I watched the Toronto Mayoral
debate forum, between Olivia Chow, David Soknacki and John Tory and I had an epiphany. If I ever decide to run for Toronto Mayor, I want to be just like Olivia Chow.
Are you shocked?
I’m a fiscal conservative who would prefer to find efficiencies, reduce costs, tax less, and find ways to help everyone who needs help but as we have seen here in Toronto over the past 4-years with Rob Ford as Mayor, if you dare even make mention of cutting anything, look out.
When the Mayor commented about fact that there are a lot of libraries close together – some used much more than others – and some rarely used, he was branded a Neanderthal who couldn’t read and this fiasco even resulted in author Margaret Atwood being brought into the fray with jokes that she would be a better mayor.
If you cut, you must hate. At least that is what the left will tell everyone. Public service too large? You hate unions. Want to find cheaper ways to clean TTC busses? You hate transit. Want to not pay for things on the backs of the property taxes? You’re rich and entitled.
Who wants all that crap!
I would want to be just like Olivia. She was great in the debate.
Want better transit? “Invest”.
Want to build lots of transit lines? “Invest” and “No more studies!”
Want to engage the youth? “Invest”.
Want to fight global warming? “Invest”.
Olivia has all the answers, and at times, she had a very coy smile because she knew no matter what she said, there are around 28% of the population of Toronto who are going to vote for this modern-day Santa Claus.
You want transit? You have to pay for it. All Olivia needs to do is add a 1%
how dare you be rich taxto the land transfer tax for every house over $2-million. That will get me enough money to pay for whatever she wants.
Want more social programs? Sure! Once she adds that 1% “levy” (read: tax) on those nasty, horrible rich people (insert booing here) who dared to work hard and earn lots of money, and viola, there is money for social programs.
The debate, er, forum, went along like this through each and every question. Screw balancing the budget. Go away, you terrible rich folks. Whatever you want, Santa Chow is going to get it for you. Someone will pay for it, but let’s not let the details get in the way. With that 1% she’ll have enough money to have studies needed to build more transit (her words last night and yes the same studies she criticized John Tory for wanting to undertake instead of just building now!)
It makes no sense.
She makes no sense.
But honestly, when nobody is listening to the message, it’s easy to be generous with your promises and critical of others who don’t want to have to raise taxes in order to fulfill unrealistic promises. Where is the money going to come from to fulfill ALL her promises if the “rich” do not sell their houses or if they all move outside of the GTA?
My favourite exchange from the forum went something like this (paraphrased of course);
Q1: How would you get Toronto moving?”
A1: “More transit. Invest in Transit. Pay for it NOW. Get started NOW.”
Q2: “Google is trying unmanned transit in San Francisco. Would Toronto?”
A2: “Absolutely!! We need transit moving on all the lines. We’ll invest in that technology.”
A3: “I’ll get those too! I got free dental for seniors. Subsidized metropasses for students and I love giving away stuff. I can always raise taxes on the rich. I’m progressive. Buy now, tax now. The other candidates want to pay for studies. I say forget the studies and invest in unicorns. Why wait 10-years. Get them here now!”
Toronto may not need unicorns, but if more than one-quarter of the city blindly support Olivia Chow’s platform, maybe after the 1% land transfer tax levy, they should all be next.
Who needs fiscal restraint when you’re spending other people’s money, anyways.
This modern-day Robin Hood has it all figured out. Steal from the rich to give to the poor.
Psst… Want more trees too?
I have a lot of stuff running through my mind and when I go to write them down so I do not forget, I forget them. So I’m going to try to empty those items in a Thursday 13 post, whereby I list 13 items on a topic, and the topic this week is 13 Things Happening Around Us We Cannot Lose Sight Of.
13. Uruguay has a player named Luis Suarez who is a pretty damn incredible soccer player. He beat England pretty much by himself which must have sucked since he plays in the English Premier League. Suarez, however, likes to bite his opponents. He has done this a couple of times before and was most recently suspended 10 games for it. He clearly has not learned, however, as he bit a player in Uruguay’s FIFA World Cup game.
Now what are they going to do with him?
Should he not have learned by now?
