Cut Private Consultants

Mayoral Candidate Will Empower City Staff to Provide Better Service for Torontonians by Filling Vacancies, Improving Culture at City Hall.

Toronto – In his first year as Mayor, Gil Penalosa will cut spending on outside consultants in half from last year, saving $22.5 million. He will reinvest the savings into building the City’s workforce by filling long-standing job vacancies to ensure improved levels of service for Toronto residents. Under John Tory, Toronto’s spending on outside consultants has averaged $32 million year, more than double the $15 million average during Rob Ford’s tenure.

“Under John Tory, the consultants have done too much steering, leaving our overworked City Staff to do the rowing,” said Penalosa. “As Mayor I will attract and retain the best and brightest by reducing the reliance on private consultants and empowering Toronto employees to make strategic decisions.”



As noted by the Toronto Star’s Matt Elliot, the use of private, outside consultants has more than doubled under John Tory from Rob Ford’s administration. Consultants have been used for an array of issues from inclusionary zoning to a vacant home tax to the Net Zero Building Strategy.

Part of the reason that consultants have been necessary has been the high vacancy rate among City staff. In Toronto’s City Planning Division, 61 of the Division’s 477 full-time jobs are unfilled — a vacancy rate of 13%. Furthermore, since the beginning of 2020, 25% of staff are new to the planning division, demonstrating an astronomical turnover rate.

In Penalosa’s first year as Mayor, he will improve service to residents by empowering City staff through three new initiatives:

  • Mayor Penalosa will create a dedicated e-mail address to provide non-senior staff with a direct line to the Mayor’s Office to share new ideas;
  • Mayor Penalosa will listen and learn from frontline staff through weekly job shadowing;
  • Through Mayor Penalosa, Inter-divisional teams responsible for specific neighbourhoods will see the direct results of their work.

“Anyone who joins the city, in any role, wants to contribute to improve everyone’s quality of life. However, many have lost that initial drive,” said Penalosa. “A priority will be to re-ignite that flame to every person working with the City, to listen to their ideas, from short-term ‘low cost, low risk’ initiatives that we can do in the first year, to more strategic ones.”


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