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November 21, 2002
No nonsense discussions under way and moving forward
  
Councillor David Shiner, Chair of the City of Toronto's Budget Committee,
announced today that preliminary preparations for the upcoming 2003 budget
process are on track with more detail to be provided at the official launch on
December 3, 2002.

"Our plan is well considered and staff are focused on achieving a fair and
balanced budget," said Shiner. "The magnitude of this year's financial
pressures facing the City of Toronto are truly unlike anything we have ever
faced before due to a combination of the arbitrated salary and benefits award,
new costs for waste disposal, increased costs for the TTC and police."

Shiner confirmed that discussions are under way with the province on a number
of fronts. We are setting out priorities and illustrating that the City is and
has been getting its house in order. The recent upgrading by Moody's Investors
Service of the City of Toronto's long term debt rating to AA1 from AA2 is a
significant indication of the City's ongoing budget improvements achieved over
the past year.

"We are organizing our budget to better align and communicate Toronto's needs
to our provincial colleagues indicating our priorities, which include: safety,
security, public transportation and infrastructure needs. We can best maximize
the benefits to all our taxpayers by reducing the rhetoric and focusing on long
term solutions which are good for the City, region and province," added Shiner.
Shiner expects this new mode of engagement will enable the City to advance
other opportunities to lessen the revenue burden on the property taxpayer.


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