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politics

What a Progressive Conservative Win Would Mean for Toronto

Here's what the future might hold for our city if Tim Hudak and the Progressive Conservatives form the next provincial government.

 MGL9708

Ontarians will cast their election ballots on June 12. Recent polls suggest that this time around, the Progressive Conservatives have a decent shot at winning at least a plurality of seats. If they were to emerge victorious, what consequences would there be for Toronto?

Before predicting how Toronto would fare under a PC regime, consider the Tories’ own ripped-from-tomorrow’s-headlines prognostication for what Ontario would look like 10 years into their government, taken directly from their platform document, “The Million Jobs Plan.”

“It’s almost impossible to visit a news website these days without seeing some kind of story about how well Ontario is doing. For the sixth straight year (and the eighth out of the last ten), Ontario led Canada in economic growth, job creation and foreign direct investment. Premiers, governors, mayors and foreign leaders are beating a path to Ontario to forge new trade partnerships and business relationships with a rapidly growing and innovative Ontario corporate sector or to promote their products and services to an expanding middle class.”

The PC platform that will guide us into this Ayn Rand-meets-The Jetsons future has been widely and justifiably lambasted in the media as implausible. Even at the highest level, the plan is counterintuitive—insisting, for example, that the Tory job engine will be primed by the elimination of 100,000 civil service positions and that government revenues will be raised by lowering corporate and personal taxes.

Indeed, the name of the platform itself is instructive, as it reflects the priorities of the party and leader Tim Hudak. Face it: many of us don’t really want a job so much as the paycheque that comes with it. Yet for the PCs, the job itself is goal number one—not happiness or opportunity or self-actualization or even the warm and fuzzy that comes from contributing to society, but some grey drudgery that we endure to keep the family in PopTarts until we greet the Reaper with a warm embrace and a cry of “Thank God, I thought you’d never get here.”

But we digress. While we can infer that our multiculturalopolis will benefit from the tsunami of prosperity the PCs promise will overwhelm the province, the MJP is short on Toronto-related specifics.

Fortunately, in December of 2013, the Tories issued “Building Great Cities,” the last in their series of 15 “Paths to Prosperity” white papers. While it’s not an official platform document, the paper gives insight into what a Tory government might mean for Toronto.


On Sprawl

According to Team Hudak, great cities mean more suburbs:

“Cities can only grow two ways, up or out. Either is acceptable, but the numbers show that the majority of people are choosing suburbs. It is not government’s job to stand in the way of that choice. Owning a house or condo is the foundation of middle-class life, and developing unused farmland is a major wealth creator for landowners, home builders and home buyers.”

No, but it is the government’s job to ensure that cheap housing and short-term gain for developers don’t take precedence over the long-term interests of the province and its people—interests that might not best be served by paving over every arable acre and building McTownhomes (“Starting From the Low 300′s!”) and Walmart Supercentres.

Anyway, once we’ve finished operationalizing the Burbs-to-the-Horizon solution, we’ll want to make sure that all those people can get to their new, awesome jobs, which likely aren’t anywhere near where they live.


On Transportation

The Tories recognize that improving transportation infrastructure is key to keeping the city and the province liveable. In Toronto, they support the building of a Downtown Relief Line (here referred to using the more politically neutral “East-West Express Line” moniker) and a “full, effective subway system for Scarborough” with other lines to follow. (While not Fordishly dismissive of LRTs, they make it clear that underground transit is really the only kind that counts.) They would also install Wi-Fi on GO Trains to encourage more riders. Authority over subways and LRT operations would be transferred to GO Transit.

They do not ignore the needs of the automobile: a host of local highways, including the 427, 404, Allen, and Gardiner, would be widened and expanded.

The cost of all this largesse would not be borne by the taxpayer—the white paper specifically rejects any new taxes, fees, or tolls. Instead, an Ontario Transportation Trust would provide $2 billion annually from

  • re-prioritizing the existing long-term capital budget;
  • a dedicated portion of new revenues from a growing economy;
  • selling surplus lands and excess buildings;
  • investment from Ontario and Canadian pension funds;
  • the use of public-private partnerships;
  • and greater commercialization above subway stations.

So in summary, their suggested sources of transit funding—apart from the government yard sale of assets deemed unnecessary—are at best optimistic and at worst imaginary.


On the Island Airport

The Tories support the expansion of Billy Bishop Airport, because jets are awesome [paraphrased].


On Housing

A PC government would address the affordable housing shortage by “(encouraging) the private sector to build and manage more housing.” Under this plan, civic-minded developers would finance, build, and manage affordable housing projects, while Queen’s Park would guarantee rents. Apparently, this guaranteeing of rents is all that would be needed to prod builders into switching from highly lucrative condo development to a focus on projects that sacrifice return on investment for the social good. You just let us know how those conversations go, Tim.