If FIFA were his parents, would biting him back be justified to teach him a lesson? How about making him write an apology, or punishing him for the lie he told when he denied that it happened.
12. Russia appears to be trying to re-assemble the USSR which is disturbing, but even more upsetting is the amount of anti-Semitism and gay-bashing going around. This country clearly wants to remain a super-power by controlling its citizens, however the trampling of basic human rights places them back in the 1960’s and that much be stopped. Shooting down planes is also not cool at all.
11. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford return to work on June 30th after 2 months in rehab. He immediately jumps to the top of the polls for re-election and I don’t know why. Granted, John Tory has 61% of the popular support, but it appears that Torontonians are poised to make another huge mistake.
10. In my day job, as a tax collections consultant, I have found the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is taking forever to process simple requests and have been quick to assess but slow to follow-up. Where is the accountability? #inTAXicating
9. Miami Heat star LeBron James has opted out of his contract either to become a free agent and join another team, or because he realized he cannot do everything and that Chris Bosh is pretty fragile and useless, like he was in Toronto. So with a new contract at a cheaper price, the Heat can buy more / better players. But with LBJ on his way back to Cleveland, and talks of Bosh wanting to go to front-runner and defending champion Houston Rockets, does it make the Bosh-o-saur seem like less of a player, who wants to go where he can get a free ride, not bang in the paint and play safely?
8. Toronto sports teams suck, and sports fans here are perplexed. The Raptors and Blue Jays were supposed to suck and be last place in their respective divisions this season, but the Raptors won their division and the Jays are just out of first place in the AL East with pretty terrible starting pitching. The Maple Leafs, on the other hand, and the Toronto FC, made changes and were expected to at the very least, make the playoffs but both bombed.
7. Starbucks Brezza coffee is fantastic!
6. I feel bad for business owners who do not do their homework… In my neighbourhood, for example, a new restaurant just opened selling food which I’m pretty sure no one will eat. Worse, it opened across from a religious centre where very few would have / have ever tried that food. (Shaking Head)
5. Did they find that missing plane yet? Sad.
4. 5-years yesterday since Michael Jackson died. I seem to hear more and more of him on the radio each and every day.
3. Girls and Woman in countries all over the world are being kidnapped and tortured for no reason whatsoever. This needs to be stopped, like yesterday. Until each and every person in the world, man, woman and trans-gendered are allowed to live free and safe from persecution, we have a long way to go.
2. Hate is taught. For a child to grow up in a free and democratic country and think it is okay to vandalize something with hate messages which probably would have gotten him jailed, tortured or killed in his country, means his parents and community are breeding hate and that cannot and should not ever be tolerated. Shame.
1. Education is the key, my friends, to pretty much everything. Education, exercise, never trying drugs, and using common sense will lead to a better human race and should be the corner-stone for a new way to bring up our children and judge others.
According to the Federal government, here: http://www.parl.gc.ca/PublicDisclosure/MemberExpenditures.aspx?Id=MER2013FY&Language=E
I’ll break out the stats. Have a look at others. This could be the Mayor to bankrupt Toronto:
Expenditures by Member
Member: Chow, Olivia
Member. Status. Constituency Name. Constituency Size. Number of Electors.
Chow, Olivia. Active. Trinity—Spadina. 26 km². 101,020
Member’s Budgets ($)
Resources Provided by the House ($)
1-Employees’ salaries and service contracts
241,328.49 – 241,328.49
2,191.93 46,090.29 39.50 10.00 – 48,282.22
3,109.33 2,494.24 4.00 – – 5,603.57
Member’s accommodation and per diem expenses
7,240.65 – 7,240.65
Member’s secondary residence expenses
12,000.00 – 12,000.00
3-Hospitality and events
3,870.58 – 3,870.58
3,296.96 – 3,296.96
– 28,835.50 28,835.50
– 19,898.77 19,898.77
Other printing-related expenses
7,536.58 – 7,536.58
Constituency office leases, insurance and utilities
41,962.70 – 41,962.70
Furniture, furnishing and equipment purchases
505.00 3,457.65 3,962.65
2,403.41 – 2,403.41
Informatics and telecommunication equipment purchases
2,092.37 1,726.10 3,818.47
7,330.26 6,998.71 14,328.97
Repairs and maintenance
498.14 – 498.14
Postage and courier services
4,704.87 – 4,704.87
Materials and supplies
4,622.22 3,708.66 8,330.88
348.04 – 348.04
Total Amount Spent: $458,251.45.
