Services to stay at Civic Centre

East York residents can breath a sigh of relief knowing their recreation centre will continue to operate as usual.

Despite proposed cuts, services at the East York Civic Centre have been spared after city council voted to retain the services offered by the centre’s Access Toronto information desk and the registry counter.

“There was a clear message given to council that the people of East York should continue to have the same services delivered in their community as other residents receive across the city,” said councillor Janet Davis, who moved a motion at council last fall to put the cuts on hold until city staff could come up with an alternative.

The cuts to the Coxwell Avenue centre were part of the city’s proposed 2006 operating budget. If adopted, it would have meant the discontinuance of services such as birth and death certificates and marriage licences. Staff would have been replaced by telephones, and employees would have been transferred, leaving only a few workers to take care of all the remaining services.

While the majority of the cuts weren’t adopted, council did relocate one employee to another civic centre.

Since learning of the proposed cutbacks in October 2005, Davis fought to ensure the services would continue at the centre. She held a series of public meetings, collected more than 100 petition letters.

While the proposed cuts would have saved the city close to $150,000, Davis said it wouldn’t have been fair to East Yorkers if they had to travel to other civic centres to receive these services, especially since they paid a special tax to build the civic centre back in 1965.