On January 19th, Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 27) hosted a community discussion on the City of Toronto’s 2017 budget proposed recently by Mayor John Tory. Coucillor Wong-Tam opened the event with a brief but enlightening overview of the proposed 2017 budget, highlighting proposed cuts to cover the current shortfall facing the city.



Councillor Wong-Tam’s overview was followed presentations by Leila Sarangi (Women’s Habitat, Etobicoke), focused on the budget’s differential impacts for women and vulnerable populations, and Prabha Khosla (Urban Planner) who introduced the concept of gender responsive budgeting. Afterwards, the audience participated in an interactive activity which allowed them to share their ideas for how to balance the 2017 budget. Facilitators posed a series of questions in which community members shared the services and activities they believe the city should prioritize in the upcoming budget and also explored various revenue tools that could be employed to meet current costs.


Throughout the activity, participants were asked to use a gender lens as they considered the questions to ensure that the outcome would continue to work towards equity in the city for women and girls. The event was very well-attended and gave the audience an opportunity to learn more about the proposed 2017 city budget and how city council’s decisions for balancing the budget can both foster and impede gender equity.


For more information on gender equity in the budget, check out our description. You can also follow the event on Twitter using #GenderEquityTO and #SnapTheBudget. For tools for your own discussion of gender equity and budgeting, look at the budget section of our municipal literacy toolkit.