On Public Safety

“As the violent G20 protests demonstrated, free speech must never be confused with the right to vandalize property and tarnish the reputation of our biggest city and province.” Yeah, that was the problem—the police beatings and random arrests got everybody all mixed up about what free speech means.


On Poverty

The Tories are saying many of the right things about working to fix poverty and homelessness. They advocate increasing employment and training opportunities for at-risk youth, a focus on treatment for the homeless suffering from mental illness and addiction issues, and enhanced training for frontline police in dealing with people suffering from mental illness. That said, this kind of language comes easy during a campaign, but the rubber doesn’t really hit the road until programs have to be funded.


On Arts and Culture

“To make our cities great, we need to enable the entrepreneurial spirit of filmmakers, musicians and artists of all types. Sadly, red tape and bureaucratic hassles have bedevilled the cultural scene in our cities for decades. The province must set the ambitious target of reducing the regulatory burden by one-third in three years, with a particular focus on the red tape and slow bureaucratic approvals that plague our cultural industries.”

I.e., we’re not actually going to spend any money on arts and culture, but we promise to reduce the regulatory hassle involved in posting your ukelele cover of Bad Romance on Youtube.

In a nutshell, a Tory Toronto would feature more suburbia, more cars, and a strong reliance on the private sector when it comes to city building. Were you expecting something different?



  What a Liberal Win Would Mean for Toronto   What an NDP Win Would Mean for Toronto What a Green Win Would Mean for Toronto        

Comments

  • SimonBashir

    I’m sure the Tories’ “fuck farmland” policy will go over well in rural areas…

    • Jacob

      That’s where their strongest support is, ironically.

      What is it with Conservatives typically being voted in the the people they’ll do the most harm to?

      • torontothegreat

        I’ve always been confused by this too. The only logical explanation I’ve come up with is “family values”

    • Christopher Paul Dart

      Nah. Most farmland owners are looking to sell out. They’re cool with this.

      • torontothegreat

        EXACTLY

      • tyrannosaurus_rek

        Citation needed.

        • torontothegreat

          No. Your own research is needed troll.

          You previously spoke with such authority on this matter. If you require a citation, it means you have no counter citations to disprove this statement.

          Things like the economy and generational sociology are hard concepts to explain to someone as binary as you.

          All you need to know child, is that farmland is worth more now than it has been since 1985. Start there, do some research and next time you open your mouth maybe some knowledge will come out, instead of your usual brand of piss & vinegar.

          http://canadianfarmrealty.com/blog
          http://www.farmersforum.com/May2013/p11.htm
          http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1331443/ritchie-bros-conducts-largest-on-the-farm-auction-in-nampa-ab

          Your next piece of homework is to research the capital gains exemptions…

          GO!

          *cut in calling someone a shill for develpers in 3, 2, 1…*

        • rich1299

          It not a citation or source but it was mainly farmers who opposed the creation of the Green Belt since it meant they could no longer get rich by selling their land to developers.

          Considering the relative lack of top quality farmland still available for farming in Ontario and across Canada (the prairies are only suitable for growing grains and grazing cattle) its important that we protect what relatively little top quality farmland we have left. The USA has ten times the population of Canada largely because the have massively more top quality farmland than we do. All that farming creates demand for manufactured goods and financial services. With Canada’s growing population we could very easily become dependent on other countries to grow the basic food we need to feed our citizens. That’s a very bad position for any country to be in. Just because international trade is very stable now doesn’t mean it always will be. Who can saw how the world wide political landscape will change over the next few hundred years?

        • OpportKnocks

          I worked with a guy who with 5 siblings who sold an inherited a family farm on the edge of Whitby and bragged at 40, “It is great to be able to retire on my terms.” I replied; “I would love to be able to retire on your terms too!”

          • dsmithhfx

            I’ve read over the past years in several sources that small/family farming is a life of unrelenting hard work, high risk, social isolation and poverty (assorted agicultural subsidies notwithstanding). Maybe that needs to be addressed.

            Another thing is to restore to agriculture/park land the vast acreage of under-utilized commercial parking lots and brown fields scattered around the city. A use it or lose it law.

          • tomwest

            Loose it to whom?

          • dsmithhfx

            ‘Lose’ it to rezoned agricultural.

          • Ford4ever

            Good luck with that. Even in Canada, where our so-called Charter of Rights and Freedoms is not worth paper it’s written on, seizing privately owned land is something that requires a very high threshold to be met (Thank God!). You might want to try Cuba, I think you would fit right in there comrade.

          • tomwest

            So really “farmers” are the 21st century version of “landed gentry” of old…

          • OpportKnocks

            Becoming a rich “farmer” by cashing out is “location, location, location”

  • una

    Farmlands are crucial for feeding Ontarians now and in the future. Plus the country offers a necessary respite from urban living. But in the Tories future vision you’re right- Quality of life is a meaningless concept.

