Wednesday, March 11, 2009

David Miller’s Toronto: a money-sucking cesspool

Toronto the good has turned into a dysfunctional quagmire of filth and anger

By Klaus Rohrich Wednesday, March 11, 2009

As a former resident of the City of Toronto, nothing is more disheartening than to see the depths to which my once favourite city has descended. What used to be known as “Toronto the good” has turned into a dysfunctional quagmire of filth and anger. The socialist regime running the city since 2003 has managed to run it into the ground, all while raising the costs to taxpayers.

Whereas Toronto was once known for its cleanliness, the streets of the city today are littered with trash. The homeless blithely unroll bedrolls in the middle of city streets and catch forty winks, as visitors to the city have to be careful not to step on them.

The rampant development of countless condominiums has raised the city’s core’s density and also reduced the amount of open space and parking spaces. An automobile hostile régime is actively working on keeping cars out of the city while doing little or nothing to improve access to or the quality of public transportation. City streets have been narrowed from four lanes to two lanes, in most cases utilizing what was once a lane for vehicles as an exclusive bicycle lane. And while encouraging its citizens to ride bicycles is admirable because it is a healthy activity, Toronto is located in a region where bicycles are impractical for at least half the year.

This year the city levied another property tax increase on its hapless citizens that was double the rate of inflation and increased user and permit fees, that combined, amount to a total of 12% in tax increases. Yet Mayor David Miller blithely denies this to be the case, even as the few non-socialist members of city council prove him wrong by doing the math.

The priorities of David Miller appear to have little relevance to the common people of Toronto, those working to pay the freight, as a brief look at what Toronto spends its money on will prove. In its massive $8.7 billion budget is an “Access and Equity Grants Program” that distributes cash on a scale that would make even Barak Obama blush. The interesting thing about the recipients of most of these grants is that they tend to be left-leaning “community organizations”, such as the 519 Church Street Community Centre, the Afghan Women’s Centre, The Association of Sudanese Women in Research and Development, the Eritrean Canadian Community Centre, the Lesbian and Gay Community Appeal of Toronto, the Rainbow Health Network, etc., etc.

Yet when it comes to things like swimming pools, parks and libraries, the City of Toronto is hamstrung, as the needs of all the people are abrogated to meet the needs of a few. Toronto voters, those working in the private sector and actually ponying up the cash for all these extravagant programs are treated like mushrooms, as Miller and his gang feeds them manure and keeps them in the dark.

I mention the private sector because if you’re one of the fortunate people working for the City of Toronto, then no extravagance is too great, given the salary levels that city workers currently enjoy. If you’re a daycare worker in a City of Toronto daycare centre, you’re earning upward of $60,000 per year for wiping snot off toddlers’ noses. Library workers and Parks Department employees do equally well. The kicker is that in this worldwide recession the unions representing these spoiled jackanapes don’t think this is enough and are asking for wage increases.

Last Summer David Miller went on a trip to China, ostensibly to drum up business for Toronto. What sort of business I have yet to figure out, as I understand the global economy tends to support China exporting goods to the west, rather than importing them from Toronto. I can’t even think of anything that Toronto produces that might interest the Chinese. My guess is that Miller was much more interested in getting away from the flak flying around city hall, so he went on a junket, thanks to Toronto taxpayers.

Last year, the City of Toronto sent $200,000 to Botswana to fight AIDS and is now shipping ambulances to El Salvador to improve healthcare there. One wonders what an extra $200,000 might have done if it were spent on programs that actually serve the residents of the City of Toronto. But given that Miller and his socialist minions aren’t all that interested in the residents of Toronto, except in how to con them into reelection, this question goes unanswered.

For years, Toronto socialists have been organizing powerful voting blocs that will ensure perpetual governance by NDP types, whose prime concern is to buy good will for themselves using other people’s money. The evidence of this travesty is apparent in every part of the city. Unless Toronto voters wake up and smell the coffee, the city’s deterioration will continue unchecked.

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