5 million for the Environment & Energy budget
Make an appointment to speak with your councillor. Let us know if you want to be matched with another constituent to set up a meeting.
Thank you for taking the time to consider this request.
A full list of councillor contacts and committee roles can be found here.
If you have any questions about these asks please feel free to contact us!
THANK YOU! OUR VOICES RAISED TOGETHER WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Here is a sample message you can copy and paste into an email message to your councillor; feel free to modify it.
I am a constituent and <short personal message> I’m writing today to ask you to support the following amendments to the City budget proposal submitted by the staff that will address the deep social equity issues and the climate emergency that we face as a city.
Currently, global temperature rise is slightly above a 1 degree increase and has already created serious climate events for the City of Toronto. I remind you of the flooding that has increased in severity and frequency over the years and has caused millions of dollars in damage. In 2020 alone, flooding cost Toronto residents and insurers $80 million. It is projected that global temperatures will increase to 4-5 degrees, which will have devastating economic and social effects and make the earth nearly uninhabitable.
We must prepare to address climate change and the serious threat it poses to the City, its infrastructure, as well as the safety of its inhabitants. I ask that you support the following amendments to the budget proposed by City staff:
Increase the budget for the Environment and Energy division by $2.5 million in order to fund the climate action necessary for Toronto to meet its goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Increase Toronto’s property tax rate by an additional 1%. There is a city building levy of 1.5% for housing and transit. However, it is a very limited amount given the needs of the City. We propose an additional 1% property tax increase to restore $30 million in needed funds for community services and programs, and funding for the Environment and Energy budget.
Create a fund for climate emergency action using part of the $30 million that will be created by the recommended property tax increase.
If we are to achieve our 2050 commitment to have a carbon neutral city, we need to increase our funding for climate emergency and social equity investment. The amendments and the motion that I ask you to endorse are essential steps in this direction. There is no time to delay -- this is the year we must take bold action!
<your name, address, postal code>