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2011 Villain: Matthew McGuire and the Toronto Taxpayers Coalition

Nominated for: being a one-man show that claims to represent the interests of the city's taxpayers.

Torontoist is ending the year by naming our Heroes and Villains—the very best and very worst people, places, things, and ideas that have had an influence on the city over the past twelve months. From December 12–23, the candidates for Mightiest and Meanest—and new this year, a reader’s write-in option! From December 26–29 you’ll be able to vote for Toronto’s Superhero and Supervillain of the year, and we’ll reveal the results December 30.

Do Toronto taxpayers need a voice? Yes. But that voice cannot come from just one man with a one-sided view of the issues.

Matthew McGuire started the Toronto Taxpayers Coalition in 2010 and this year it seemed to be everywhere, frequently quoted by the media on a wide variety of topics. The coalition’s website likes to claim that it is non-partisan and “independent of any institutional or partisan affiliations.” Yet, strangely, it toes the Ford line at almost every turn. The coalition is for private garbage collection and lower taxes and against the municipal Land Transfer Tax and council “spending sprees.”

Days after Margaret Atwood launched a contest for library support, with the prize being lunch with a writer, another contest was launched to dine with Doug Ford or Sun News personalities Sue-Ann Levy, Ezra Levant, or Michael Coren. And who was the mastermind behind an event that seemed to ridicule Atwood’s efforts? McGuire and the Toronto Taxpayers Coalition. Maureen O’Reilly, the Toronto Public Library workers’ union president, told the Globe and Mail that the coalition made a mockery of the library contest and it was absurd that they launched it with all the same elements.

But here’s the thing that could be seen as most villainous—as far as anybody’s been able to tell, it is just McGuire who is behind it all. He is the president, founder, and spokesman for the coalition. McGuire claims there are a few hundred members. But of the more than 30 media appearances listed on their website, the only person that has spoken for or is publicly associated with the coalition is McGuire. Could this be a one-man coalition?

The so-called-coalition released a report card on city council in late November. Left-leaning councillors, such as Adam Vaughan (Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina) and Mike Layton (Ward 19, Trinity-Spadina), received Fs while the conservative ones aced the year (surprisingly, Rob Ford received a B for some bad behaviour). The issue is, what weight does one person’s evaluation of council have, especially when that person says they are the views of a whole coalition?

McGuire (and the coalition, if there is one) is obviously a partisan group. He endorses conservative politics and also has developed three conservative websites. By being dishonest about its motives and falsely claiming to represent all Toronto taxpayers, we have pegged the Toronto Taxpayers Coalition (a.k.a. Matthew McGuire) as a villain.


  • Anonymous

    You are very funny. Thanks for giving the Toronto Taxpayers Federation more publicity!

  • Anonymous

    Matt is doing a fine job.

    • Garry W

      how wasting taxpayers on newspapers!

  • Anonymous

    Why do taxpayers “need a voice” but everyone else gets told they had a chance to have their say at the last election?

  • metalmike72

    I’m sure if you left wing clowns I mean media did a report card on all the councilors I can guarantee you it would be the opposite. All the right wing councilors would get failing grades while your heroes like Adam Vaughan and Gord Perks would be put on a pedestal like some messiah or savior to the common man.

    • Anonymous

      If left-wing “clowns” conducted a survey, it would at least be funny – underpinned by a healthy dose of social consciousness. The Toronto Taxpayers’ “Coalition” sham of a “report card” is just pathetic.

  • Anonymous

    Hah. Looks like the Toronto Taxpayers’ “Coalition” has been leaving comments on this story.

  • taxpayer

    Sometimes all you have to do to be a target is to stand up for what is right.

    • Anonymous

      A meaningless sentiment which can be applied to anyone ever targeted for any reason.

  • Peter

    I thought another villian, Nick Kovalis, was behind this “coalition”? Or am I getting mixed up with another one?

  • citizen4toronto

    The toronto taxpayer coalition IT IS a group of one Man. doing what for taxpayers? I agree that he is doing a great job by taking taxpayer donation for his own well-being or his family; but is that money invested in toronto? No. is not, plus he is attacking our Unions. I can respect the job of a man that works for the people but someone that gets money so that way he can become richer? the week of january 10th he is releasing more letters requesting more money…i meant more donations, please if you receive a letter ask him what is he investing that money specifically?

  • Stopitman2001

    Looks like the kool-aid drinkers have arrived! The people who are “taxpayers” rather than citizens of a city are the ones who should move to a shack where they can only concern themselves with the $30 saved in property taxes rather than the good of the city, it’s future, and the life of its people.

    Also – gotta love how every right-winger who has posted here either reads the Sun or Stephen Taylor’s blog (another right-wing kool-aider). I also enjoy the fact that brainwashed right wingers make fun of brainwashed left wingers… come on, think for yourself instead of just (wrongly) believing that low taxes and little government works (i.e., the States, Somalia, etc.).

  • Lurie

    This is a glee club for Rob Ford hiding behind some taxpayers’ coalition. A’s attached to the drubs at the Ontario PC party. ARGH