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From: J ohn Gray (s.14(1) M.F.I.P.P.A.

)
Sent: Tuesday, J anuary 28, 2014 10:46 PM
To: clerks
Subject: 2014 Council Budget Deliberations

Mayor and Members of Oshawa City Council
c/o Clerks Department

Dear Mayor and Council

Congratulations on beginning the budget process, which hopefully involves input from a
wide range of interests .The budget is about setting priorities which must be adaptable
over time. In this letter I hope to make the case for establishing economic development
as one of your top priorities due to changing community conditions.

General Motors was established in Oshawa in 1907 and over the ensuing years it
caused our City to transform from a sleepy little town to a mighty industrial centre. Plant
expansion and contraction has been a fact of life but never did we ever speculate as to
GM not being in Oshawa. In fact if one ever uttered the thought that there could be a
time without GM, they were quickly dismissed as malcontents. In the past, if there was a
setback at GM, the community would endure and shortly afterwards, more investment
and jobs would soon follow; helping to write more Oshawa success stories.

Our first serious prospect of losing GM occurred during the financial collapse of Fall
2008 which necessitated the Federal Government, partnered with the Ontario
Government to provide bailouts to GM in order that corporation remain solvent. We all
remain grateful that the bailout occurred and saved General Motors of Canada. It
allowed residents to put this issue behind them and focus on living well in Oshawa.

Fast forward to today, we now find ourselves in a state of limbo because we do not
know the fate of the plant post- 2016. Should there be no allocation for the 2017 model
year there will be a huge drop in taxation revenue and therefore enormous pressure on
the residential tax base both locally and regionally. Be assured, GM will not delay
having its property assessment changed to vacant industrial to receive a more favorable
rate.

As leaders in our Community, it is imperative that action begins immediately. First
Mayor Henry, with the full support of Council must organize a meeting with senior GM
executives, Federal and Provincial officials (acting as shareholders) to press for the
allocation of product for 2017 and beyond. Secondly, through the budget process,
provide additional resources to make diversification and economic development a
priority with tangible, attainable goals.

Correspondence Request
Item 1
Do you want the next term of Council to be the one that loses GM and passes an
inevitable double digit tax increase or makes draconian cuts to services to mitigate the
hardship? That is not a legacy this term of Council should aspire to.

Third, through this budget process, Council may wish to consider some tough but
perhaps necessary measures depending on outcome of GM. For example, you need to
initiate community based discussions on some contentious matters such as outsourcing
garbage collection (likely savings in excess of 1 million dollars), restricting weekday use
at recreation facilities or even perhaps the elimination of a library branch. Difficult
choices which require discussion today as a contingency should we face GM closure.
Public consultations, while extending the budget timetable will provide Council with
valuable input and direction. The public might well instruct Council that certain cuts are
off limits or they might come up with other innovative ideas. But any capital
expenditures presently allocated in the budget for the depot project should be put on
hold.

I truly hope that Members of Council will rally around the issue of making economic
development and diversification a top priority for Oshawa. Your actions through this
budget process will reverberate for years to come. Your leadership is required.

J ohn Gray
Happy to call Oshawa home

PS Should anyone wish to discuss these points, feel free to contact me at (s.14(1)
M.F.I.P.P.A.)


Correspondence Request
Item 1