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?
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
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!
I have to be honest.
I’m pissed off. I am fired up and I have not felt this way in a LONG time.
What has me all fired up, you ask? Well it is the common bond that ties together Ontario Liberal Party leader Kathleen Wynne, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and the referees of the National Basketball Association (NBA) who “officiated” the Toronto Raptors series against the Brooklyn Nets.
Let me throw out a couple of terms which come to mind;
… and with all of these terms there is the one thing that binds them – that they are all completely inadequate at doing their jobs – and the frustration that they will not be punished for their inadequacies.
I’m at a loss.
Let’s start with the Premier of Ontario who took over from the former Premier but won this leadership role without a) knowing of any wrongdoing by the party before and b) took part in any decisions which were wrong (ie/shredding documents). She thinks the people of Ontario are not aware that she is the exact same as Dalton McGuinty.
Really, Kathleen Wynne should not Wynne (err, win) the upcoming Ontario election, right? She’s lied, played dumb, and is suing anyone who talks shit about her. She has proven to be a clone of Dalton McGuinty – spend first, then delist services and tax later. Then blame the Conservatives… Or the NDP.
Now that the campaign is on, I listen to her talk and no matter what she says, I cannot hear her. I want to hear her – her message, her thoughts on the Province, on the city I live in, and on the hot button issues, but I cannot. She talks and talks and I hear, “blah, blah, blah” and that noise is the past 9-years of Liberal rule and the lies, and waste that they have created all the while running the Province without any public scorn that has come the way of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (more on him coming up).
I’m angry because I feel like no matter what she says there are a whole lot of Ontarians who are going to vote for her anyways because the Liberals are the middle of the road party so a vote for them is a “safe” vote. But it’s an expensive vote!
I’m even more frustrated because I do not feel that the PC’s leader is fit for the job – he’s not warm and fuzzy like Dalton was – and no one wants to see a NDP government in power (thank you Bob Rae), I’m afraid for Ontario…
Now on to Toronto and Mayor Rob Ford, who continues to show even his most ardent supporters that he’s somewhere between a moron and a giant moron when he tells the public he’s not drinking anymore, that his drug use was a one time affair (drunken stupor, anyone?), and then he continues to get caught doing the things he’s been stating he was not doing. On video yet!
So here is what I know now about him.
He’s a liar.
He’s a thug.
He has addiction problems.
He is in denial, and he thinks that the public will continue to forgive him time and time again.
That was until this latest video emerged of him getting high, talking rudely about fellow colleague Karen Stintz and in doing so, flushing away his chances at re-election.
So he pulls the rehab card.
And while everyone knows he should have been in rehab a long time ago, he has “checked into” the world’s most effective treatment facility where after one week he is able to make outgoing calls and report that he feels “incredible”.
This time no one buys it, and trust me… in the same way the Toronto Star refuses to touch the George Smitherman story, they will find Ford and expose him again. Even toying with the idea of Doug Ford running for mayor was thrown out, the bottom line is that Rob Ford will not and can not be Mayor come the next election. Politics is about trust and he’s blown it time and time again. I don’t trust him, the people of Toronto don’t trust him and those who were out to get him from election day (hello Joe Mihevc) are laughing and laughing.
The final piece of this puzzle of stupidity have the names and faces of the referring crew who handled the Toronto Raptors series against the New Jersey (err, Brooklyn) Nets. Foul after foul called on the Raps and you started to understand that the whispers surrounding this series might be true – that no Canadian team was going to beat the Nets.
Even after acknowledging that the Nets tanked their last 2 games of the season to set up a playoff series with the Raps, the league said and did nothing, and while fouled after foul were committed against the team from Toronto, they said little more. It got to be so obvious that even in the game 7 loss, the refs called a foul on Kevin Garnett of the Nets instead of Deron Williams because Williams would have received his 6th foul and fouled out of the game, whereas KG could take another. On this specific play, it was 100% clear that Williams bear hugged and took down the Raptors player and sat on the floor hands together as if praying not to be called.
Until determined to be innocent by the referees.
