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RCO





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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

it also came out this week its going to cost $1 billion more to repair the gardiner expressway , it seems bizarre to talk about putting tolls on this road to pay for public transit when the road itself needs $billions in repairs )



Tory says $1B cost increase for Gardiner rehabilitation won't eat into toll revenue

Gardiner Expressway
Vehicles makes there way into and out of downtown Toronto along the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto on Thursday, November 24, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette


Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Friday, November 25, 2016 8:24AM EST
Last Updated Friday, November 25, 2016 11:55AM EST


A $1 billion increase in the budget for the rehabilitation of the Gardiner Expressway will not eat into the proceeds from proposed road tolls along the Gardiner and the Don Valley Parkway, Mayor John Tory says.

A staff report that was released on Thursday morning revealed that the budget for the rehabilitation of the highway has risen from $2.57 billion in September, 2015 to $3.637 billion as of this August but in an interview with CP24 on Friday morning Tory promised that the increase won’t cut into the revenue from potential road tolls that could raise $166 million annually for needed infrastructure projects.

The $2 flat-rate tolls, which were endorsed by Tory on Thursday, still need to be approved by city council. The provincial government would also have to make a legislative change to the City of Toronto Act to allow the tolls.

“The fact of the matter is that the money to pay for a large part of the Gardiner replacement, which has to be done - that expressway is at the end of its life - most of that was provided for in city’s capital budget in next 10 years,” Tory said. “Money from tolls is new money that is going to come in. Most of that will be available for transit but it was also described by me as being available for road repairs as well. That’s why it is important that we establish the principal that those who use the road, including those who don’t live in Toronto, should help in small way with paying for it.”

The staff report attributed most of the increase to the budget for the Gardiner to the lack of federal funding. It said that the city’s initial math assumed that the project would be eligible for up to $820 million in federal infrastructure dollars, however the federal government has to date given no indication that they will come to the table.

The staff report also pointed out that the province has not indicated a willingness to provide funding at this point, citing its priority to instead invest “approximately $15 billion over ten years in regional transit projects.”

As a result of the budget increase, the staff report says the city will face a shortfall of $984 million between 2018 and 2022.

It should be noted that Tory has said that the road tolls along the DVP and the Gardiner could not go into effect until 2019 at the earliest.

http://www.cp24.com/news/tory-.....-1.3176444
RCO





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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( were now headed into uncharted waters with brown now saying he'd take them down but Toronto city hall saying they have a right to put them up ? confusing )



Patrick Brown @brownbarrie tells the Oakley show that he will "take down" any tolls to Gardiner/DVP by Tory/Wynne http://bit.ly/2gDprHZ



BREAKING: Patrick Brown says he would repeal any highway tolls added by Tory/Wynne


Toronto, ON, Canada / Talk Radio AM640

Tony Tedesco


Posted: November 29, 2016 04:17 pm



Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario leader Patrick Brown joins the Oakley show to talk about his opinions on tolls. During the interview he promises to take down any tolls added to the current Gardiner and DVP highways.


http://www.640toronto.com/2016.....ref=direct
RCO





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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PC’s Patrick Brown urges Wynne to derail John Tory’s road tolls


Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown wants Premier Kathleen Wynne to erect a roadblock to Mayor John Tory’s plan to toll the DVP and the Gardiner.


Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown explains to reporters at Queen's Park on Tuesday that Premier Kathleen Wynne should stop Mayor John Tory's plan to toll the Don Valley Parkway and the Gardiner Expressway.


By Robert BenzieQueen's Park Bureau Chief

Tues., Dec. 6, 2016



Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown wants Premier Kathleen Wynne to put up a roadblock on Mayor John Tory’s plan to toll the Don Valley Parkway and the Gardiner Expressway.

“Life is hard under the Liberals. Families can’t afford this new toll tax,” Brown told reporters on the front lawn of Queen’s Park on Tuesday.

“This isn’t about John Tory. This is about Kathleen Wynne’s underfunding of municipalities,” he said.

Brown, who will introduce a motion in the Legislature on Thursday to derail Tory’s scheme, said a Conservative government would make up for the lost toll revenue by managing infrastructure dollars better.

The mayor has said tolls on the two city-owned highways could bring in between $200 million and $300 million annually to fund transportation infrastructure such as his SmartTrack express rail transit plan.


Tory, who led the Conservatives between 2004 and 2009, was not amused by his successor’s announcement.

“If Patrick Brown is trying to score cheap political points in the 905, maybe he should have championed a plan to fix people’s commutes into Toronto,” Amanda Galbraith, Tory’s director of communications, said in an email.

“Now, he needs to explain to Toronto residents why he’s happy to let them live in a city that can’t afford to fight traffic or build transit,” said Galbraith.


