When the Globe and Mail is scolding a politician for raising taxes, that’s something you notice.
Marcus Gee of The Globe just did that with Toronto Mayor John Tory.
Tory promised throughout the mayoral race that he would keep annual property tax increases at or below the inflation rate.
And sure enough, John Tory is now raising taxes. He shamelessly lied to the Toronto electorate. And he should be exposed as the lying political hack that he is.
But Tory was not finished. He further lied to the Toronto people by trying to spin this tax, not as a tax, but as a “special levy.” What a slimy weasel.
Next, Tory tried to lessen the pain by referring to this annual $13 per household as just the cost of one ticket to the movies. But as Gee notes, that’s not even accurate, either. The $13 amount isn’t just for the first year, but every year. An additional $13 added to the tax bill over five years equals $65, not $13. That is not just one trip the movies, Mr. Tory, you political reprobate.
Recall that Tory promised throughout the campaign that he would be as fiscally prudent as the former mayor Rob Ford, but without the circus. Tory lied about that as well.
Tory has permitted his own mayoral office budget to increase, far in excess of Rob Ford’s own mayoral budget. It’s already approaching David Miller-ian heights of excess and blatant self-aggrandizement.
You recall how sick and tired we were of Miller’s excesses. Well, John Tory is becoming the second coming of David Miller.
And like David Miller before him, John Tory will be ridden out of Toronto on a rail.
Speaking of our transit/rail system, Gee reminds us about Tory’s promise that his so-called “SmartTrack” would not cost the taxpayer one red cent. He said his multi-billion dollar above rail system would be funded, not by the taxpayers, but by the magic of tax increment financing. Or, as we Tory critics called it, “voodoo financing.”
As we predicted, tax increment financing is a sham. So Tory is forced to finally come clean and approach real taxpayers for real taxpayers money to pay for his transit follies.
Let’s look at another broken promise:
During the first mayoral debate against Rob Ford and Olivia Chow, Tory railed against Chow for suggesting that it was more prudent to retain public sector union garbage pickup east of Yonge Street.
Tory argued persuasively that private sector garbage pick up on the west side of the city had produced annual savings of $11 million, for a total savings in four years of $44 million. He vowed that if elected, he would usher in this more efficient and cheaper private sector garbage pick up in east Toronto as well.
Well, a whole year has passed. And as some of us predicted, the spineless Tory has caved to leftist pro-union interests on city council and in the civil service. Toronto’s east end is still stuck with the more costly and less efficient public sector garbage pickup system.
And who can forget Tory’s characteristic political stupidity and tone-deafness this first year?
Both the left and right on city council were staunchly opposed to Toronto wasting millions of dollars in a ridiculous Olympic bid, and most Toronto voters agreed. Yet Tory doggedly came up with a plan, one predominantly funded by the private sector.
And once again, Tory flipped and flopped. Dithered. Procrastinated. Failed to show clear-headed leadership.
Until he was forced to admit defeat, weeks after most citizens had moved on from this ridiculous debate.
Yes, Tory looks good in a Harry Rosen suit. Presumably he can tie his own shoelaces without the help of his myriad of highly paid handlers, consultants, advisers and spin doctors.
Yes, Tory appears to be a decent guy — so decent that other Toronto councilors run roughshod over the spineless mayor.
But John Tory still lacks good political instincts. And a spine. And he’s still is not ready to lead this great city.