The 2017 City of Toronto budget will be finalized in February and HPAP members are concerned about the negative health impacts of the proposed budget cuts.
Drs. Shaurya Taran and Naheed Dosani’s Toronto Star editorial highlights the disproportionate impact of city budget cuts on those who are most vulnerable.
On Thursday January 10, several HPAP members attended a budget committee meeting and provided written submissions with their concerns.
“Particularly worrisome is the budget’s proposed $10M service cuts, which include cuts of $1.8M to Shelter, Support and Housing, including more than $1M in staffing cuts. As a doctor working in the shelters, it is clear to me that they are packed to capacity, and there is a dire need for a significant increase in funding for both TCHC housing and shelter beds. In addition, the $30,000 proposed budget cut to shut down emergency cooling stations around the city is shortsighted and will undoubtedly have detrimental effects on the most vulnerable members of our city – marginally housed young children and the elderly – who have no alternative during heat alerts. These cooling centers provide a lifesaving service to many of Toronto’s homeless and under-housed.”
“Supporting housing means supporting a healthy city. Research from Toronto has proven that access to housing leads to improved health, particularly for folks with mental illness and addiction. Providing accessible recreation and community services leads to improved physical and mental health for all our citizens. Moreover, Toronto’s reputation as a welcoming, world class city depends on our support for our most vulnerable.”
Make your voice heard by joining one of the Councillor Budget Town Halls!