We Have A Problem At City Hall: The time to mobilize is now!

This morning at 4:00am Nicole Greenspan of AIDS ACTION NOW! (AAN) made a deputation calling to save the Community Partnership and Investment Program (CPIP) and the AIDS and drug prevention grants, which are recommended as fat to be cut in the recent KPMG report as part of the city service review. During her 3-minute deputation, Greenspan called the KPGM recommendations ill informed, lacking in long-term thinking and an attack on successful programs that promote health of marginalized residents of Toronto. Greenspan called on the Executive Committee to disregard the KPMG recommendations and to instead make evidence-informed policy decisions that are fiscally responsible and take into account the human rights of residents of our city. Yesterday AAN sent a deputation letter to compliment this in-person deputation. AAN was present throughout the entire marathon meeting. Councillor Kristin Wong-Tam wore an AAN button, which were widely distributed to community members at the meeting.

During the unprecedented marathon Executive Committee meeting at City Hall, concerned members of the HIV and Hep C community, along with hundreds of other residents and community groups deputed their concerns. Along with Nicole Greenspan of AAN, Joan Anderson of the Toronto HIV Network, Haran Vijayanathan of the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention, Zoe Dodd of the Toronto Drug Users Union, and Doug Kerr of Proud of Toronto deputed on their concerns related to the proposals in the KPMG report calling to cut vital funding that supports our communities and saves lives. Toronto has been a leader in supporting HIV prevention and harm reduction programs through property taxes, and now these programs are in jeopardy.

Despite the outpouring of concern from residents of Toronto, the Executive Committee voted unanimously this morning to take into consideration all the proposals in the KPMG report in preparation for the 2012 budget planning. The wording of the motions is as follows:

The Executive Committee:

1. Directed that the list of opportunities contained in Appendix A, Part 2, of the KPMG Standing Committee Summary be further considered by the Executive Committee on September 19, 2011.

2. Requested the City Manager to review the list of opportunities to ensure service efficiencies are maximized to meet the 2012 budget targets and multi-year service and financial planning objectives and report to the Committee on September 19, 2011.

3. Recommended that the City Manager review opportunities identified in the KPMG report related to efficiencies through shared service models for communications, facilities management, fleet, real estate, information technology, legal services, human resources, and finance and administration for all City divisions and large City agencies, including Toronto Library, Toronto Police, Toronto Transit Commission, Toronto Zoo and other agencies as appropriate; and incorporate as appropriate in the 2012 and 2013 budget process.

4. Recommended that the City Manager consider all opportunities identified in the KPMG report related to City Agencies and incorporate as appropriate in the 2012 and 2013 budget process.

Our community, our programs and our lives are in jeopardy. We can no longer take these vital services for granted. We need to act now!

On September 19th the Executive Committee will be meeting again to make decisions about which proposals in the KPMG report to take forward. We cannot allow the Community Partnership and Investment Program AIDS and drug grants to be cut. This will be disastrous to our community and will destroy programs and organization that we have fought hard for over many years. Cutting these grants will dramatically impact the lives of people living with HIV, people living with Hep C, people who use drugs, gay men, trans people, newcomers, young people, women, Aboriginal people and people living in poverty.

AIDS ACTION NOW! has very limited human resources. To act we need your support and we need to work together to mobilize in opposition to these drastic threats to our community. Over the next few weeks AAN will be organizing in opposition to these attacks by the Executive Committee. Join us and join the Toronto Stop the Cuts Network!


Get connected to our google group to stay informed about our upcoming meeting to strategize for the September 19th Executive Committee meeting: https://groups.google.com/group/aidsactionnow/
Send us email here: info@aidsactionnow.org
Please forward this information on to others in your community or organization

Make a deputation at the September 19 Executive Committee Meeting:

The process is simple. Send an email to: exc@toronto.ca
In your email request a time slot to present stating the name of your organization and the name of the person presenting. You can also make a personal deputation about how these cuts will affect your life. It will be important to get people living in the Wards of those on the Executive Committee to present. You will be added to the list in order as it is a first come-first serve process.

Join the Toronto Stop the Cuts network:
Email: tostopthecuts@gmail.com

Hold the Executive Committee councillors accountable:

Paul Ainslie, Ward 43 Scarborough East
Phone: 416-392-4008
Fax: 416-392-4006

Michelle Berardinetti, Ward 35 Scarborough Southwest
Phone: 416-392-0213
Fax: 416-392-7394

Mike Del Grande, Ward 39 Scarborough-Agincourt
Phone: 416-392-1374
Fax: 416-392-7431

Rob Ford (Chair)
416-397-FORD (3673)

Doug Holyday, Ward 3 Etobicoke Centre
Phone: 416-392-4002
Fax: 416-392-4004

Norman Kelly, Ward 40 Scarborough-Agincourt
Phone: 416-392-4047
Fax: 416-696-4172

Giorgio Mammoliti, Ward 7 York West
Phone: 416-395-6401
Fax: 416-696-4218

Peter Milczyn, Ward 5 Etobicoke-Lakeshore
Phone: 416-392-4040
Fax: 416-392-4127

Denzil Minnan-Wong, Ward 34 Don Valley East
Phone: 416-397-9256
Fax: 416-397-4100

Cesar Palacio, Ward 17 Davenport
Phone: 416-392-7011
Fax: 416-392-0212

Jaye Robinson, Ward 25 Don Valley West
Phone: 416-395-6408
Fax: 416-395-6439

David Shiner, Ward 24 Willowdale
Phone: 416-395-6413
Fax: 416-397-9290

Michael Thompson, Ward 37 Scarborough Centre
Phone: 416-397-9274
Fax: 416-397-9280

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