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.
I don’t think there is any coincidence whatsoever that the day MP Olivia Chow announces that she wishes to resign her seat with the Federal Government of Canada, to run for Mayor of Toronto that the beautiful weather here in Toronto went from 11 degrees above 0 to 25 degrees below zero.
Understanding that current Mayor Rob Ford is a bit of a… Where to start… Sideshow, to immediately think that his political views are no longer needed in Toronto would be a huge misrepresentation of the truth.
Considering candidate John Tory (a Liberal by affiliation, and fiscal conservative) said that Ford is correct that there is a lot of wasted spending which needs to be reeled in, it would therefore make reasonable sense that a typical left-wing mandate of spend, tax and spend more, would bankrupt this city.
As much as I like Karen Stintz, she can help the right-wing causes (she’s right of centre fiscally and left of centre socially) by taking aim at Chow right away. We already know how she feels about Ford and she worked on Tory’s campaign in the past.
There is also an 18-year-old running whom I saw on TV, and it’s great that the youth want to be included in the process, but Mayor is not a realistic goal when she appears to think the solution to transit woes, and high taxes and over-priced real estate is to ask – no demand – that the Provincial government and Federal government give Toronto more money.
Umm, that money is tax money and while I’m happy you earned some babysitting, if the other governments are going to give more to Toronto that means either raising taxes, or cutting spending.
My hand is up for cutting spending. Wasteful spending only please. Please no one mention libraries or books, or Margaret Atwood, or she’ll register to run too…
Someone should also tell her that in fact everyone does pay property taxes, whether owning or renting, as it’s included in rent too.
But with all that being said, the most important thing to take out of this post, is that with this election coming and all the fuss about the Fords, there are elected representatives sitting in Toronto City council who run by their own agenda and are not accountable to you, the voter.
I found, then lost, a pie chart showing the voting patterns of City Councillors since Ford was elected and there are about 5 of them who voted against the Mayor on each and every issue without fail.
If in 3-years these councillors could not find one issue to side with the Mayor on, then who are clearly not serving you, who elected them. Other councillors found common ground, but without fail some councillors just see something brought forward by the Mayor and vote against it without giving it any further thought.
Imagine if they were Mayor, and council was on the right of centre politically and every time they brought forward a motion it was voted against without fail…
They would be crying to every paper possible about council not wanting to work with them, and about a hidden agenda.
Talk to your councillor now. Ask them for their citing record and see if they truly represent your views for the city of Toronto, or if it’s time for them to find another job.
Oh, and day 2 with Chow in the race… Still looking bleak. On all fronts.
I have received some Breaking News from Toronto Municipal council. It’s huge.
It’s exactly what the lefties were hoping for in their long campaign to discredit and embarrass the Mayor, Rob Ford (PS, lefties… You have done that already!).
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford may have taken drugs more than once. Oh my.
In a “drunken stupor”. Not in a “drunken stupor”. Crack. Heroin. Pot.
He’s a party in a package and now the media is going to camp outside City Hall waiting to get a comment from one of the Ford Brothers, and then talk to all the councillors who will tell you that Ford is not fit to be Mayor and, oh yeah, they are running for Mayor too.
They “hate” the distraction but they LOVE the attention!
Geez, I’ve been following Toronto City Council since I was a kid… Such a long time ago, and I never knew all the councillors like I do now. They’re everywhere. Even the one (or 2) who have been charged with offenses like driving under the influence all seem to wind up in front of the camera pointing fingers at the Fords.
So does ford need to resign now?
Does he deserve to be chastised for having his picture taken with an alleged member of the Hell’s Angels?
Only in Toronto can this be such important news… Still.
It’s like going to the zoo to see the animals. More on that at the end of this post.
Other somewhat important news only because it doesn’t involve the shaming of the Ford family:
London Ontario Mayor Joe Fontana is in court trying to explain how he stole $8 millions dollars of taxpayer mone through a charity in which he was on the board of directors.
and Ontario’s unelected premier Kathleen Wynne met with Toronto’s unelected deputy Mayor to discuss ways to waste taxpayers money. Wynne, whose party has blown billions of dollars of taxpayers money somehow escapes the fury of Toronto’s media.
and Nelson Mandela passed away.
But Ford did Heroin!!!
(Shaking my head).
Oh, and the animals I see… Hippos. Hippo-crites. Hypocrites. Lots of them.
