POLITICS

Toronto city council passes 2013 budget; Mayor Ford praises it as 'amazing'

01/16/2013 12:53 EST | Updated 03/18/2013 05:12 EDT
TORONTO - After two days of debates, motions and amendments, Toronto city council has passed its 2013 budget.

The almost $10-billion budget — approved Wednesday by a vote of 37-8 — includes a $3.1-million increase to the city's firefighters’ budget.

A two per cent property tax increase had already been approved.

Throughout this week's council meetings, a number of motions were added to increase spending for a number of services and departments, including the fire department.

Mayor Rob Ford praised the budget and said it showed councillors of all stripes can work together.

He added that the city's debt has been reduced by $808 million.

"This budget features improved services, lower debt, affordable taxes and sustainable spending," he said.

"For the first time ever, ladies and gentlemen, this budget does not rely on any prior year's surplus. That's amazing."

(AM640, 680News, The Canadian Press)