345,041.53 113,209.92 43.50 10.00 – $458,251.45
That is $458,251.45 in one year. One riding.
Take a deep breath and think again… Please.
Active – Member throughout fiscal year; DE – Deceased; NR – Not re-elected; NE – Newly elected; NSR – Not seeking re-election; RS – Resigned; NEB – Newly elected in by-election
This was a very troubling week for The Urban Daddy and our community. An apparent sudden decision by the municipal government here in Toronto had thrust our neighbourhood into chaos and as citizens moved into action our efforts to seek the truth were suddenly derailed by the actions of one man – whom I will not mention by name, nor show his picture – who feels his 15 minutes of fame are far more important than the residents and taxpayers in this area.
It all started with a news report on CP24 alerting residents in Toronto that Toronto City Council was going to vote on the narrowing of Eglinton Avenue from Allen Road to Bathurst Street from 5 lanes, to just 2 lanes, so that the sidewalks could be widened, trees and artwork placed on the strip and bike lanes added.
All of this seems very nice, and very practical, and as a resident in Toronto, specifically someone who lives in between those streets and who is already impacted by the Eglinton Crosstown LRT / subway, this information came as quite a shock to me, and apparently to many of my neighbours.
This strip as it currently stands is terrible – construction aside – as a result of many one-way streets, and the absolute lack of traffic on the strip. At night-time, the street is aglow with “MASSAGE” signs and very few people walk in this area at night because, frankly, there is nothing to walk to. If the goal was to make this strip feel more “European”, then maybe Toronto City Council might want to think about the 3 months a year in which weather would comply with this drastic transformation.
In addition with St. Clair Avenue already being down to one lane in parts as a result of the transit right-of-way, doing the same to Eglinton Avenue, the next major road north, makes even less sense. Eglinton is the end of Allen Road, an “expressway” of sorts which helps traffic flow north and south from Wilson Avenue without traffic lights, but with a lot of traffic. People use Allen Road to head north to the 401 highway, and the delays have always been long and frustrating with or without construction, one could imagine it would only get much worse.
Let me at this point identify that I am pro every method of transportation. Cars, bikes, walking, public transit are all great. If I could take public transit everyone in Toronto, I would, where it makes financial sense. If I could bike safely, I would, and my kids would too. But we are not there yet, and don’t appear to be for quite a long time, so in the meantime, doing anything to slow down traffic does not make sense at all. But that is my opinion…
So where is traffic going to go, if it cannot move along Eglinton Avenue, or St. Clair? Well the side streets, of course. We are already seeing a huge increase in traffic as a result of the construction, and in front of my house, for example, there is a stop street which very few cars actually stop at, some do not even try, and they fly through without even braking. The “30km” traffic limit is always ignored, and speed bumps only cause a momentary delay as cars race off after passing them. Even one-way streets are ignored, and it’s going to get worse.
But what about the kids?
This community, Cedarvale, which lies just north of Forest Hill, has a ton of children, and these children cannot safely walk in this community as it already stands. Is Toronto city Council’s shortsighted view of the war on cars overlooking or ignoring the impact this re-development will have on the children in the community who are already scared to cross streets because vehicles travel very fast and do not follow the street signs when using Cedarvale as a short-cut to avoid the delays on Eglinton?
It would appear so.
When Toronto Mayor Rob Ford came to speak to the community about this issue, a couple of says after his return from rehab, I met some community members who lived on the other side of Eglinton Avenue in the next phase of this narrowing of Eglinton were just as shocked as I was, and who had put together a traffic study, which can be found right here; (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjP4HWMeieo&feature=youtu.be)
Adding to this frustration is that we learned that the City Planner had approved high density building along this strip with the widening of the laneways behind these buildings (which would require residential houses to be removed) to accommodate the traffic from these buildings.
