The mayoralty in her sights, Councillor Karen Stintz has already begun to lay the foundation for her 2010 platform.
With more than three years to go before nominations open, the North Toronto councillor is offering a distinctly more ideologically right-wing platform than this city has seen from a mainstream candidate since amalgamation.
Stintz outlined her approach to municipal government at a couple of recent speeches, including one to the Economic Club of Toronto.
The City of Toronto, in general terms, has user-funded programs and programs funded off of the property tax base. Stintz sees the latter as inefficient and wants the market to determine what services are offered, where and when through user fees for just about everything the law will allow. The second-term councillor feels that this will reduce the burden on the property tax base and inform where service cuts get made in the future. The burden Stintz seems alarmingly unconcerned about is the one that will be bourn by Toronto’s most vulnerable residents.
Stintz is looking to split up the work of the City into smaller contracts and then allow the existing civic unions to bid against private contractors. The intent here is to drive down the cost of labour and give management more control of the terms of employment (also known as union busting.) What Stintz hasn’t grappled with is the fact that the City has a terrible record when it comes to managing contracts with the private sector and the moral issues involved in the â€œrace to the bottomâ€ mentality.
By putting this on the table now, Stintz seems to be looking to get elected with a mandate that would allow her to hold out as long as necessary during what you can be sure would be the ugliest of ugly strikes in 2012.
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I’m more than a little perplexed by municipal politicians who want to allow the provincial government to take control of so much Toronto real estate. Then again, this fits in well with Stintz’s ideological push to split the unions. If you aren’t familiar with the issue, here is Dale Duncan’s take.
Stintz is looking for an end to the One Cent Now campaign. Instead, the card-carrying Conservative thinks that Toronto should work around Stephen Harper’s priorities, especially childcare and corporate tax cuts. Given Harper’s track record on the cities file and with Toronto specifically, I find it mind boggling that any local politician would tie themselves so closely to this federal government.
…Now that’s a platform Milton Friedman would be proud of.
Photo courtesy City of Toronto.