Community centres return to full-time schedule
Activities at Toronto's 130 community centres have returned to normal after a city cost-cutting measure forced the cancellation of programs on Mondays.
In September, the doors were locked to the public on the first day of the work week.
City staff decided to cut back activities and force part-time staff to stay home at recreation centres because Toronto is facing a $575 million budget shortfall next year.
The cancellations triggered a backlash from residents and councillors, causing Mayor David Miller to reverse the decision.
In late September, councillors unanimously approved reopening the community centres full time, beginning Oct. 15.
The cutbacks were announced in July after councillors voted to defer a vote on two controversial taxes until after last week's provincial election.
Toronto's fiscal crisis has forced staff to scale back municipal services. Nearly $83 million in service cuts have already been identified this year in various city departments.
Other measures included delaying the opening of outdoor ice rinks until January and reducing library services.
But on Friday, a corporate donation from MasterCard Canada ensured rinks will open on time this holiday season.
Meanwhile, the city's library board said on Monday it may have to pay unionized workers for wages and benefits lost by its decision to close 16 libraries on Sundays.
Board officials said they were notified last week that the Toronto Civic Employees' Union (CUPE Local 416) had won a grievance filed against the board over the Sunday closings, the Toronto Star reported.
Miller still wants councillors to approve the land transfer tax and vehicle registration fee, which could raise $350 million for the cash-strapped city.
Councillors will vote on the controversial taxes on Monday.