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While Doug Ford may prefer to see his neighbourhood streets filled with waste-producing, commercialized Tim Hortons franchises, there are still those of us who would prefer the presence of public, local branch libraries. With Toronto Mayor Rob Ford hanging on the words of his brother, the city of Toronto is now faced with the threat of privitization of libraries.

With the recent win of the Conservatives and of Rob Ford, Canadian cities are now faced with a cost-cutting agenda that has and will continue to target public and social services. The budget-slashing plan has now turned to review the Toronto Public Library, which will impact Toronto communities significantly:

“How could a private company make a profit running a free service that is funded by taxpayers?

The mandate of the private operator would be to reduce the level of public funding that now supports our libraries. At the same time, they need to make a profit. There is an inevitable conflict here which signals bad news for all library users, from children to seniors.  First, local branches of the Toronto Public Library would almost certainly be closed. Library users would see higher user fees, fewer books and less access to the information and other vital services our public libraries offer for little or no cost as hours of operation are limited. The cuts to library staff that have been going on for years will be accelerated.

It’s also bad news for our city. We would lose a powerful educational and cultural force that opens books and opens minds, taking from Toronto a public service that all other great cities jealously guard.”

For more information, check out Project Rescue.

Check out the Reality Check page, and listen to the comments made by Doug Ford.

Don’t forget to sign the petition!

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