Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Setting the conditions for a bailout

The cutbacks to ordinary services enjoyed by average Torontonians are not the result of a $575 million operating budget shortfall and the uncertain prospect of another bailout from the province. They are simply the continuation of the politics-as-usual in David Miller's City Hall that precipitate budget shortfalls in the first place to deliberately provoke the demand for bailouts, as Terence Corcoran illustrates in today's National Post: City kowtowing causes fiscal woe.

Whatever losses in quality of life Torontonians endure as a result of the $83-million in annual cuts to snow removal, tree plantings, road work and swimming pool hours, nothing, it seems, is going to diminish the quality of life for Toronto's film industry.

Nor is anything going to diminish the quality of life of city employees. A few hours less work here and there, but the basic infrastructure of benefits and wages remains untouched.
As Corcoran notes, the last thing in the world Miller and the city's political establishment is going to tackle is the "grand operating culture at City Hall, the great control apparatus" that causes Toronto's annual fiscal crisis. But provincial bailouts, which will unquestionably appear in due time and in some form and amount, only perpetuate the culture of self-serving politics that defines operations in municipal governments like Toronto's and, at a smaller scale, London's.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

It's the same in every city in Ontario. Municipal governments are spending every possible dime hiring their buddies into the bureaucracy and bulking up their big, fat salaries, benefits and perks, and spending an absolute minimum on any service which people really need.

The merger of municipalities was the biggest mistake ever, and worst of all, conservative-minded and fiscally prudent people were somehow sucked into not just wanting the mega-mergers, but screaming for them.

So here's a new rule: every single innovation which does not obviously make significant cuts to government money and power is 100% certain to be a government-bloating boondoggle, and must be fought tooth and nail by all right-thinking, welfare-hating, ethical people.