Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, right, seen with Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, is contemplating major job cuts, a leaked memo suggests. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)

Toronto city workers are bracing for major job cuts after a leaked memo from a top official surfaced Monday.

The memo from Joe Pennachetti, Toronto's city manager, suggested ways in which bosses can help city employees handle being laid off.

Some councillors are certain the move foreshadows major cuts, noting it is the only way that the city can make up for the massive $784-million shortfall in next year's budget.

The memo describes questions city workers might have about a review that is looking at ways to cut costs. The questions include: "What will the city do for staff whose jobs are affected?" and "How will the city maintain staff morale in this environment?"

"I think the reality is if the city goes through with this is we will lay off hundreds if not thousands of employees," Coun. Glenn De Baeremaeker said.

The memo said no decisions would be made until the fall.

But CUPE 79 president Anne Dembinski, which represents about 18,000 city workers, said this is not something Mayor Rob Ford mentioned during the campaign.

"[Ford] said there'd be no cuts to services," she said. "Our members, I know, are already demoralized. I am worried and the citizens of Toronto should be worried."

Dembinski said she's never met with Ford — a meeting that traditionally takes place with every new mayor.


  • An earlier version of this story incorrectly attributed the following quote to Coun. Glenn De Baeremaeker: "I am worried and the citizens of Toronto should be worried." In fact, that statement was made by CUPE 79 president Anne Dembinski.
    Mar 22, 20011 12:00 PM ET