NEWS

Toronto lobby groups fight budget cuts

09/15/2011 06:59 EDT | Updated 01/12/2012 02:10 EST

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was feeling the pressure again on Thursday, in the lead up to Monday's executive council meeting.

The mayor got an earful from a wide variety of groups: the arts community, city workers and those concerned about the development of the city's waterfront.

At Roy Thomson Hall, Canadian director Atom Egoyan became the latest big name to warn the mayor over arts cuts.

"While these seem to be obvious things to cut they are so monumental for a young artist to get that support," said Egoyan. At at city hall workers who clean police stations said they shouldn't be the ones to suffer because of the city's budget problems.

"They are not on any gravy trains," said Winnie Ng of the lobby group Good Jobs For All. "They are the invisible workers who come in to work when most have gone home."

At the the Toronto Reference Library more than 100 academics railed against Ford's new waterfront plan.

Paul Bedford, a former chief planner for the city, called Ford's plan to revamp the waterfront "incredibly puzzling and disappointing."

Members of Ford's inner circle say he is doing what he was elected to do.

"I believe in the agenda we are moving forward with," said Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti. "I believe that rest that the 2.5 million -- the majority of them -- want us to continue our approach. We aren't going to blink."

And Coun. Doug Ford, the mayor's brother and closest confidante, dismissed suggestions that the city is turning against his brother.

"Not at all," he said.

They mayor's office says it remains confident that Ford's plans will go ahead.

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