Remember during the many mayoral debates during the almost year long Toronto mayoral campaign, John Tory courageously promised that if elected, he would raise TTC fares.
Tory also promised that he would be fiscally prudent as his predecessor, Mayor Rob Ford, “but without the circus”.
In other words, unlike Ford, Tory would be honest, principled and run an administration with integrity and transparency.
Recall in the first critical publicly televised debate among the main competitors: Rob Ford, Olivia Chow and John Tory; John Tory scored his strongest points by hammering Chow on her support of retaining city unionized garbage services in the east end of the city.
And guess what?
Contrary to figuratively swearing on a stack of bibles, Tory reversed himself and instead supported the raising of TTC fares. Then in a failed effort to hoodwink the Toronto public, Tory tried to distract his breaking a major campaign pledge, but offering free TTC travel to young children, 12 years and younger. At a further loss of $7 million in revenue from Toronto’s coffers.
Whenever slimy politicians are in trouble, lack firm policies or want to distract the public, they play the “kids” card.
As in, “Think of the children”. Or “We are only doing this for the children”. Or “What will our children think of us in the future”. And other such political garbage.
Then Tory committed another blatant lie. Tory, the scion of old and established Rosedale family, Mr. Civic Virtue-Mr. Decent- Mr. All Around Nice Guy brazenly explained that, “ he was shocked, really shocked when he looked at the TTC books for the first time, he realized that things were worse than he had believed, and that the only way to cover the repair costs and improve TTC service was to increase TTC fares. And by the way, this is all the fault of Mayor Ford’s previous crash and burn policies”
John Tory was a candidate for Toronto mayor twice. He was head of a group called Civic Action which spent a ton of time researching the costs of Toronto transit and the revenue tools needed to improve the TTC. Tory was a news radio host who dealt with the TTC and its problems, on a regular basis.
In short, Tory knew all about the ins and outs of the TTC and the costs to maintain the system and improve it.
Poor citizens of Gotham, if you believe Tory’s malarkey, I have some very cheap environmentally suspect lands by the Toronto waterfront- for sale.
Recall when Mayor Ford was accused of lying about his drug use and alcoholism, he was mercilessly hounded by the tv media and print press for months and months.
When John Tory blatantly lies about his lack of knowledge of TTC costs and finances, there is surprisingly very little major criticism of Tory’s cynical about face- from the mainstream media, including the right wing press- National Post and Toronto Sun.
How shameful! How hypocritical!
Furthermore, I seem to recall during the said election campaign, that Tory never explicitly stated he would increase user fees to raise much needed revenues.
But lo and behold, in his first budget, Tory and his partners in tax increase crime, quietly slipped in some serious increases of user fees relating to use of water in Toronto homes and the use of city facilities, i.e .hockey rinks.
And don’t forget Tory raised the fees relating to garbage pickup services.
Did you know the City of Toronto has more than 3,000 different types of user charges, ranging from TTC fares and admissions to the Toronto Zoo to fees for fitness classes at municipal recreation centres?
The city collects about $1.67-billion in user fees and $1.5-billion in rates for things such as water and garbage collection. Revenue from user fees and rate programs amounts to 28 per cent of the city’s revenue take, compared with 34 per cent for property taxes.
No wonder Tory can say with a straight face that he will keep property tax increases around the rate of inflation. Because he is less transparently raising a whack of dough through user fees!
Speaking about privatizing garbage collection, which was one of the central planks of Tory’s campaign,- as I predicted during the mayoral campaign, Tory has caved to the pro union lefty councilors on city council and has shelved privatizing garbage collection on the east side.
Another lie and serious broken campaign promise.
No wonder Toronto voters cannot trust their elected representatives. They promise what we want to hear during an election. Yet once elected, they bob, weave and back track.
Well, at least, our new mayor, the lying, left-leaning political hack, has shown his true colors.