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Toronto's Race for Mayor : Why the Feds and Province Endorse Tory and Not Ford

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posted on Oct, 14 2014 @ 05:42 AM
Good news for John Tory! html

Mayoral candidate John Tory was endorsed Monday by federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt, who praised him as a consensus-builder but would not discuss the SmartTrack rail proposal that is the centre piece of his campaign.

Raitt, the Conservative MP for Halton and former chief executive of the Toronto Port Authority, is the most senior and influential federal official to publicly back Tory. He has also been endorsed by Liberal provincial ministers, including Infrastructure Minister Brad Duguid.

. . . but is this good news for Toronto?

The Toronto Region Board of Trade and the The Federation of Canadian Municipalities are beginning to assert themselves by proclaiming in well written studies that municipalities (Toronto is a municipality) in Canada are grossly underfunded, that this situation is dangerous from the perspective of business and that this state of affairs must be reversed if we are to compete, make profits and live well as a society, going forward.

They believe that municipalities like Toronto need new revenue streams in order to repair and build infrastructure at a pace to keep up with population growth. They are inventing new taxes to accomplish that goal.

Here is Doug Ford's response to that kind of effort:

Councillor Doug Ford warned a gas tax hike would “kill” business in Toronto.

Ford slammed the proposal put forward by Anne Golden’s Transit Panel to either phase in a 10-cent gas tax increase to fund transit or raise it by five cents a litre, hike corporate taxes by 0.5% and boost the HST by 0.5%.

“Oh my goodness, it is going to kill us,” Ford said Thursday. “It is not fair to the taxpayers and we’ll be fighting it all the way.”

“They put these fancy task forces together and it is a no-brainer, all they do is raise taxes, raise gas taxes, it is unacceptable.”

Ford encouraged the provincial government to “find efficiencies.”

“There is a bloated government at the province and as far as we’re concerned there is waste here at City Hall and there is waste in the federal government,” he said.

I agree with Mr. Ford and I will be voting for him on October 27th.

Not only are there "inefficiencies", as Mr. Ford so diplomatically puts it, in the way tax dollars are handled at the federal and provincial levels, but the very structure of "partnership" deals between the federal, provincial and municipal levels of government makes such deals unappetizing to municipalities.

Is it any wonder that municipalities are way behind in the repair and building of infrastructure when the design of "partnered" deals with other levels of government only allows them to recoup their 33.3% of costs at a rate of 5.7% of the tax increments that flow from such deals while the other 94.3% is shared by the two upper levels of government? These figures come from a report on the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Initiative, evaluating a "partnered" deal exactly like the one that John Tory has put forward to finance his "Smart Track" transit plan.

Accordingly, the three governments have spent, to date, $1.26 billion and the study estimates that this direct investment on public lands generated impacts as follows: $3.2 billion of Canadian economic output, 16,200 full time years of employment and $622 million of tax revenues to government ($348 million to federal, $237 million to provincial, and $36 million to municipal).

The provincial government will recoup costs by collecting 38% of tax increments that flow from development linked to transit expansion.

The federal government will recoup costs by collecting 56% of the tax increments that flow from development linked to transit expansion.

Here is a graph comparing the rates at which the three levels of government will recoup costs if John Tory's TIF, Tax Increment Financing plan is implemented. On the graph the City of Toronto is the red bar labeled TRONNA, the Government of Ontario is the black bar labeled KATHY and the Government of Canada is the blue bar labeled STEVE.

The graph was created using the facilities of the following website:

The graph was constructed online and the options didn't allow enough bars to show the point at which "Tronna" would finally have recouped 100 percent of its costs.

If the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Initiative is representative of deals "partnered" with the federal and provincial governments, and I believe that it is representative of such deals, then the rates of cost recovery of each of the levels of government should be as shown, for any such "partnered" project.

John Tory endorses this kind of deal for Toronto.

When you look at the numbers it is hardly surprising that Mr. Tory has been endorsed by the "black and blue" bars on the graph, the provincial and federal governments.

edit on 14-10-2014 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)

edit on 14-10-2014 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)

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posted on Oct, 14 2014 @ 07:39 AM
Clear, good explanation, Ipsedixit. If I were a citizen of Toronto, I would not vote for Tory either. He does not come across as his own man, whereas Ford does, even though I'm sure he must have some alliances too. It's like Ford choosing his allies as opposed to joining a gang.(I hope that doesn't sound too harsh.)
edit on 14-10-2014 by aboutface because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 14 2014 @ 07:52 AM
Yeah ford did help Torontonians with some tax cuts...

I don't know about tory... he looks like a Canadian version of Mitt Romney to me.

posted on Oct, 14 2014 @ 07:59 AM
a reply to: aboutface
I think Tory is an instrument of other levels of government. He is firmly rooted in the elite class in Ontario. I believe he has strong connections to the Thomson (media conglomerate, billionaires) family. Originally, I thought that Olivia Chow represented the provincial government in this election, but her maladroit "stand down", deserting her NDP backers during the provincial election, cost her a lot of support.

Rob and Doug Ford represent a challenge to the agreed upon financial status quo, vis a vis Toronto and hitherto "entitled" political operators and stakeholders. They, acting through the Toronto Star, tried to wipe the Ford's off the electoral map during the last mayoralty race, but they failed because the "entitled" were seen by the public as having gotten too far out of hand.

Of the candidates in this race, I think the city's best hope for reasonable deals on taxes and other issues rest with Doug Ford.

He's a grumpy guy, sometimes, for good reason.

edit on 14-10-2014 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)

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