It was awful. Embarrassing. A black eye for a league which already had to deal with a referee who was cooking games for betting purposes. The league would have been wise to comment at any point in time to suggest there was nothing happening – even suggest there would be a review – but the league was silent and the Raptors lost.
So here I sit, frustrated that Wynne, Ford and these referees continue on today as if they have legitimacy in their roles but they do not.
They lie, cheat and steal and until we, the public, have our say and force them to find a different job, we will continue to be frustrated, and shake our heads in bewilderment.
In case you missed it, I wanted to share with you a startling and shocking bit of news about the size and cost of municipal governments and their workforce. While we are paying more and more taxes, they are getting bigger and bigger and richer and richer. Doesn’t sound right now, does it?
A newly released study put out by Western University professor Timothy Cobban reveals that since 1995’s amalgamation, local government in Ontario has swollen by 39%!
Here are some more sobering facts made available by the Toronto Taxpayers Coalition;
- In 1995 Ontario had 160,000 municipal employees, today there are 270,000 – an increase of 110,000.
- Spending on municipal wages and salaries has increased almost fourfold – from less than $200 million in 1981 to $750 million today!
- Ontario has only 38% of Canada’s population, yet 43% of the country’s municipal workforce.
Clearly, amalgamation, despite all the promises to the contrary has failed to deliver smaller, more efficient government. Even the mere talk of closing or downsizing locally resulted in attack after attack on Rob Ford for being uneducated and hating libraries, for example. It can’t be done if no one wants to admit there is duplication and waste, but then again it cannot continue to operate this way in the red…
So what went wrong?
Well for one thing, the merging of collective bargaining units meant compensation was harmonized upwards to the highest salaries and benefits for that position.
In fact, according to a Toronto Taxpayers Coalition analysis, the number of Toronto municipal employees earning $100,000 or more grew by an astounding 30% – from 5481 up to 7123 – in a single year.
Also, the layers of middle management in general administration positions were often duplicated
The bottom line from all this is obvious: local government is too big, too costly and too burdensome.
And brace yourself for some more bad news.
If Olivia Chow and her left wing NDP pals take control of the Toronto government in the next municipal election, things are guaranteed to get worse.
That’s why we need, more than ever, to stand up and promote the idea of smaller government and lower taxes.
We need a strong voice to offset the union bosses, the media and other assorted left wing groups who will be helping to push Chow’s big spending, high tax agenda while taking aim at the Fiscally Conservative candidates.
The Toronto Taxpayers Coalition will be that voice!
Indeed, they are already making a difference in Toronto politics, former Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday recently had this to say about them:
“The Toronto Taxpayers Coalition is a great organization, one that we sorely needed here a long time ago. Increases in taxes and an increases in spending by the Toronto council has gone on for so long that it’s a shame a group like this wasn’t in place to try to maybe put a stop to it earlier on.”
But we will to step up it up a notch for the next election and do even more. You can help make sure the Taxpayers’ Coalition has the resources it will need to be a force in the next municipal election.
Lots of ways. You can host fundraisers for us; you can introduce our group to your friends and business associates; you can volunteer your time, and of course you can contribute to our special municipal election fund.
But whatever you do, you need to help soon. The election is only months away, and the Toronto Taxpayers Coalition is already putting together a budget for a special “Stop Chow Now” campaign, to get out the message to voters, to expose and oppose the ruinous policies of Chow and the NDP.
That will be costly. Running an effective media campaign always is.
I’m hoping you will help, because I know you share my belief that Toronto can do better, and that we must do better. I also know that you’re willing to fight for what’s right!
So I’m asking you to donate $10, $25, $100, $500, or more to help “Stop Chow Now.”
Or better yet, sign up to make a monthly contribution automatically – it takes less than a minute to set up.
Whatever you donate, please make it the most generous contribution you can afford.
Together you and I, along with all the other Taxpayer Coalition supporters, can make a difference.
Thanks in advance for your support.
P.S. Thanks to forced dues and government funding, bug union bosses and special interest groups have lots of money to help Chow and the NDP. The Toronto Taxpayers Coalition relies on voluntary support. We rely on you and your generosity. Help us Stop Chow in 2014. Donate today.