Outburst delays release of Toronto budget plan
Published Monday, November 28, 2011 12:26PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, May 19, 2012 6:42AM EDT
The official unveiling of Toronto's 2012 operating budget proposal was temporarily delayed on Monday after several protesters interrupted the proceedings by shouting down a speech by Mayor Rob Ford.
Police were called to city hall and two men were booted from the council chambers following the incident, which forced budget chief Mike Del Grande to delay the meeting and reschedule the announcement to a smaller meeting room.
Del Grande said the change of location, from council chambers that features plenty of public seating, would allow him to better control the crowd.
Coun. Norm Kelly said later he was disappointed by the outburst, adding it was disappointed that a few unruly spectators could ruin the public announcement.
"That is a travesty of the democratic process. People have the right to express their opinion… but that is not the way you do it," Kelly told CP24.
"It only takes a few voices, raised loudly and vulgarly, to smear the process."
The proposed budget features a 2.5 per cent increase to property taxes, the reduction of 2,300 city staff positions and an increase for TTC fares by 10 cents, among other budget-balancing measures.
The public has been invited to weigh in on the proposed budget by writing to city hall and their local councillor or attending a public meeting on December 7.
An executive committee meeting and final debate will follow the public consultation, before city council votes on the plan in mid-January.
A group called the "Stop the Cuts Network" gathered outside city hall on Monday to protest the budget, saying Ford failed to live up to his promise not to cut services.
"Despite promising no cuts in his campaign, Ford has been slashing and burning city services and attacking workers since he took office," spokesperson Victoria Barnett said in a statement.