6 comments

  1. A large portion of inequality is the result of lack of opportunity. A lot of the jobs that were tolerant of new immigrants language skills moved out of the city into the 905 (now they are moving out of the country, but that is another issue) Rahul Bhardwaj et al. are missing this point and really need to look the stats. (see attachment 3, page 50 here….. http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/2005/agendas/council/cc051026/pofedp2rpt/cl001.pdf ). The suburbs do not need public transit to get across the city when their jobs are increasingly outside of the city. They especially don’t need the added burden of funding paying for it.

    By having supported Rob Ford, Toronto’s suburbanites behaved rationally, choosing a do nothing mayor over a do the wrong thing mayor. Until Toronto fixes its tax climate towards non residential development, I suspect that they will continue to vote for those whom propose to do the least harm.

  2. Glen, you must be the most boring person alive. Every single issue and argument for you is brought back to business tax rates.

    You are a broken record.

  3. @Glen
    If those jobs are now moving out of the country, doesn’t it imply that fixing Toronto’s non-residential (including multi-unit residential) tax rates isn’t going to do much good? Nevertheless, a phased-in reduction of these rates been part of Council policy for the past decade. Doesn’t Rob Ford’s obsession with freezing residential tax rates (and insistence on unneeded subways) conflict with such an attempt to rebalance rates, which would put him squarely in the do-the-wrong-thing category of mayors?

    Separately, why should the location of jobs north of Steeles vs. south of Steeles translate into not building public transit? All it would seem to imply to me is that we should also be improving cross-border services to better connect the 416 with the 905.

  4. @John,

    It still is imperative for the city to respond to this issue. While the city has a certain amount of employment that is attached to the core, mainly the F.I.R.E. sectors, there is a risk that as continued expansion outside of the core could create enough agglomeration as to heavily impact it. There is also in inescapable reality that when a government is restrained from running deficits or surpluses that when one sector pays less the other must pay more. What this means is that in Toronto, the fact that the residential sector pays less, it is implicit that they are subsidized by the sectors that pay more. Growth in the residential sector needs offsetting growth in the non residential sector to offset the shortfall in revenue over expenses. In this regard, Toronto is going through something akin to an inverse bubble. There is going to come a time, IMO soon, that residential taxes are going to have to rise much faster than the cost to provide new or existing services. While the city has in place a program to partially re-balance the rates, it is inadequate and glacial. I do agree with you that Rob Fords love affair with subways is misplaced and that residential tax freezes are the opposite of what is needed. Both will hamper the necessary re-balancing. The only positive is that a residential tax freeze implies a non-residential tax freeze as well. While on paper the re-balancing is stalled, in reality the tax burden on the over taxes sectors does not increase.

    WRT to transit, during the time when the city was loosing jobs and the 905 region created over 800,000 jobs, congestion in the city and region got worse. Yet the solutions being proposed was to increase PT within the city. With the cost of transit expansion falling heavily on those whom will still not be able to benefit. The only common sense heard on this issue has come from the transit panel, which has acknowledged that transit expansion should serve employment areas. Furthermore they have acknowledged that employment projections for the city of Toronto are entirely unrealistic.

  5. You are a credit to the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, and Sociology in general – sadly that isn’t saying much. Without a doubt, your alienated friends would rather spend an hour with Ford than 10 minutes with Jennifer Keesmaat, Rahul Bhardwaj or yourself. Keep fighting the good fight – or what ever it is you think you are doing.

  6. Thanks for the kind words Ted, really appreciate it 🙂 I don’t know if I’d put myself in the same league as Keesmaat and Bhardwaj, but do appreciate the kind words.

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