    • tomwest

      Funny, all the fruit and veg I see in the supermarket come from Mexico or California. The meat comes from Alberta or the USA; the bread is made from wheat from the priaries. The milk comes from Quebec.
      Where’s the Ontario food?

  • http://www.matthewfabb.com/ Matthew Fabb

    Perhaps not in the PC platform, Tim Hudak has said he would cancel the Finch, Sheppard LRT. He would also cancel the electrification of GO trains.

    Hudak also said he would merge the TTC and the GO Transit, one of his few proposals that I agree with.

    • m_ax

      Now he’s said he would only upload Toronto’s subways to GO, leaving the City on the hook for the buses and streetcars.

      I get the case for Regional transit planning. However, uploading the profitable lines only doesn’t accomplish that whatsoever.

    • MER1978

      Actually he has said he would merge the TTC’s subways and GO aka removing highly used profitable lines that help to offset the cost of many other routes that the TTC operates.. a TTC service cut or municipal tax increase in other words.

      • http://www.matthewfabb.com/ Matthew Fabb

        I stand corrected. It was reported earlier on in the election that he would merge them, but I guess later clarified that it would just be the subways.

        That would definitely take a huge amount of money away from the TTC and drive up property taxes to cover costs, or result in cuts to service.

        • MER1978

          I think fully uploading the TTC might be beneficial in order to have fully coordinated planning + scheduling. Given that the subway lines are packed to a large extent because of feeder bus + streetcar lines it seems wrong to not share some of the money generated with routes that supply a lot of the passengers.

          • rich1299

            I absolutely dread the thought that a provincial gov’t hostile to transit could do to local transit in Toronto if they ran they system or even just the subway system. The TTC, including its subways, needs to serve local needs first and foremost that’s what local transit is for. If they upload the TTC then why not every other local transit system across the province? Toronto is its own city and not just a place for people coming to work and/or play from other cities. GO should be doing more to better serve people traveling between cities and not just in the GTA and Hamilton but all across the province.

          • tomwest

            TTC thinks the world stops at their border. If I’m driving into Toronto because the TTC’s cross-border service is poor, than that’s a local problem for Toronto.

          • dsmithhfx

            GO not an option?

    • b_newman

      I love how conservatives decry the other parties as “tax and spend” when they’re all to willing to sell the jewelry and silverware for their own dubious priorities.

      • Ford4ever

        Get a job.

        • b_newman

          Really?

          • Ford4ever

            Really. I know it seems frightening, but it really isn’t that bad.

    • bobloblawbloblawblah

      I can’t for the life of me, see any benefit to carving off the TTC subway lines and placing them under the control of GO/Metrolinx. The city is left with the responsibility of the bus/streetcar routes and no say in the subways. This could lead to a dysfunctional transit system. This idea and Timmy’s 2011 proposal to extend the Yonge Line to Richmond Hill and the very vague plans for the “East-West Relief” line only leave me believing that Hudak and the Tories know little about transit and care little about transit. These are just things they say during a campaign to get votes.

      • rich1299

        All of Hudak’s promises about building new subway lines come with a caveat, he’ll only pay for subways, or any other transit improvement once the deficit is gone and they can afford to build them. That just like Rob Ford’s free subways built the private sector will never happen. Even when the deficit is gone and with the 30% corporate tax cuts (Ontario already has the lowest corporate taxes around) what are the chances a potential Hudak gov’t will ever have multi-billion dollar surpluses in our lifetimes?

        Hudak’s transit plan is a plan to never expand transit.

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    What the hell is unused farmland? Either it’s farmland or it isn’t.

    And is Hudak the only one unaware of the ceaseless condo boom? The city is growing, are the suburbs?

    • m_ax

      It doesn’t matter, we don’t need evidence to back up the claim that people want to live in the suburbs, just this gut feeling that the government shouldn’t be telling people where to live!

      Meanwhile Newstalk1010 routinely takes calls from suburbanites who complain incessantly about rising gas prices, but dammit, everyone should live wherever they want and not have to deal with the consequences of that choice.

    • EDMUNDOCONNOR

      Unused as in unused by developers. Apparently farmers don’t count.

      • torontothegreat

        Unused by farmers. It happens, for many reasons. Ironically it sometimes happens because of policy by (you guessed it) various right wing Tories.

      • tyrannosaurus_rek

        I guess if you can’t see canola or wheat, it isn’t “used”. Never mind grazing and crop rotation; farmers must like sitting on large parcels of land that don’t make them any money. For some reason.

        • torontothegreat

          Just stop, you keep injecting this ignorant viewpoint into this conversation and it’s clear the closest thing to living on a farm you’ve ever experienced is a f’n petting zoo.