“With a toll of around $2, drivers can contribute to better roads and transit, ease congestion and speed up their own travel times. This is what the public wants done. This is the way we get there. It’s a smart, prudent, fiscally conservative plan — something the Ontario PCs used to get behind,” she said.



Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca was also scornful of Brown’s pitch.

“Today’s stunt by Patrick Brown makes it painfully clear that the Conservatives ‎have no plan to invest in transit and transportation infrastructure, and are unwilling to work as partners with municipalities,” Del Duca said in a statement.

“Instead of holding a press conference to explain his plan to relieve congestion and invest in transit, Brown decided it was more important to criticize the approach of an elected mayor, a mayor who has a plan to fight congestion in the city of Toronto by investing in transportation.”

Councillor Ana Bailao (Ward 18, Davenport) said in a separate statement that “Mr. Brown needs to tell the residents of Toronto what his plan is.”

“Why does he want Toronto to choke on traffic? If he doesn’t, how is he going to pay for transit and fix our traffic? Double-digit tax increases? Selling hydro? Or will he restore the 50-per-cent operating funding for the TTC that the last PC government cut? Will he propose to upload the social housing that was previously downloaded onto all Ontario municipalities?” said Bailao.

“What we have in front of us is a plan to build transit and fix the traffic that is strangling our city,” she said, adding that council only had three choices.

“We could raise property taxes across the city between five and 10 per cent, devastating many seniors and other homeowners. We could sell city assets like Toronto Hydro, something the city can only do once and would not provide a sustainable source of funding.

“Instead, we are looking at other sources of revenue, including road tolls which is fair, transparent, impacts the least amount of Toronto residents and brings in steady money to build transit projects over the long-term.”


https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/12/06/ontario-tories-urge-wynne-to-reject-tolls-on-gardiner-don-valley-parkway.html
RCO





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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( what a joke John Tory has turned into , having to get close to Wynne to bring in this ridiculous plan to toll the highways around Toronto )


Kathleen Wynne will co-operate with John Tory’s toll plan


Premier will approve Toronto mayor’s proposal to toll the Don Valley Parkway and the Gardiner Expressway.


Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has endorsed Toronto Mayor John Tory's plan to introduce road tolls on the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has endorsed Toronto Mayor John Tory's plan to introduce road tolls on the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway. (Chris Young / THE CANADIAN PRESS)




By Robert BenzieQueen's Park Bureau Chief

Wed., Dec. 7, 2016



Premier Kathleen Wynne will give the green light to Mayor John Tory’s proposal to toll the Don Valley Parkway and the Gardiner Expressway to bankroll transportation infrastructure.

“If Mayor Tory and his council determine that they would like to embark on a tolling of certain roads — local roads in the city of Toronto — then we will work with them,” Wynne told reporters Wednesday at an announcement related to the Eglinton Crosstown LRT project.

“Because I think that it’s important that they have the ability to raise the money to augment (provincial funding), because we’re investing billions of dollars in Toronto,” she said.

“If there’s more that they need to do, they need to find resources to do that and we need to co-operate with them as they make those decisions,” the premier said.

“Having said that, there hasn’t been a request come forward. Council hasn’t had a vote yet and I think we owe it to the city of Toronto and the council to allow them to have that discussion.”

With Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown vowing to stop Tory from tolling the two city-owned highways, Wynne said such transit should not be a “political football.”

“We’re standing on a line that had the previous Conservative government not filled in the hole we would have had a subway running along Eglinton Ave.,” she said, referring to former Tory premier Mike Harris’s decision a generation ago to scrap the Eglinton underground, cementing the tunnels so they couldn’t be repurposed for the new Crosstown LRT.

“That was the kind of short-term thinking that I absolutely think has no business in politics.”



But Brown warned allowing Toronto to toll its highways would be the thin edge of the wedge, enabling other municipalities to engage in road-pricing.

“It takes a provincial regulation to toll the DVP and the Gardiner. What would Kathleen Wynne say if the mayor of Richmond Hill or the mayor of Vaughan or the mayor of Mississauga now ask for tolls?” said the PC leader.

“This is going to create a war of tolls,” said Brown, who is tabling a motion opposing the fees in the legislature on Thursday.

Tory, who was Conservative leader from 2004 to 2009, has been urging a $2 toll on the two highways in order to pay for new public transit and road improvements and isn’t happy with the signals from his former party.

“I know John quite well. We’ve talked many times since I became PC leader,” said Brown, playing down his rift with the mayor.

“He’s been very clear to me, he can’t criticize Kathleen Wynne. He needs to be nice to this government otherwise he loses his infrastructure funding, so I get that. I get the politics around that.”

https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2016/12/07/wynne-says-tory-toll-plan-fine-by-her.html
Bugs





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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is getting a little nutsy.

