Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Tory on the New Toronto Act

The province yesterday passed the New City of Toronto Act. It's an idea that began with big thoughts of a "new deal for cities" and ended up with some minor new authorities and taxing powers for Toronto. It's no big deal.

I was surprised, however, when I first read that John Tory's Conservatives voted against the deal. The Liberals have called attention to this in a press release.

It was interesting, then for me to come across this honest account in the Toronto Star:

Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory fears it will actually cause more [problems].

"This is a bill that focused on new powers to tax and new ways to get money from taxpayers," Tory said.

The province should have fixed the city's fiscal problems caused, in part, by downloading instituted by the last Progressive Conservative government, he said.

"I hope the city doesn't use those powers to tax going forward because taxpayers are paying enough," he said.

(Emphasis mine.)

Tory has identified what I also see as the flaw of the New City of Toronto Act. It doesn't address the real problems that created the municipal crisis we've been facing for the past 8 years or so. Honest of him to take partial responsibilty for those problems... but would he really fix it if in power?


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