David Miller and Toronto City Council stuck between a rock and a hard place

Miller experienced a major blow to his leadership when city council voted to put off making a resolution about the land transfer tax and the completion of a vehicle registration levy. In an ironic twist I predict that city council will have no choice but to support David Miller. Wait a minute, wasn’t that obvious? Although I am neither for nor against the tax increases, Toronto at this point simply has no choice or alternative. After years of raiding city coffers and reserve funds, Toronto is simply almost bankrupt. What is unfortunate for the councilors who voted against the tax increases are that the fact that they were essentially hoping for a change of government, on the provincial side. Blame for the entire sad state of affairs in Toronto can be equally levied on various levels of government; however I feel that David Miller unfortunately took the Dalton McGuinty bait. The ‘City of Toronto Act’ really allows the provincial governments to have David Miller do their dirty work. Added to the fact that Toronto’s finances have been badly managed over the last 4-5 years, city council will have no choice but to approve the unpopular land transfer tax. A question has to be asked of those councilors who voted against the plan as to their absence on pressing the Liberals, NDP and PC party for support of their cause. Although there has been some movement on uploading, there have been no specifics. Promises will not pay the bills in Toronto! And since these promises are coming from provincial politicians the question remains, can you trust them? Torontonians clearly don’t want massive service cuts or tax increases, but the question has to be asked and put to the people. Where will the money come from? How much more will we cut? Are there anymore areas for Toronto to make money? Have they tried everything?

The dangerous part to this whole equation that has not been looked at is the ‘City of Toronto Act’ itself and its implications for the future. What will happen when they run out of money again? Will they go begging to the province? I do feel that there has been waste. The purchase of TTC subways, without a tender and the cost overruns on city contracts. The various buildings the city still owns and renovations at city hall. There are others, but they are debatable. What David Miller and council maybe failing to see is that, albeit these are small items, in the eyes of Torontonians, every dollar saved counts. Once people see and feel that they have done their part, then we can move on to others. In some regards David Miller will need to stick firm to his agenda and move forward on the tax increases, however I hope he has heard Torontonians and not only those in the posh areas of Toronto. I do not want to remember the Mayors that had great plans, but did not finish them, like the Queen Subway and other ideas. His plans for the City of Toronto and the Transit City plan are admirable. If he is able to pull it off and actually change the city into something different, history may end up being kind to him. What will that legacy be? David Miller, at this moment, echoes what we should all feel. Do not depend on the Provincial or Federal governments. They are politicians and liars. So in that regard he has decided that Toronto must learn to stop crying over spilt milk and just take care of itself. Maybe in the end we should just be another province or territory in Canada, to fix our problems. However, I will leave that debate for another day.

By Adrian P
a.k.a. “The G.T.A Patriot”
Toronto, Ontario

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