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How cost-benefit analysis could improve our budget process

In a recent op-ed for Torontoist, Better Budget Toronto’s Alex Mazer suggested that “the City can make greater use of evidence-based policy tools such as cost-benefit analysis to create a better understanding of how programs and services lead to social and economic outcomes, and at what cost.” This sounds great, but what exactly is cost-benefit analysis, and how could we apply it in Toronto to improve our budgeting p
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Toronto’s Citizen Experience of Budget Participation

This post, written by Better Budget TO member Andrew Do, first appeared on Medium. If you heard you could influence the outcome of how to spend tens of billions of dollars to make your city a better place, would you do it? I imagine many would find the prospect exciting, if not a little intriguing. Some might ask, what’s the catch? How about figuring out what a deputation is and how to make one? How about feeling lik
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How not to let fiscal honesty go to waste

This post, written by Alex Mazer, originally appeared on Medium on January 17, 2016. How not to let fiscal honesty go to waste The 2016 Toronto budget process so far The 2016 Toronto budget process is now well underway. This is a budget that is shaping up to be different, for one thing because it started off not with a balanced budget, as is the usual practice, but with a gap. A big gap. The gulf between aspiration a
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Better Budget Day 2015

On May 30th, in partnership with Evergreen Cityworks we put on Better Budget Day 2015: A Civic Engagement Workshop. You can check out photos of the day here, and catch up on the social media action here. Some highlights of the event were:  An attendance of about 120 people, representing a real diversity of perspectives and professional backgrounds  City staff working on the budget communicated to our team that they f
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New Report: Putting the public back in public budgeting

Building on its 2014 consultation paper which set out a broad agenda for improving Toronto’s budget process, Better Budget TO (BBTO) conducted a review of the 2015 budget process to assess the city’s progress in building an open, democratic budget process and to recommend opportunities for further improvement. BBTO’s review assesses the 2015 budget process against four key principles: (1) participation, (2) accessibi
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Better Budget Day this Saturday!

Join us this Saturday for Better Budget Day 2015. Better Budget Day 2015 is a free, day-long, participatory workshop focused on open, democratic, and effective budgeting in Toronto. The purpose of the event is to identify ways to improve Toronto’s budget process, and to help groups from across the city better understand and engage with the budget. Better Budget Day 2015 will feature speakers, interactive workshops, o
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Demystifying Budgets

Last week Loran Scholar and CivicAction’s Emerging Leading Network hosted an event to start breaking down the mystery around government budgets. We were happy to participate in a presentation about municipal and provincial budgets and what can be done to make them  more open and accessible. There was a great turn-out and engaging discussion following the presentation. Thanks to the organizers, and Samara Canada
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Better Budget Day 2015: A Civic Engagement Workshop

When: Saturday, May 30   9:30 am – 4:00 pm Where: Evergreen Brick Works Event sponsor The event Better Budget Day 2015 is a free, day-long, participatory workshop focused on open, democratic, and effective budgeting in Toronto. The purpose of the event is to identify ways to improve Toronto’s budget process, and to help groups from across the city better understand and engage with the budget. Better Budget Day 2015 w
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Save the date! Better Budget Day 2015 is happening on May 30, 2015

I’m pleased to announce that Better Budget TO, in collaboration with Evergreen CityWorks, will be hosting its second-ever instalment of Better Budget Day on Saturday, May 30. What: Better Budget Day 2015 – a free, day-long civic engagement workshop focused on improving Toronto’s budget Where: Evergreen Brick Works When: Saturday, May 30 – 9:30 am – 4 pm Why: To identify ways to improve Toronto’s budget process, and t
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