December 05, 2015

Reviewing Toronto Mayor John Tory's first flip-flopping year

Mitch WolfeRebel Blogger

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.

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commented 2015-12-19 12:10:01 -0500
Tory is no surprise, he follows in a long line of failed or flawed mayors in Toronto (except David Crombie). I expected nothing more of him than what he’s doing. He’s all talk and failed action, as he was in his previous sorties into Politics. He has time yet to redeem himself, but I doubt he will. Nevertheless, all mayors have a handicap in Toronto, they are no more than just another councillor, the fault of provincial legislation; plus, the Council is too big to get anything done. Term limits with a hiatus with also be helpful. But, JT just doesn’t have what it takes and he blows with the winds, unless he’s determined to shoot himself politically.
commented 2015-12-08 11:17:10 -0500
Any surprise here? If you look at the Federal voting, it was downtown-Toronto latte sippers that were instrumental to bringing the Liberal majority. Outside of Toronto and Ottawa it was mostly Conservative voting with the exception of Northern Ontario who have a large Labour Union contingent. Torontonians LOVE big government.

Michael Mann, you can lambast Ford all you like, he was able to do a landmark CBA with the labour unions that no-one thought possible, including private outsourcing without as much as a labour stoppage; this reigned in public sector spending, whereas Tory AND Miller have a terrible record on this front, or don’t you remember sitting in your own filth under Miller whilst labour costs skyrocketed? There was a 6% increase annually in these costs under Miller that were reeled in by Ford. He did cave to the police unions however, though we know that relationship has been a toxic one for quite some time. I don’t expect Tory will be able to do better.

Ford issued transparent budgetary reform as well that led to surpluses in the order of hundreds of millions that were redirected toward arts and social programs. In addition $100M of budgetary surplus was also directed to the Gardiner Expwy, which has been in much needed repair. But the point is: SURPLUSES; no more crippling loans (or outward loan guarantees to failed enterprises, though some of Miller’s guarantees are still on the books. Ford made no such bailouts).

So Ford’s biggest farce was the subway dream, but most other items were inherited from Miller where costs were already sunken into ill-conceived projects, but the cost of canceling them would be greater (e.g. Transit City Plan). You can argue about the buffoonery, the crack, what have you but to me those are his demons to slay not mine, and I feel that unless he takes care of these vices he’s not fit to be Mayor. In the meantime I wish him the best in these travails, as well as in battling his health woes.

But of course, lefties hate surpluses; deficits are the new cool.
commented 2015-12-07 13:38:45 -0500
I don’t believe in polls, except for the one on election night!
commented 2015-12-06 23:47:26 -0500
A new poll finds John Tory’s approval rating is the highest it has been since his election last October.

The Forum Research survey found 77% of those asked give the mayor a thumbs up. The last time Forum checked in on the mayor’s approval rating in August, it was 72%. The lowest point in the mayor’s tenure so far came in February when Forum found he had an approval rating of 65%.
commented 2015-12-06 23:46:01 -0500

Do you live in Toronto?

I am going to assume that you don’t, since you clearly have no idea what you are talking about. Rob Ford lied and embellished about everything across the board if you actually bothered to actually see the fact checking that was done on Ford as opposed to just being a Ford Nation cheerleader and believing everything that came out of his mouth.

It’s also hilarious that you think Rob Ford has brains, when he can barely string a sentence together. Ever watch one of his speeches? He doesn’t even have a grade 6 level of English/grammar. Let’s call it for what it is – he’s fucking dumb. What he knows is football – that’s it.

Torontonians are tired of the Ford Nation bullshit. He will never be mayor again.
commented 2015-12-06 21:49:02 -0500
I consider Tory to be the personification of the failed leader. Aside from the no-win electoral disasters he orchestrated for himself and the PC party, ideologically the man is a chameleon -no once can pin down what he stands for or what he is willing to stand firm and fight for – his entire cope is compromise – any way the political winds blow so bends Tory. As the old saying goes “he who stands for nothing will fall for anything” and this is Tory’s political posture – a punching bag for opposition and special interests who cares to give him a cheap shot.
commented 2015-12-06 09:13:19 -0500
This is what the elite wanted, someone they knew that doesn’t have a spine or any brains, and will lie to the public, until the reality can no longer be hidden from taxpayers. Rob Ford was head and shoulders above this peon, and the public knew it. Just look at the sad results under poor leadership.
commented 2015-12-05 23:57:04 -0500
I am pretty happy with Tory and so are most Torontonians – there was a recent poll, where John Tory’s approval rating was high and Rob Ford’s was low.
commented 2015-12-05 22:52:17 -0500
He doesn’t think Rob Ford will be around in the next election and is no longer afraid of him.
commented 2015-12-05 21:40:23 -0500
Your saying he’s “not ready” implies that he might be some day.
I believe that unlikely, given his current age and experience.I