I Hate to Say I Told You So…

In May I posted about the upcoming Toronto City Services Review, and the survey you NEEDED to fill in.

In June I posted about the Toronto City Services Review Roundtable that I attended.

It’s now July and the results are coming in. Derek Flack has a fulsome article in BlogTO  – italics mine.

“As far as levels of service go, City spending seems anything but outrageous. “Over half of the services that report through the Public Works Committee are provided “at standard,” which is generally the level required by provincial legislation or the level generally provided by other municipalities,” reads the report. “30% of services are provided at slightly above standard offering some opportunities for cost reduction by lowering the service level provided. 17% of services are delivered slightly below or below standard.”

Let me get this straight – we offer excellent services in some areas and we’re going to save money by dropping the standard? I thought Rob Ford ran on a platform of customer service?

Royson James of the Star questions this as well.

“a list of nickel-and-dime, nip-and-tuck manoeuvres — Toronto could potentially, possibly, save up to $10 million to $15 million in departments that spend $1 billion, one-third of which comes from taxes.”

Apparently there’s no gravy. Not even au jus. Not even pan drippings. When I was at the roundtable the woman next to me cheered when someone mentioned getting back the $60 car tax. I asked her if she realized that was one of the reasons we were here. You could tell by her face she did not.

I’m baffled, bewildered and sad. And then my bewilderment ceases when I read the comments section and realize exactly the type of person who voted for this mess. This is a choice one from Chris Hume’s article yesterday:

Stop these freeloaders, Rob!
Here’s what I don’t understand. I am REQUIRED to pay 100% property taxes even though I use only a fraction of the services I pay for. I don’t use community centres, fire services, parks, schools, skating rinks, EMS, swimming pools or waterfront trails. My house and my commercial properties are built, so I don’t care about planning or permits. I don’t need city engineers or clerks or landscapers or economic development people or animal control or daycare or shelters or, for the love of Judas, the TTC or bike lanes(ugh!)! So that means I pay for all the freeloading punks and hippies who don’t contribute anything but use everything. It’s no wonder Mayor Ford wisely spends his free time in Muskoka. I know our Mayor will make things right again.

It’s signed Conservative to the Core. I hope for his sake (I really do) that we never get to this point.

ETA: In the interest of presenting all sides, here’s a link to Sue Ann Levy’s column – she thinks there’s still gravy somewhere.


Fringe is on all week and it’s amazingly amazingly popular – shows are selling out, lineups were in place and here’s a view of the Fringe Club last night. You know, because nobody goes out on a Monday. Photo by Gideon Arthurs.

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