More traffic chaos.
Has the city planner, or city council ever been to these neighbourhoods? $700K bungalows, and $1.5 million houses are common place in Cedarvale, much higher south and east of here, and a lot of families reside here who are certainly not going to need the extra sidewalk to walk to a massage parlour, a Whole Foods maybe, but clearly no one asked the residents what they want or need. To look at the map of the area and declare it ripe for additional density of short-sighted. This is not the right community for that.
Mayor Ford came to speak to us, and his message was lost, because of the actions of man who ran across the street, through frustrated traffic, so he could take off his shirt, pull out signs from his garbage bag and stop the community from hearing the Mayor’s views on this proposal, or to allow us to ask questions of the Mayor about what he knows about this plan.
The media at the event helped even less, but asking questions of the Mayor with disdain, like “How is it that you don’t know about this vote? Is it not your job to do so?” when members of the community also knew nothing about this proposal, and then by diverting the attention to the few who took off their shirts for their own 15-minutes of fame.
If you watched any of the footage on TV, you probably heard me, and several others yelling for these 3 protestors to “shut up” and “let the Mayor talk” and while we did get a very short moment of quiet from them, it was when the guy yelling “resign” over and over again elbowed the Mayor’s campaign leader in the head while trying to get right behind the Mayor with his sign.
To his credit, the Mayor’s staffers did not respond or get as annoyed as the members of the community did, although, the police stepped in which this protestor yelled “don’t assault me” to the Mayor’s staff after apparently being kicked (I did not see this – I was recording the events) but the police decided to not charge either person, and the protestor was allowed to return and annoy the mayor and the residents.
The result of his actions were that the message of this proposal got lost. The community were livid, the Mayor frustrated and the only person who got any attention was the guy with the sign, who proceeded to tell his story to everyone and anyone about how the Mayor lied, and how he works in a flexible position where he can follow the Mayor around and yell at him.
I waited after almost everyone left, and listened to his story evolve and change. It was not about Eglinton Avenue and the residents or about traffic, but about someone who wanted to talk about how his was kicked, and assaulted, and how much support he has.
“Me Me Me”.
But it’s not about him.
It never was about him.
I looked at my video and saw a different unfolding of events which threw some key details of his story into dispute, and I shared that with the media and with the other Mayoral candidates teams so that they can be aware of the true intent of this individual. He’s taking a very serious situation of an unwell person struggling with an addiction problem, who took the time to enter rehab and is now back trying to do his job, and he made it about him.
At the end of the day, we all lose.
As for the proposal along Eglinton…. I have no idea.
My message to Toronto City Council, Councillor Joe Mihevc, and the guy with the signs who likes to take off his shirt and disrupt important discussions impacting people their families and their community, is this: It’s not about you. It’s not about your legacy or your vision. Leave Eglinton alone. Don’t force another St. Clair on us because you want to be on TV.
Toronto City Council, don’t waste your time looking to spend money you do not have. Clean up the area instead. Fix the sidewalks, make sure the lighting is working, that dogs are on leash near schools, that the intersections are clearly marked and are safe (Ava and Strathern, for example), step up safety in the area and PLEASE, get rid of the raccoons!
Make the area safe and people will use it.
But Leave Eglinton Avenue alone.
And if you have a problem with the Mayor, address it the way everyone else does… At the ballot box.
The provincial election is coming up fast – On June 12th, 2014 and Ontarians have a very tough decision on their hands. Stuck with 3 underwhelming candidates for Premier of Ontario, the field would appear to be wide open as to who will win and whether the government will be a majority or a minority.
Expect another coalition government, propped up by the NDP again, but expect this time that PC leader Tim Hudak (if he’s still there and not replaced by Doug Ford) will actually force the Liberal government to add some Conservative goodies into the budget as Premier Kathleen Wynne did for the NDP every time.
But I wanted to take a look at the riding I live in, St. Paul’s, an affluent Toronto riding almost completely residential and includes both the mansions of Forest Hill and the multicultural neighbourhoods that straddle St. Clair Avenue west of Bathurst Street.