          Farmers DO sit on large parcels of land that don’t make them any money. Land is often leased to other farmers (just like rentals, they often sit vacant), the farmer doesn’t have the equipment ATM to farm all of the land, the land has been in the family for too many years, the land is virtually worthless without any outside interests in buying it, so it’s cheaper to keep it and use it for one of the reasons above OR of the other MANY reasons a HUGE swath of land may go completely unused for long periods of time.

          I told you to google this ish, this is been happening for HUNDREDS of years.

          • LTJ

            More often it’s unused because developers already own it. They are just waiting for a Hudak to come along and grant them the right to destroy the greenspace – and cash in on the fact that the farmers weren’t able to earn enough off the land to hold on to it.

          • torontothegreat

            “More often it’s unused because developers already own it”

            Citation needed.

            “cash in on the fact that the farmers weren’t able to earn enough off the land to hold on to it.”

            Don’t blame developers, blame the Mulroney Free Trade Agreement of the 80′s.

            As I’ve already mentioned, most farmers are unable to farm the land because it costs too much, mostly because of global grain prices. Most of the farmers are happy to sell the land to developers because they will get much more for it than selling it to other farmers or privately to an individual.

            Developers do take advantage of the failing farms to get a good price on the land, but it’s much deeper than just pointing the finger at them, it goes back 30+ years and is the direct result of bad policy from Federal and Provincial Tories.

          • tomwest

            Given fruit and vegetable farming is gnerally more profitable than grain farming, people won’t grow grain where they can grow fruit and veg – like they can in Ontario. (But generally can’t in the priairies)
            So, I’m wondering why Ontario farmers ever grew grain, and hence why world grain prices matter.

    • torontothegreat

      “All of this is easily found with a minute of searching online, which you should have done if you wanted to convince anyone you’re motivated by anything other than trollrage.”

      Start with Lying fallow, work your way out from there…

    • torontothegreat

      Seriously are you a f’n computer?

      101010101010101

  • Less_Snark

    Seriously. This is your review of the
    PC platform? All the depth and insight of a rain puddle. You don’t
    even mentioned the plan around the deficit. Where is your coverage of the
    super amazing plans of Wynne or Horwath? I think their plans say
    something like, let’s spend like drunken sailors, because that’s sustainable.
    I get that the Torontoist is slightly left of centre, but this is isn’t giving
    a complete view of what the Conservatives are proposing, or how it balances
    against the other parties. Please challenge
    the platform, but let’s do it a little more constructively and across all the
    parties. Less snark, more substance
    please.

    • dsmithhfx

      what the Conservatives are proposing

      “Mike Harris retread” about sums it up.

    • Canadianskeezix

      First, this isn’t a summary or review of the Tory platform. The article is an opinion on what the platform means for Toronto. You can criticize it for how it addresses that one issue, but criticizing it for not giving a “complete view” of the entire platform completely misses the point.

      Second, Torontoist typically focuses on one party, one candidate or a particuclar event/platform/speech in its election coverage. While I agree that they should also write about the Wynne and Horwath platforms (which they very well might intend to do), it is more than legitimate for them to analyze party platforms individually. The platforms should stand or fall on their own merits. A comparative analysis is not a pre-condition to constructive or informative analysis.

      • Ford4ever

        Actually, yes it is.

    • tomwest
    • Ford4ever

      “SLIGHTLY LEFT OF CENTRE”???? This place is awash with left wing lunatics. These are the kind of people who find the very concept of private property offensive. They will often start off with a petulant diatribe about Indian this and indigenous that, followed by the requisite denunciation of the evil European settlers. You would be better off trying to reason with a rock than trying to extract some sense from a forum like this. I am able to find their simple-minded responses amusing, but others may find it frustrating.

  • colea

    Yes, Canada and Ontario is the place to cry for the lack of farmland.

    • LTJ

      Southern Ontario has much of the best farmland in the country. When it’s all paved over, do you plan to grow tomatoes on the balmy shores of Hudson’s Bay?

  • Frostmoth

    “If” and I hope that is a VERY BIG IF, the Tories are elected provincially….not only would it be a bad day for the future of Ontario, but it shows a terrifying reflection of where Ontarians want to go with their province and the policies of austerity and nihil they wish upon future generations.

  • Maria Marry

    No no I am not agree with that because http://bit.ly/1tFDwSM

  • Astin44

    The increasingly sarcastic tone in this piece is off-putting. I agree that a Hudak government would be terrible, if not disastrous, but being snide about their awful plans just undermines the point.

    That said, I imagine the PC’s will be looking at a minority government, which will collapse faster than Tim can get comfortable in his new chair.

    • MER1978

      “I imagine the PC’s will be looking at a minority government, which will collapse faster than Tim can get comfortable in his new chair.”

