Today was graduation from Entrepreneuse School. I have a Certificate of Achievement.I have Achieved.
Today was the first day of Deputations at City Hall regarding potential budget cuts.
This is the clean edited version of my deputation today – I say clean not as in dirty words but that it’s not the version edited on-site with a lipliner. I was number 20 on the list and spoke at around 1:45 p.m. Fun fact – there were 348 people on the list- deputations will go 930 to 930 today and tomorrow, with meal breaks, and anyone who doesn’t get to speak can submit in writing. I do not think they will all get to speak.
Good morning – well, my notes say good morning, but I’ll say good afternoon.
My name is Sue Edworthy. I am a resident of Toronto; a homeowner, a taxpayer, and a small business owner. I am also a member of the arts and culture sector, and I am here to speak to you today about the 10% cut on the table for arts and culture.
In May 2011 – just six months ago – City Council unanimously endorsed the Creative Capital Gains report presented to them.
Of particular importance, the report set a target of $25 per capita funding for arts and culture, from its current $18 per capita.
I know that everyone on this council and committee are working hard to arrive at a good solution for Toronto. But I worry you have lost sight of the bigger picture of what makes a city great, in anticipation of short term gains. And they are not really gains at all – a cut of 10% is in many ways more than the number it represents on a spreadsheet. Ten percent in real life equals
Fewer arts projects in neighbourhoods across the city: TAC currently supports 250 arts projects annually with grants totaling just over $1 million.
Fewer individual artists will receive support: TAC currently supports 200 individual artists including writers, composers, visual and media artists with grants totaling just over $1 million.
Arts and culture are essential to Toronto’s economy, generating $9 billion every year –that figure is from 2006 or 07 I believe. The city achieves this economic return on a relatively small arts investment.
I am fairly certain that members of the current City Council decided to run for office because they had a vision for a better city, that they would work with their colleagues and constituents to make Toronto better if not great. Arts and culture are part of what makes our city great. I have faith in you to realize the importance of the request I am making.
I know you’ve read and heard these numbers before – you’ve endorsed the report, you’ve heard and read numerous deputations and requests on this topic. This indicates to me that you saw the value in in arts and culture and endorsed moving ahead. By cutting 10 percent now you are contradicting your own endorsement.
I’ll leave you with a fable from over 2000 years ago, with the hope that it still resonates to members of this committee, and City Council at large.
A man and his wife owned a very special goose. Every day the goose would lay a golden egg, which made the couple very rich. “Just think,” said the man’s wife, “If we could have all the golden eggs that are inside the goose, we could be richer much faster.” “You’re right,” said her husband, “We wouldn’t have to wait for the goose to lay her egg every day.” So, the couple killed the goose and cut her open, only to find that she was just like every other goose. She had no golden eggs inside of her at all, and they had no more golden eggs
…Actually – I realize that I have 20 more seconds left. I’d like to answer Councillor del Grande’s earlier comment about everyone saying no to cuts, but but nobody is saying where the money will come from. SO –
– I would not have repealed the vehicle registration tax;
– I would not have instituted a property tax freeze for last year;
– I would have raised property taxes this year and I say as a homeowner good, I expect that to live here;
– I would be looking into road tolls and
– I would be looking into a hotel/tourism fee as so many other cities do.
People clapped, I don’t know what that means, Gord Perks seemed to agree saying “look there are golden eggs!” and Sarah Doucette said thank you for coming. So did Janet Davis. Piece spoken, we shall see.