Thank you to the CBC for all of this data below;
The population in this riding from the 2006 census is 111,131, down 1.2% since the previous census taken in 2001. Politically, Liberal Dr. Eric Hoskins has held this seat since beating PC Sue Ann Levy in a by-election in 2009 by 5,330 votes. The seat had previously been Liberal, held by Michael Bryant since 1999. Bryant relinquished his seat in May 2009 to lead Invest Toronto. Bryant quit Invest Toronto after being charged in the death of bicycle courier Darcy Allan Sheppard in downtown Toronto (the courier you may recall grabbed a hold of Bryant’s car and was threatening him when Bryant sped away and Sheppard flew off his bike on the street where he died).
You could say this riding is somewhat of a Liberal strong hold, which is interesting considering this riding contains the second largest amount of wealth in all of Canada, and typically wealth = Conservative, and that south of St. Clair is very left-wing. For this reason I am constantly amazed that there is no strong Conservative candidate in the area campaigning for the removal of Hoskins.
Take the last provincial election from 2011. Dr. Hoskins easily won after garnering 25,052 votes, or 58.41% of the vote. Second was PC Christine McGirr with only 8,971 votes, or 20.92%. The NDP candidate David Hynes came in right behind McGirr with 7,121 votes, or 16.60% of the vote, and votes were given to the Green Party candidate, Judith Van Veldhuysen (1,172, 2.73%), the Libertarian candidate John Kittredge (332 votes, 0.77%), the Family Party candidate Mike Rita (88 votes, 0.21%) and these two parties; SPO Keith Pinto (83 votes, 0.19%)
and NOH David Vallance (73 votes, 0.17%).
A Liberal landslide, and having just moved into the riding, I did not see or hear from or of McGirr at any point in the campaign, but did receive tons pricy, glossy flyers from Hoskins. The same held true this year – more on that later.
Let’s take a closer look at the riding’s demographics, and compare the rate in the riding to the provincial average and the average in Canada. Of note will be the extremely low unemployment, the above average number of seniors but what should really jump out at you is the average annual household income figure and the percentage of people in this riding with a post-secondary degree. It’s outstanding and a really good reminder for kids to stay in school!
From 2006 census:
St. Paul’s 6.2%
St. Paul’s 15.67%
St. Paul’s 20.11%
Average Family Income:
St. Paul’s $166,814
St. Paul’s 48.41%
This riding is pre-dominantly Jewish, followed by Philippino, then Caribbean, and Native Canadian.
The 2014 Candidates
So let’s take a closer look at the candidates:
Deluce, being the newcomer and with very little literature on the street and no buzz, she is the candidate people will vote for if they do not vote for Hoskins, so she is playing the come and find me game. So I did.
Justine believes in fiscal responsibility, transparency and being accountable for the management of taxpayer dollars. SCORE!Being in real estate, Justine already has the proven experience of working in an industry where success is synonymous with trust, accountability and knowledge. SCORE!
1. Focus on your job by lowering payroll taxes for small businesses
2. Get you home faster by paying for the transit infrastructure we need
3. Invest in your home to help you save money by saving energy
4. Improve your children’s education by merging the public and separate school boards
5. Make good on our promises to address child poverty
6. Give young adults a chance to contribute to our world
7. Putting your food and water first by protecting farmland and water
8. Getting our fair share by making industry pay a fair price for our shared resources
9. Restore your confidence that our communities & natural heritage will not be damaged by development
I honestly have no idea what the first point entails and I worked at Revenue Canada (Canada Revenue Agency for 11 years, most of them handling payroll, and I believe the only reduction employers can make is to reduce the actual tax component of the payroll source deductions because a reduction in CPP reduces the amount employees have for retirement and a reduction in EI reduces the amount employees pay into the system, thus the amount they are able to take back out should they need to.
Numbers 2 and 3 are great, although a little vague, while number 4 is a brilliant idea to reduce costs and increase service. Number 9 is also a great initiative.
So while I would like to see a little more detail in their platform, I believe the Green Party needs to take the next big step and either merge with an existing party, or force the issue and start getting candidates into parliament.
All-in-all, voting is your democratic right! So get out there and vote!