After a large portion of his proposed budget was dismantled, Rob Ford, ever gracious, didwhatany classy politician would do: he compared his opposition to dogs. Of his fellow, apparently money-hungry councillors, Ford offered this: “They see money in front of them, it is like putting food in front of a dog, they can’t just resist.” Needless to say, the mayor isn’t exactly thrilled with Josh Colle’s surprise omnibus motion—the product of some serious back-room politicking—to save $15 million in service cuts by digging into the city’s surplus.
The Post’s Chris Selley wouldreally appreciate it if everyone lay off the comparisons between Mayor Rob Ford and Adolf Hitler.Selley argues some of the larger numbers involved in the budget conversation—like the city surplus or the revenue streams that have been dammed up—are far more important than those pesky proposed $2 user fees. While the fees certainly add up, Selleyoffers that they’re just a fact of municipal life—heck, even David Miller didn’t oppose them.Read the entire story [National Post] »
Mayor Rob Ford is fond of saying that when it comes to balancing the budget, his opponents believe massive tax increases are the only alternative to service cuts. Kristyn Wong-Tam appears determined to prove him wrong.The outspoken councillor has teamed up withjournalist Stephen James Kerr to pen a lengthy essay for the National Post arguing that Toronto should start a citizen-owned bank (Wong-Tam also gave the Postan interview further explaining her position). This so-called Bank of Toronto would “leverage money creation” from things like property taxes and user fees, which would act as the foundation for public loans to improve the waterfront, build new subways or fund any number of things the city desperately needs. Whetheror not you agree, it’s an interesting suggestion, although we have to doubt Wong-Tam was banking (heh)on comparisons to social credit or “Bible” Bill Aberhart in the comments section. Read the entire essay [National Post] »
Fears are spreading throughout the Toronto Farmers’ Market Network that participants at city markets might soon be on the receiving end of a large user fee increase from the city. Anne Freeman of the Dufferin Grove market and Carolyn Wong of Trinity Bellwoods are just two of the market organizers who have been circulating a petition in an attempt to head off the hike. “You don’t attack your food source,” a frustrated Wong told The Dish.
Whether Toronto should be subsidizing its recreation services at a higher level than other GTA cities is a political question. Whether it can afford to is a financial question. And whether it will continue to do so is a reporter’s question. The answer, according to the Toronto Star? Apparently, not so much.