      A lot of people myself included were ok with a Harper minority because of that same logic… meanwhile he managed to govern almost as if he had a majority.

    • Christopher Paul Dart

      Why does being snide about their awful plans undermine the point. These are people who want to screw us over every which was possible. Why do we have to be polite to them?

  • Notcleverguy

    The last thing Ontario needs is Tim “the Wal-Mart employee” running anything.

    • wklis

      Wal-Mart announced that it is eliminating 750 jobs in Canada. Tim can do better, by eliminating 100,000 jobs just in Ontario.

  • Common Sense Canadian

    This writer is full of it. Can’t wait to see newspapers and media go bankrupt as that are beyond biased. The media should be giving the news, we don’t need their personal views which are biased as hell. I’m tired of sacrificing and working to keep the socialists and their families housed and feed.

    • dsmithhfx

      What socialists?

    • https://paul.kishimoto.name/ Paul Kishimoto

      —All media have editorial bias; others just lie to you and pretend that they don’t have any. You may find that comforting; I find Torontoist refreshing.
      —If you’re voting PC, you’re eager to sacrifice your poorer neighbours, on the belief that that will keep you employed, housed and fed.

    • bobloblawbloblawblah

      Bias = “doesn’t fit in with my world view”. Truth = “reaffirms my world view”. This article is an opinion piece on the possible effect a Tory government might have on Toronto. As such, it contains a bias, but that’s why it’s opinion, it’s not being presented as news. Really, if you something that reaffirms your political view and outlook on the world, you can always head over to the Toronto Sun.

    • paulsimon

      You have an incorrect screen name.

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      Which editorial-free newspapers and magazines do you read? Because I don’t think they exist.

    • Christopher Paul Dart

      It’s a pretty clearly stated opinion piece.

      • tomwest

        Where does it state it’s an opinion piece? The word “opinion” only appears in the comments

  • Thommy

    Let’s hope none of those new suburban homes hudak is planning on doesn’t catch fire or have any sort of medical emergency because cutting 100,000 civil service jobs will include Fire Fighters and Paramedics

  • Common Sense Canadian

    How can they say Ontario is doing well? There are 37500 teachers who are not teaching and the system is pumping out 12 000 new teachers annually when only 4 000 are retiring. There were 400 lawyers unable to secure an articling position in Ontario this year, Toronto alone laid off 600 nurses this year. Toronto Star, G & M, Quebecor, CBC , Global TV all laid off staff. Mining and lumber companies either closed down or laid off workers. Many of the jobs that have been created have been created because they’ve received subsides. As soon as these subsidizes run out, these businesses will close. Thousands of jobs in manufacturing have disappeared as the cost of electricity is beyond reasonable.
    There is no incentive to work hard under a Liberal government because if you are hard working and responsible they’ll make sure to reap over half of your earnings in taxes. There is also no incentive to work period as the government is prepared to give you a fairly decent life without any effort on your part. It won’t be long when those that are filling government coffers will be working less and then the shit will hit the fan.

    • dsmithhfx

      Ontario already has among the cheapest electric rates in the world, and lowest taxes too. Laying people off doesn’t make jobs, it eliminates them.

      Duh.

      Hudak is a deranged idealogue who wants to bring back the Harris fiasco, Walkerton and all that. If he gets in, he will tank the economy with his idiotic job- destroying scheme and set us back decades.

      You better pray he loses, the OPC sees the light and turfs him.

      • Common Sense Canadian

        Ontario’s electricity rates are double that of Manitoba and Quebec and for that reason many manufacturing jobs, mining jobs and lumber mill jobs are now gone. Without subsides the automobile assembly plants would be all closed. Walkerton’s problems were the result of two drunks not doing their job.

        • dsmithhfx

          Ooh gosh, and those jobs migrated to Manitoba and Quebec? Please.

          “Without subsides the automobile assembly plants would be all closed”

          Yes.

          Walkerton’s dead and sick people were caused by Mike Harris and Tim Hudak laying off provincial water quality inspectors. Timbit wants a rematch.

          Still think that’s a good idea? Lucky for you, and all of us, no one else does.

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      “There is no incentive to work hard under a Liberal government because if you are hard working and responsible they’ll make sure to reap over half of your earnings in taxes.”

      And then waste it on hiring teachers and nurses and creating jobs with subsidies! Waitasecond…

    • Steveinto

      You have no doubt convinced yourself this true. Do you also take food off your children’s plates to feed your needs to eat more.

      • Common Sense Canadian

        You don’t have children if you can’t afford to feed them.

        • dsmithhfx

          That never happens! Oh wait…

        • tyrannosaurus_rek

          “You shouldn’t have children if you plan on losing your job in the next two decades.”

    • Christopher Paul Dart

      This is just not facts. People still work hard, and living on social assistance still sucks.

