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Star media: sports field permits- April 3, 2012

City sports user fees criticized 04-Apr-2012 [1130]


By: Alyshah Hasham
Published: April 03, 2012

For its 60th birthday, the East York Baseball Association got an unexpected gift from the City of Toronto in mid-February: a bill for $53,000.

The tab is for the new user fees on playing fields introduced in the 2012 budget, a fee dubbed by one player as an uncool “tax on kids.”

There was “no heads up, no consultation, no explanation,” said Andrew Pace, president of the East York Baseball Association.

“How are we supposed to pay this . . . it’s not fair to turn our volunteers into tax collectors,” Pace told the meeting.

The league just installed lights on one of its baseball diamonds, which their volunteers also spend $20,000 a year maintaining. But this new cost means they might not be around next year to use them, he said.

Pace, along with volunteers, parents and players from affected children, seniors and youth leagues including baseball, netball, lacrosse, ball hockey and soccer, spoke at a Tuesday evening town hall, asking city councillors to waive user fees for this year.

About 17 councillors attended, said Councillor Paula Fletcher, one of the meeting’s organizers.


Read this article on The Star website.

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