This past week, in the city I call home, the Mayor launched a frontal assault on everything I hold dear: libraries, arts funding, local parks, environmental programs, bicycle lanes, public transit, public health… $740 million in service cuts are being proposed. It doesn’t take a genius to know that these service cuts will primarily impact lower-income Torontonians who live in the city’s downtown core. If things weren’t so grim (scrap nutrition programs? privatize libraries?) I might laugh at the ridiculousness of it all.
The GOOD NEWS is that the people of Toronto are not about to let these vital services be dismantled without a BIG FIGHT. There have already been been petitions and numerous street protests from those who want a city that provides (abundantly) for all its citizens even if that means higher taxes.
The long-sighted among us know that scarcity thinking is a form of civic impoverishment. It makes us ungenerous, unwilling, and denies resources to those who need them most. As the brilliant and compassionate John Berger puts it: “The poverty of our century is unlike that of any other. It is not, as poverty was before, the result of natural scarcity, but of a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich.”
I wish John Berger were mayor. I wish we had a civic leader who embraced abundance thinking. Until that happens, it’s up to us to protect what we have with generous hearts and willing hands.
To begin, please consider signing this petition at: http://ourpubliclibrary.to/