    • tomwest

      “There is no incentive to work hard under a Liberal government because if you are hard working and responsible they’ll make sure to reap over half of your earnings in taxes.”
      Incorrect.
      Top federal tax rate is 29%. Top Ontario tax rate is 13.16%. So that makes a top rate of 42.16%. That’s less than half.

      • bobloblawbloblawblah

        And who pays 42% anyway? Everyone has deductions to bring down the amount of income tax paid. No one likes paying taxes but we all want highways and roads in good shape and we all want better transit and we all like healthcare system, so somehow all these things need to be paid for. It all comes down what kind of society one wants to live in. You can’t pay less and keep the same services, despite what politicians like For and Hudak say.

      • Marc

        And those are marginal tax rates. Average/effective individual tax rate will be much less. Quick calculation showed 35% average at 120k/year.

        https://apps.cra-arc.gc.ca/ebci/rhpd/s-handleInterview.do

      • Common Sense Canadian

        The top marginal tax rate is higher than what your stating. Wynne is proposing a surtax on those earning in excess of $150 000. Internists spend ten years acquiring their qualifications and owe hundreds of thousands by the time they can commence working. I guess in your world they should work for nothing so you can continue to socialize/spend.

        • dsmithhfx

          Nice confabulation greedy boy. Hate to spoil the party but unpaid interns != top bracket tax dodgers.

        • tyrannosaurus_rek

          Oh those poor lawyers, making enough in their first few years after articling to pay off all of their student loans and jump into a higher tax bracket with each breath. How can we be so cruel as to slightly increase the taxes on the multimillionaire doctors who incorporate and split their salaries to dodge income taxes the rest of us pay?

          • torontothegreat

            RACE TO THE BOTTOM!!!!
            Don’t throw yourself into the death pit of mediocrity! Damn people for educating themselves and having to strive to become something more than a guy that argues with people about fonts on the internet.

        • tomwest

          “The top marginal tax rate is higher than what your stating”
          No, it is not.

    • Marc

      Notice the quotes around that paragraph? It is quoting the hypothetical future Ontario after 10 years of Hudak’s PC policies. The “they” you are demonizing is not the author or Torotoist, but an opinion of future news *might* be.

      http://ontariopc.com/millionjobsplan/plan.pdf Pg 23

    • rich1299

      The Harris/Eves gov’t is the reason we have high electricity costs, before them when we had a fully public system we only paid what it actually cost to produce electricity. Harris/Eves wanted to privatize our entire hydro system but stopped part way through after they realized how high electricity costs were going because of privatization. The price of hydro jumped 60% in just one year after they sold off our publicly owned power plants for a lot less than they cost to build. The reason we pay a debt retirement charge today is because they sold (possibly a long term lease though I’m pretty sure was sold) a once publicly owned nuclear plant for a fraction of what it cost us to build it.

      Ontario Hydro took on debt to build that nuclear plant yet the Harris/Eves gov’t sold it for such a low price it didn’t even come close to covering the debt incurred in building it let alone creating profit for Ontario from its sale. The politically connected company who bought it got a great bargain and a licence to print money since their profits are guaranteed by the contract they signed with the Harris gov’t. All future contracts became secret so we could no longer know just how badly we were being ripped off.

      Hudak was part of that gov’t and he knew exactly why the privatization of our remaining publicly owned system was stopped because of how fast electricity prices were rising. Despite that he now wants to fully privatize our remaining power plants that still sell us electricity at what it cost them to produce it as well as the transmission system that still only charges us what it costs to maintain the transmission system. He knows full well this will send electricity prices skyrocketing even faster than previously. They continued going up under the Ont Libs but at a lower rate than they went up under the Harris/Eves PCs.

      How can Hudak seriously claim to lower our electrical bills when he knows his plan to fully privatize the remaining publicly owned system will significantly increase what we pay since we’ll have to start paying for profits instead of the cost of production and maintenance alone? The Harris/Eves had the sense to stop the privatization process when they saw just how fast the cost of electricity was increasing. They too planned to fully privatize the entire system just like Hudak is promising but they backed away from it because of the massive price increases.

      Hudak is betting that enough people now blame the Ont Libs for the high cost of electricity they’ll forget how little we used to pay back when we had a publicly owned system. Or perhaps he’s hoping they’ll remember that prices continued to increase, as per the contracts Harris signed and assuming the rest had guaranteed profit increases the same as the couple of contracts that were made public before they became secret deals, when the Libs were in office so blame them instead. I suppose the Ont Libs could’ve cancelled those contracts but we would’ve had to pay the company who signed them all the future profits they were guaranteed by the Harris gov’t.

