Fact-checking Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford on his time at Toronto's city hall - 2018-05-30
Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford has regularly repeated this claim, although typically he cites around $1-billion. It has been controversial since his late brother, Rob Ford, touted it as one of his key accomplishments during his scandal-plagued four-year term as mayor, during which Doug Ford was a city councillor and his brother's right-hand man.
There is no question that in the Ford years, the rate of growth of the city's operating budget slowed and property-tax increases were lower than under his left-leaning predecessor, David Miller. But the $1.16-billion claim may leave the impression that spending and taxes actually declined by that amount. They did not. Both city spending and property taxes rose in nominal terms from 2011 to 2014.
Much of what Mr. Ford is referring to is a tally of reductions – either service cuts or "efficiencies" - from the projected expenditures that are compiled each year as the city's budget process begins. Most years, these amounts are usually first estimated in the hundreds of millions dollars, but are winnowed down in order to balance the operating budget, as the city must do by law. Every council, under every mayor, squeezes millions out of the annual budget – which now totals $11-billion - this way.