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Ford’s funding claim gets smell test

Rob Ford said that 80 per cent of the city’s $50 million in annual grants are given to downtown wards.

Claim: Rob Ford said that 80 per cent of the city’s $50 million in annual grants are given to downtown wards.

Background: During an interview, Ford said: “People in Etobicoke, Scarborough and North York have felt left out. Just to take one example, look at the $50 million-a-year grant money — $40 million goes to downtown. Everything has been catered to downtown wards.”

Smell test: There have been historical inequities in terms of which parts of the city received the most grant money. However, none of Ford’s math adds up.

In 2009, the city’s grant budget was about $46 million (this year’s budget is similar). Of that, $27 million went to programs that offer city-wide services.

The bulk of the outstanding money went to neighbourhood-based initiatives across the city, such as Art City in St. James Town, or Etobicoke Services for Seniors in Ford’s own ward.

Even if one focuses on where each grant recipient’s headquarters is located, the $40 million figure remains an exaggeration.

Verdict: Foul.

 
 
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