      Though the Ont Libs most likely could’ve done more to build more publicly owned power plants selling us electricity at cost but its also possible that under our multiple free trade deals once the sector became open to private companies no new publicly owned power plants could be allowed to compete with them. I’m not 100% sure about that. Still you can blame the Ont Libs for the green energy part of our hydro bills, but they only account for 4% of what we pay. Plus green energy is much better for our environment and health and helps to lower our health care costs especially with the Wynne Libs outlawing coal generation which caused many premature deaths and ER admissions.

    • rich1299

      If you seriously think trying to survive on what you get from OW or ODSP provides “you a fairly decent life without any effort on your part” you are seriously deluded. Perhaps in some small town in the middle of nowhere OW and ODSP is enough to survive on, forget “fairly decent life”, that’s like calling having your leg ripped off a minor flesh wound, but in any city especially larger cities where the vats majority of people on OW and ODSP live its not enough to survive on, it isn’t even enough to meet the essentials of life. ODSP comes closer to being survivable depending on the nature of the disability, if you can live with room mates ODSP is survivable but for many that’s simply impossible due to the nature of the disability especially for people with mental health problems, its no accident there are so many homeless mentally ill people, they’re homeless because the system doesn’t work for them. OW isn’t enough to feed yourself and provide shelter of any sort even of the worst kind unless you;re getting extra help from someone who can afford to help you out. Gov’t’s know that OW and ODSP is inadequate to meet the needs of the people receiving them, that is after all why food banks came into existence.

      Remember we never used to have food banks or they were extremely few and far between before the Harris PCs slashed the OW rates and the ODSP rate has been essentially frozen ever since despite the occasional 1% increase which doesn’t even keep up with inflation so in practice many small cuts are made to the system every year. Nowadays food banks are everywhere and getting busier all the time. That’s clear proof OW, ODSP, and our min. wage are meeting the minimum needs of people.

      I suggest you try living in Toronto on $606 per month if you think that will provide you a “decent life”. You have to pay rent out of that, feed yourself, take transit and supposedly find a job. Being extremely poor is a massive amount of work that people like yourself can’t imagine. Its little things that add up like having to do your laundry by hand in your bath tub because you can’t afford the laundry machines, walking extremely long distances because you can’t afford transit, if you have food it isn’t the pre-processed sort, unless the place you’re living in doesn’t have a stove, oven, or fridge and you have no other choice. Being poor is also far more expensive than having an adequate income since you cannot shop at different stores chasing sales, you can’t afford to buy the larger packages that are cheaper per unit, there’s a whole host of other things that are cheaper for people of decent income than for extremely poor.

      After all that your so exhausted and focused on just surviving another day how are you supposed to look for a job on top of all that? Chances are you don’t have a phone, a computer or no internet, though often people on ODSP will still have these things from when they were working. Its an exhausting life regardless and not at all conducive to job hunting. People may not be dieing from starvation but they’re becoming ill from malnourishment. Every year since the Harris cuts to OW, including the Ont Libs refusal to undo those cuts many dozens more people have been dying on the streets of Toronto every year, well over 700 have died since stats started being collected in 1985, only about 20-30 of those deaths, a few per year, happened between 1985 and 1995 over 10 years when the cuts were made. About 680-? people died from homelessnes in the following 20 years. If well over 700 people had been murdered by the same person over a 20 year period they’d be the worst mass murderer in history, how is it different when those people are being killed by gov’t policy instead of a person?

  • RyanP

    The PC platform will take us into an Ayn Rand future? The left gets so hysterical about the slightest drift to the right. This platform is nothing close to the laissez faire capitalism of Rand. Ten years from now when the public sector is say 10% bigger than today, you will bemoan the radical extremism of reducing it by a few percent.

    • dsmithhfx

      Who mentioned “Ayn Rand”? Oh, you did. No hysteria, Tiny Tim is going to lose.

      • tyrannosaurus_rek

        “The PC platform that will guide us into this Ayn Rand-meets-The Jetsons future has been widely and justifiably lambasted in the media as implausible.”

        Fourth paragraph. Emphasis added.

        • dsmithhfx

          You expect me to RTFA? Come on!

  • b_newman

    Ask Hudak that question. A huge number of Ontario’s highways were downloaded to municipalities when he was part of the Harris government.

  • torontothegreat

    It’s actually about 7.8, which is approximately 709,293.5km2 , Not exactly as insignificant as you’re trying to make it seem.

    • rich1299

      Considering Canada’s growing population its not that much. We’ll be in a bad situation if we have to rely on other countries to feed our own citizens and I don’t mean having year round leaf lettuce or mangoes or whatnot. Just because international trade is stable right now doesn’t mean it always will be in the future.

      • torontothegreat

        There is no way we can ever be self-sustained with regards to feeding our own citizens, unless our citizens adhered to strict dietary changes and limits. We will always rely on other countries as Canada is unable to produce most of the food we consume.

      • torontothegreat

        If 7.8% of land is farmable and 89% of land in Canada is un-livable, that 7.8% is actually extremely significant.

