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Rob Ford Vs Riverdale Farm, Park Zoos and Daycare Centres

SOURCE: http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1024733--riverdale-farm-park-zoos-move-to-chopping-block

By David Rider

As he introduced 3-year-old Emily to the cherished rural oasis, where sheep bleats drown out highway hum, Justin Sampson paused to consider a Toronto without Riverdale Farm.

“I’ve been coming here since I was 4 years old. My mother used to bring us here all the time. Now I can bring my daughter here, and it’s free,” he said. “It blows my mind that (Mayor Rob Ford) could think of closing it down.”

As Torontonians digested the latest city consultant’s report, which also suggests closing zoos at High Park and Centre Island, and the Toronto Environment Office, Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday asked them to keep an open mind and tell councillors what needs to survive.

“We’re putting everything on the table and it will be up to council to decide what to cut — some things are obviously totally unreasonable,” he said. “Politicians are always susceptible to public opinion; that always plays a part in the decisions we make. But some things will go.”

The KPMG review of parks and environment services, released Thursday, was the fourth commissioned to identify the city’s “core services” and what can be cut. Four more will be released on staggered days next week.

Instead of finding the “gravy” Mayor Rob Ford promised to strain from the city budget, KPMG has so far suggested likely non-starters — taking fluoride out of drinking water — and the painful, like closing city-run daycares.

Read the full version on the Toronto Star.

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