John Tory is a failure as leader of the City of Toronto. His conservative, do-little approach to city governance means that issues that were problems in the past are now at a crisis stage.
Tory pretty much has control of council because he is supported by right-wing councillors that make up the majority of council.
Tory and the right-wingers have failed to make meaningful progress in fighting issues such as child poverty and a lack of adequate housing. Toronto has the highest rate of child poverty compared to any other city in Canada, and 180,000 people are on the waiting list for city housing.
Even so, Tory and his supporting councillors voted to reduce funding for TO Prosperity, a program intended to reduce poverty, to $14-million this year from $93-million two years ago.
Tory says the city doesn’t have money to fund everything. However, he and his council clique choose what to fund and what not to fund.
They also control how much money they have to work with. But they are dogmatic about not getting more funding by raising property taxes. They vow to keep them below the rate of inflation. As a result, the revenue generated from these taxes has decreased over the past six years.
But one vote could dramatically change Toronto’s financial situation. All city taxes generate about $4-billion. An increase in the property tax of perhaps a half-a-percent, as well as small increases in some other taxes, could generate at least half-a-billion-dollars a year.
We can’t continue to have our critical issues dealt with so casually just because a bunch of backward-thinking, largely well-off conservatives want to brag that they keep taxes under control.
This is why Toronto Council Renewal Project (TCRP) and other groups are determined to change the power structure at city hall on October 22.
With Tory a shoe-in as mayor, we are campaigning to help defeat conservatives and elect a majority of community-minded candidates for council.
We need to win in 14 wards.
Of course we want to win every ward but, if we elect the following candidates, progressives will be the majority on council: Morley, Perks, Bailao, Cressy, Layton, Mihevc or Matlow, Fletcher or Fragedakis, Augimeri, Colle, Perruzza, Wong-Tam, Caplan, Carroll, and Kellway.
Going into retirement will be Grimes, Mammoliti, Carmichael Greb and Minnan-Wong.