This is a true story about me, The Urban Daddy, my house in the mean streets of Urban Toronto, Ontario, Canada, a black bra and the Mayor of Toronto Rob Ford – or more specifically, the Mayor’s one-time indiscretion. The message was received loud and clear:
The message I took away from this heinous act is either this;
1. That I need to lose weight, or;
2. That while I thought I fell asleep on the couch last night while reading tax-reporting procedures for income trusts, I must have actually had one helluva night in one of my #DrunkenStupors.
Either way, I need to cut back on the #crack…
Butt crack and the kind the Mayor keeps finding at gas stations, and variety stores here in Toronto.
Are there any “boob” or “bra” related comments you can add? I’m curious as to the “breast” you can do. (Surely better than that one, eh?)
A press conference at 4pm Toronto time has taken place around 4:30pm and at that conference Toronto Mayor Rob Ford announced that he is not going to take a leave of absence in order to get his addictions under control.
Crack, alcohol, reading a book while driving, being over-weight, caught lying, and the list goes on – this right-wing politician has been under fire from the left-wing Toronto media more than any politician in my lifetime. Ford announced that he has kept these addictions under wraps from his family, his friends, his brother and from the councillors. Ford is going to stay on to earn back the respect of the public. At the end of the day if it makes him a better human being and a healthier one, then he needs everybody’s support, no matter what you think about his weight, or his political views.
He is a human. He has addiction problems and he needs our help.
Ford said he was elected by the people and if they don’t want him as Mayor, then don’t re-elect him in 2014. Democracy.
Imagine if the media paid as much attention to the billions of dollars that the Ontario government has wasted of taxpayer money – the services they delisted in order to pay for their mistakes and the lies, deception and shredding of documents that happened.
Or if Toronto was Montreal and there were 4 mayors in a short time frame and accusations of corruption and ties to the underworld. That too is horrible.
But this is Toronto, and if it’s okay for publications like NOW magazine to put Ford’s face on a naked, fat body (bullying some would say) and for Ford to be tailed, his phone’s tapped and people snapping videos of him walking down the street.
It’s a double standard that right-wing politicians have to be able to handle.
As a fiscal conservative – I’m all in favour of protecting taxpayers money and not raising taxes in order to cover up for mistakes, and Ford was the only choice in the 2010 election given the alternative was a candidate who was the deputy minister in charge of a portfolio which blew a billion dollars.
I have taken a lot of heat over my choice to support a fiscally conservative candidate vs., my support of Rob Ford. I appreciate the work Ford has done – the shovels are in the ground for subways which few other mayors were able to achieve, and garbage collection in the city is fantastic.
Any fiscally conservative politician might have been able to get this done…
But under the pressure from the press, and from the councillors who are getting tired of answering question after question about Ford, Rob has decided to not take a break from City Hall in order to get his life in order.
So what has the last 3-years of Ford’s leadership achieved for the city of Toronto?
Press and publicity for the city of Toronto. Press and publicity for the councillors who try to get things done in the City on a daily basis in (my opinion) the most backward way possible – ie, the $0.05 bag tax or LRT’s, St. Clair, etc. These guys and gals are famous. On newscasts around the world, and finally at the centre of attention.
If Ford steps aside, where will they get their publicity?
Will anyone care about the work at City Hall?
Will there be any checks into the spending of the left?
Those who will cheer with joy if Ford steps aside will be in their own #DrunkedStupor and will certainly take to Facebook again to criticize the man for his personal faults, and not for the faults of the position he holds.
Why would anyone with fiscally conservative ideals want to run for anything in this city?
In case anyone is wondering Ford’s decision, here are some other examples of politicians who have admitted drug use and have not resigned or have gone on to bigger and better things;
The former president famously admitted in 1992 to trying marijuana while he was attending Oxford University. “I didn’t inhale it…” was his famous comment.
Arguably the most infamous on this list is former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, who was arrested back in 1991 on charges of possession of cocaine. He’s even been called a “compulsive user of cocaine.” Well, D.C. residents weren’t fazed, because he was re-elected into office in 1994. In 2005, Barry pled guilty to misdemeanor charges stemming from an IRS investigation, and during that hearing it was revealed that he tested positive for cocaine and marijuana.
President Barack Obama:
Obama experimented with cocaine in his college days, and once commented that he used marijuana “When I was a kid, I inhaled often, that was the point.”
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg admitted that he smoked some weed in his past when he said; “You bet I did. And I enjoyed it.”
Once quoted as saying that she too smoked marijuana.
Known to have been a wild partier – cocaine use – he was known to say; “I’ve made mistakes” and “We had some pretty wild parties back in the day, and I just don’t remember.”
The former vice president and climate change activist did admit that he smoked marijuana.
The Terminator and former California governor is actually smoking weed in the 1977 documentary “Pumping Iron.”