  • dsmithhfx

    So, not seen the Sun.

  • Notcleverguy

    I can’t believe this guy hasn’t denounced Rob Ford at all, he’s just skirted the issue.

    I can only surmise that Hudak too likes crack, hanging with gangsters, misogyny, racism and binge drinking. Sorry Tim, until you come out publicly and denounce Ford as a politician, the guy your party tied itself to in 2010, I can’t take you seriously as a person let alone a politician.

  • tomwest

    Tories want to create one million jobs.
    Unemployment in Ontario in April 2014 was 555,600
    Could Torontoist please either point this out, or find out how these two facts square together?

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      Everyone gets two part-time jobs in the service industry without any transferable skills, without any job security or real prospects for contributing to the economy beyond perhaps becoming a regional manager for some foreign-owned retailer.

    • dsmithhfx

      “Paul Boothe, a professor with the Ivey Business School and a former deputy minister in the Harper government, suggested the plan might create as few as 75,000 new jobs. Writing in Macleans magazine, Boothe noted the new jobs are outweighed by Hudak’s pledge to cut 100,000 public service jobs in his first four years as premier.

      Pointing to labour economist Jim Stanford’s analysis, Boothe wrote the PCs conflated “person years of employment” with permanent jobs created — so each job was counted eight times over the eight-year plan.

      Fellow Ivey professor Mike Moffatt, writing in Canadian Business, agreed with Stanford’s analysis. As did Scott Clark and Peter DeVries, two former senior administrators in the federal Finance Department, in a post on the website iPolitics.”

      http://www.thestar.com/news/ontario_election/2014/05/28/hudak_brushes_aside_criticism_of_jobs_numbers.html

      • tomwest

        Ah. On that basis, Hudak’s had 19 jobs since he was elected.

  • tomwest

    Most of the cities aren’t in the priairies, but a lot of farmland is.

    • rich1299

      The prairies aren’t really suitable for growing much more than grains. Grains are very important when it comes to feeding people but only a relatively little bit of land in southern Ontario and Quebec and parts of BC can grow pretty much any sort of veggies or fruits.

  • rich1299

    As for fare integration I’m totally opposed, it will mean riders from
    outside Toronto won’t be contributing anything to the upkeep of the TTC
    even though they’re using it. The don’t subsidize the TTC with their
    taxes like Torontonians do so the only way they contribute to the
    system’s costs is through the price of their TTC fare. Unless there is
    some currently unknown way to guarantee that all future provincial
    gov’ts will be contributing to the TTC operating and maintenance costs
    to cover the lost income then riders coming into the city and riding the
    TTC need to contribute to its costs instead of putting the entire
    burden on Torontonians.

  • torontothegreat

    I also was raised on a farm, worked on a farm and had family that owned farms.

    So you’re saying that NAFTA had ZERO affect on farmers and the price of their crops? Driving them down to the point that the land was worth more than the crop itself? Decades of lost ROI and now finally land prices are being driven up by low interest rates, and capital gains exemptions, which allows farmers to gain back some of these losses and liabilities.

    I agree, the answer IS much more complex than what can be written in a comment box, which is exactly what I’m refuting. Particularly these comments:

    What the hell is unused farmland? Either it’s farmland or it isn’t.

    farmers must like sitting on large parcels of land that don’t make them any money

    More often it’s unused because developers already own it

    So if you do agree with these comments, I’m all ears (eyes?) to your experienced point of view. My experienced point of view is that these statements are grossly untrue.

    Fake outrage and trollrage towards developers (and in this case the OPC – whom I dislike, so as not to try to defend them) is both unfair and untrue.

    • dsmithhfx

      When you don’t turn your responses into a grudge match, you have some worthwhile observations.

      Just sayin’ ;-)

      • Ford4ever

        Where is the fun in that?

  • Ford4ever

    What a bunch of tripe! The author’s fixation with the grim reaper suggests that a prozac prescription may be in order. This kind of drivel masquerading as journalism is an indictment of our floundering educational system where children are told to “discover” math. Years later prospective employers then “discover” that job applicants are not only illiterate, but frequently also innumerate. With respect to jets, they are indeed cool, although the author’s paraphrasing of PC documents is more that a little suspect. If the people of Ontario are gullible enough to reelect the Liberals I shudder to think what will become of this province. Of course, another minority government raises the very real specter of another election perhaps within six to twelve months. As far as the so-called “greenbelt” is concerned, even the NDP know that some of that land is going to be made available for development at some point; you can only build so many condominiums before you need to consider horizontal development as well. Still, there is a certain degree of entertainment to be had in watching the lunatic left trying desperately to avoid reality and remain in their bizarro world bubble.

  • Ford4ever

    TIME FOR FULL DISCLOSURE…Honestly, how many people posting here have a full time job?

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