Sunday, March 26, 2006

"Say a prayer for Toronto before you sleep tonight"

Royson James predicts the future of David Miller's Toronto:

The Day Toronto Goes Broke may be closer than you think — say, four years; five at most.

That's what city officials fear — unless Queen's Park, the "banker of last resort," rescues Canada's largest city and its spiralling $7.7 billion budget.

Failing that, Toronto is on pace to clean out its reserves next year, impose double-digit tax hikes in 2007, bury itself in debt for the foreseeable future and still that won't be enough to forestall bankruptcy.
Miller has made a policy of being the kind of profligate and irresponsible welfare case that make welfare cases so popularly reviled.

Update: Bob Tarantino figures there's been enough of the David Miller-led council and hopes that somebody will do something about it. His efforts harken back to an excellent earlier entry that is well worth the read.


Brent Gilliard said...

The city shouldn't be in a position to even consider performing welfare-state tasks. The province is irresponsible to leave that kind of power in the hands of a municipality. It's insane.

We all have a stake in Toronto's continued prosperity. Nearly half of Ontarians live in the Toronto CMA. If Toronto declines, Ontario goes with it.

MapMaster said...

I'd go further and say that it's insane to leave that kind of power in anyone's hands.

But aside from that… Ontario's stake in Toronto's prosperity is made all too evident by the fact that as it declines, the rest of Ontario bails it out… Ontario does go with it, thanks to the provincial government. But as much as the costs of mandated programs downloaded onto municipalities is an unjustifiable imposition and a burden to local taxpayers, they are not the reason that Toronto is in such financial straits — that's what they'd like you to believe, and London's city council tries to play the same game of uploading responsibility. Even with those costs and prudent maintenance of necessary infrastructure, Toronto could balance its budget and reduce taxes. The truth is that Toronto is one of the worst offenders for extravagantly funding discretionary programs to placate political interests, maintaining and expanding a massive bureaucracy to oversee and enforce ridiculous regulations, and giving into demands from public service unions and failing to privatize "non-essential" services. The fiscal woes of Toronto are entirely the responsiblity of an undisciplined and activist left-wing council — the continuing bailouts only serve to encourage them. I'm sure that even Dalton McGuinty — privately — is frustrated with their mismanagement, but without the guts to say it or back it by enforcing discipline on the city, he's giving everyone yet another reason to leave Ontario. Then again, how could McGuinty talk about fiscal discipline with a straight face…

Honey Pot said...

I would of loved to have seen Fantino run for mayor. He would never get it, too much integrity, and strength of character.