Toronto, the quivering elderly Victorian lady, so distubed by ructions at City Hall during the administation of Rob Ford, is giving signs of having
regained a comfortable opiated state of composure. Her pupils dilated into two wide open black holes, she lays in her sick bed, a tentative girlish
smile on her crosshatched crone's face, ready to receive the ministrations of the good doctor.
Having doped her up, I believe Dr. Tory is now going to strip her of her assets.
That would make perfect sense, considering his own long time background as an instrument of the financial elite. He has said that he will fund
without raising property taxes. He's not giving any sign of confronting the upper levels of government over the widely
acknowledged failure by those entities to fund municipalities adequately. (Doug Ford lost a golden opportunity to run on that issue.)
or Tax Increment Financing, Dr. Tory's vaunted solution to funding transit expansion, is not realistic and not practical, but has the
"virtue" of being a serviceable campaign catch phrase. It will fool some of the people. I don't know much about this stuff but I don't think any
lending institution is going to advance funds to Toronto using future tax increments as collateral
. Toronto voters might be dumb but lending
institutions are not.
Which brings us to assets. I think in the long run, a Tory administration will be selling off the city's assets to fund transit expansion. Neither he
nor any of the other candidates has given any indication of being willing to belly up to the Prime Minister or to the Premier of Ontario and demand
that Toronto receive a larger share of the taxes that are collected from this region.
I think every one of the candidates, in the back of their minds, intends to sell city assets to fund infrastructure. They aren't saying so. That
would be too direct. However transit expansion can't be funded in any other way short of cutting a long overdue "new deal" on taxes with the feds
and the province.
The attitudes of upper levels of government in this country toward municipalities is appalling. It is a clear dereliction of duty. The whole country
suffers when the Toronto region has a less than adequate transit system. Hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes are lost because transit is
inadequate in Toronto. If you are up in Bear Paw, Goldbar, or Turpentine Township and are wondering why the Province is not funding some project, it
is because they and the federal government have let the engine of the Canadian economy, an engine that produces billions of dollars in taxes, dollars
that could fund that project, fall into disrepair.
The election of John Tory, something that seems a certainty at this juncture, will be a victory for the privatizers, and another step in the further
impoverishment of Toronto. Unfortunately, not enough people have woken up to the importance of the funding issue to be of benefit in this election. It
is the most important influence on life in this city and barely got a mention from candidates, including Doug Ford.
I'm still voting for Ford. I'm taking a pass on the tincture of laudanum offered by Dr. Tory. Minnie Mouse is a nice lady, but she can't be mayor
of this city. She's too nice.