Reporting on the 2016 Address by Toronto City Manager Peter Wallace to IMFG, Torontoist reporter Neville Park notes that the City Manager’s Address to IMFG represents “a rare opportunity to hear directly from Toronto’s top civil servant with more candour,” in an article entitled The City Manager’s 2016 State of Toronto Address: It’s Time to go Cold Turkey.
The article noted the City Manager’s use of smoking as a metaphor for Toronto City Council’s fiscal complacency, and discussed the challenges of meeting spending commitments without considering revenue tools:
There is an ever-widening gap between Toronto’s vision, expressed in policies and grand projects, and actions—expressed in what the City actually funds.
The city manager was quick to clarify that it’s not just a matter of the structural deficit, which dates back to amalgamation. It’s also a challenge for the immediate future. (The 2017 budget gap will be around $607 million; in 2018, $438 million.) He also repeatedly expressed concern for the long-term consequences of Council’s years of nickel-and-diming.