Citizen Budget 2010
Read: 2010 Citizen Budget Survey Summary
An unprecedented outpouring of support from Vancouver residents over the past month helped persuade city council to save library services from the axe at city council's final vote on the city's 2010 operating budget.
"Think City applauds city council's decision today to restore $764,000 in library funding, or over half of the $1.3 million that was to be chopped from the operating budget of the Vancouver Public Library," said Think City Chair Neil Monckton. "But we are disappointed other vital frontline services such as parks, engineering, community centres, fire and rescue, and protective services will all see deep cuts of over $18 million in 2010."
Think City's fourth annual Citizen Budget survey showed a majority of Vancouver citizens support maintaining civic services, and were willing to accept modest tax increases of three to five percent to maintain them. However, city council chose to balance its 2010 budget by making cuts that will impact service in almost every department - and force the closure of the Bloedel Conservatory and the children's farmyard in Stanley Park.
"Vancouver citizens won a small victory today," said Monckton. "We're pleased the mayor and councillors listened to the thousands of messages urging them not to cut Vancouver's libraries. This means cuts in library hours and service will not be as deep as was originally planned."
Monckton also noted council protected funding for arts programs, environmental initiatives, and civic grants to daycare centres. The city also allocated an extra $500,000 to fund the emergency shelter program and an extra $300,000 for the contingency reserve.
"Think City surveyed over 2,100 citizens through its web site over November, and the message we heard from the public was clear - the vast majority said they do not want cuts to city services," said Monckton. "We're disappointed Mayor Robertson and his Vision councillors chose to proceed in a direction not supported by most Vancouver citizens. Think City will continue to advocate for residents and businesses, and we hope council will look for opportunities to restore services in the 2011 budget."Click here for a complete summary of the Citizen Budget survey.