NEWS

Too many projects get approval from city council, too few get funding: deputy mayor

07/21/2015 02:24 EDT | Updated 07/21/2016 05:59 EDT
Deputy Mayor Denzil Minnan-Wong is warning council to stop approving projects the city has no money to pay for.

Minnan-Wong says billions of dollars in projects approved by council over the next decade are currently unfunded.

"There is an insatiable appetite for building things in this city," said the Don Valley East councillor.

Minnan-Wong says there's more than $3.5-billion worth of capital projects approved by council without money to pay for them. He says $2.5-billion of that is pay for the city's streetcar order and other transit needs.

The money will likely be found to pay for the streetcars and other capital projects.

"Whenever we decide we're going to do another project — that we would love to to do this or that — there is a priority list. So when you want to spend $1-million here and $5-million there, it is going to compete against something else or knock something else off the list."

Coun. Shelley Carroll says big capital needs like transit of fixing critical infrastructure impact local needs and priorities.

"You get up in morning and you think, 'Yay! Brand new streetcar,' and at the end of the day you take your kid to the community centre and the water fountain that's been broken since he was three-years-old is still broken and he's six now," she says. "That's the little thing that gets bumped."

Carroll is an advocate of a participatory budget. She says it would allow communities access to small amounts of money to ensure things like broken water fountains are fixed sooner rather than later.

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