As far as I am concerned, the fairest principle is that the user pays for the services (s)he uses. So road taxes should pay for these improvements, in the ratio that is appropriate for the traffic.

But that won't work.

What people have to realise is that public transportation is in the hands of the municipality. People in Toronto pay large ticket prices to run a transportation system that the biggest beneficiaries live in neighbouring communities. The result is that the ticket prices are too high for many inner-city people, who are politically voiceless.

Consider the 60-something woman who has to get to the local Pricechopper for groceries. If she doesn't cheat, it will cost her $6 and she may have to take two trips in a week because she can't carry the kitty litter and the potatoes on the same trip. And she may only be going two or three stops.

Contrast that to the suburbanite, who, for the same $6, gets to ride all the way from the border of the city to their jobs. They get on first, and get a seat, and they get a discount because they buy a pass. If they are a civil servant, they get a further discount, which we call the Bolshevik advantage. It's a bargain.

It's was so bad, last I lived there, that 'unofficial taxis' loitered around these malls, and negotiated prices on the spot. I saw lots of women come together, in cabs, and take another cab back, cheaper than the TTC! In fact, if four people wanted to go to a downtown movie, they could (before the city lowered the taxi rates) hire a cab cheaper than they could do it with the TTC, from many parts of the city.

The problem is that Tory has re-started the war against the cars because the city can no longer keep up with the cost of the roads, etc. The suburbanites have to start paying more for the services they use.

The whole mess of urban transportation is an administered, centrally-planned economy, on a mini-scale.

Brown is only trolling for votes, which is probably the practical politics of the situation. But ultimately, public transportation has to be made more attractive, with LOWER prices and better service, at least on the arterial routes.

You lower costs by bringing in things like swipe cards that charge the user by distance, not simply by ride, and perhaps doubling up the tracks on the central part of the subway system, rather than extending it eternally to Richmond Hill and Mississauga and Pickering.

As it goes now, they increase the rates, diminish the service, and hope the jam-up on the roads will force people onto the rails. And the poor widow in inner city pays the tax subsidies (perhaps) and has to share taxis if she wants to get the bargains at No Frills.
RCO





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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MPPs send symbolic message with vote against road tolls


Opposition MPPs send symbolic message to premier: don’t approve Tory’s plan for DVP and Gardiner tolls


Mayor John Tory’s suggested toll of $2 each way means a motorist heading downtown daily would pay $1,000 a year “for the privilege of getting to work on roads they’ve already paid for,” said Conservative MPP Michael Harris. (Pat Wellenbach / The Associated Press file photo)


By Rob FergusonQueen's Park Bureau

Fri., Dec. 9, 2016


Opposition MPPs have sent a symbolic message to Premier Kathleen Wynne: don’t approve Toronto Mayor John Tory’s plan to slap tolls on the Don Valley Parkway and Gardiner Expressway.

New Democrats supported a Progressive Conservative motion aimed at getting Wynne to block new tolls on existing lanes of any Ontario highway, including the DVP and Gardiner.

About two dozen Liberals were in the legislature but abstained from voting, with Arthur Potts (Beaches-East York) saying “the whole thing is about nothing” because city council hasn’t submitted a request to the province yet.

Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown accused Liberal MPPs of being afraid to put their votes on the record because the tolls are controversial.

“There’s a reason,” he told the Star. “A lot of the MPPs from Etobicoke, Scarborough, North York, the 905, they weren’t there, because they know their constituents are livid about it.”


The vote of 38-0 is not binding on the government but opposition parties hope it fuels the fight against any Toronto highway user fees, which Brown warned could set the stage for more tolls elsewhere around the province.

“This is not the Christmas present that commuters in Toronto need,” he said during question period earlier Thursday.

Wynne signalled she would approve a toll request from city council as a way to help Toronto raise money for improved transportation infrastructure that will help pave the way for an improved economy.

She criticized Brown and the NDP for “short-term thinking.”

Debate in the legislature was heated at times, with opposition MPPs saying GTA residents are already struggling with high electricity prices and will be facing higher gasoline and natural gas bills in the New Year as part of the government’s plan to curb carbon emissions in the fight against climate change.

“People are struggling to make ends meet,” said New Democrat MPP Jennifer French (Oshawa), noting 30 per cent of Durham residents work in Toronto.

Tory’s suggested toll of $2 each way means a motorist heading downtown daily would pay $1,000 a year “for the privilege of getting to work on roads they’ve already paid for,” said Conservative MPP Michael Harris (Kitchener-Conestoga).

Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca said the Conservatives have changed their tune on highway user fees after the government of former premier Mike Harris leased Highway 407 to a private company.

“Today, it’s tolled. It was tolled then,” he added, taking a second shot at the Harris government’s decision to halt construction on an Eglinton Ave. subway line two decades ago.

“They didn’t just kill it, they killed it and filled it.”

The tunnels were filled with sand and cement. The Liberal government has since decided to build the Crosstown light rail line along and under Eglinton that is slated for completion in 2021.

https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2016/12/09/mpps-send-symbolic-vote-against-road-tolls.html
Bugs





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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These are just futile gestures done for the sake of appearances.

I wonder -- how will building a subway line under Eglinton Avenue do anything to relieve the traffic schmozzle in downtown Toronto? Hmmmm?
RCO





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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( I'm surprised the vote wasn't closer considering the number of councillors from suburban Toronto where the tolls are going to hit hard )


Councillors vote in favour of tolls on Gardiner, DVP




Chris Fox, CTV Toronto
Published Tuesday, December 13, 2016 9:36AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 13, 2016 9:38PM EST


City council has voted 32-9 in favour of asking the province for the right to introduce road tolls on the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway as well as a tax on hotels and short-term accommodations.

The decisive vote on Tuesday night came following an exhaustive 12-hour debate at city hall.

City staff have estimated that a $2 toll on both the Gardiner and the DVP would generate $166 million annually while a $3.90 toll would generate $272 million. The hotel tax would net a further $20 million.


City hall exterior
Toronto City Hall is shown in this file photo. (Chris Fox/CP24.com)

The money from the new revenue tools would go towards paying for $33 billion in approved but unfunded capital projects. On Tuesday, city council also voted in favour of requesting a staff report on the "legal, policy and regulatory" measure that could be taken to ensure the money is used "exclusively for transit."

“If this is my concession speech for the 2018 election so be it. You never go wrong in doing the right thing,” Tory said during Tuesday’s debate. “Decades of inaction are costing people jobs in this city, decades of inaction are causing the quality of life in this city to be at risk. We cannot continue on the path we have been on.”

Several other motions

In addition to the road tolls motion, several members of city council also moved motions to revive revenue tools that have been recommended by city staff but not backed by Tory’s executive committee on Tuesday.

Most of those motions, including a plan to revive the vehicle registration tax and petition the province for the ability to implement a personal income tax, were defeated by council.

Council did, however, vote in favour of Josh Matlow’s motion to ask the province for a share of the HST or, failing that, the right to introduce a municipal income tax.

Council also voted in favour of a motion from Jim Karygiannis to ask the province for the right to introduce a five per cent land transfer tax on the sale of homes to foreign residents.

Opposition to road tolls

Mayor Tory has pushed for the road tolls and hotel tax as a way to pay for the $33 billion in approved but unfunded infrastructure projects currently on the table, including SmartTrack and the Downtown Relief Line.

Some councillors, however, objected to the introduction of any new taxes and argued that Toronto has more of a spending problem than a revenue problem.

On Tuesday, Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti moved to refer the road toll proposal back to staff for further consideration, effectively killing it, but council voted 29-5 against his motion.

Mammoliti then moved another motion to significantly cut back on spending instead of asking taxpayers for money. The motion, among other things, suggested that the city “transition out of child care services,” merge Toronto Fire Services and Toronto Paramedic Services and scrap plans for Rail Deck Park and the $1.1 billion Finch LRT. The motion also says that the city should ask Metrolinx to assume responsibility for the Toronto Transit Commission, which would result in annual savings of $600 million.

“Any politician today that votes in favour of these cash grabs should have the decency to resign,” Mammoliti said.

Though a number of coucnillors, including Mammoliti and Michael Ford, have vowed to fight the introduction of road tolls, others have been more supportive.

Earlier on Tuesday, City Manager Peter Wallace said that the introduction of road tolls on the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway aren’t entirely different than the fares that TTC riders are already required to pay.

Wallace made the comment during a brief presentation at the outset of today’s city council meeting.

“This is a user fee and I should note that we are already very comfortable with user fees,” Wallace said of the road tolls on Tuesday. “We have a $3.25 user fee for access to the Toronto Transit Commission and that (the system itself) has been fully paid for as well.”

Matter needs to go to province

In order to actaully introduce road tolls, the city will first have to receive the backing of the provincial government as an amendment will have to be made to the City of Toronto act. The provincial legislation currently states that the city "does not have the power to designate, operate and maintain a highway as a toll highway," unless a regulation is made under the act.

Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca was asked on Thursday whether his government would support road tolls in Toronto but said it’s too early to say.

Progressive Conservative party leader Patrick Brown, however, told CP24 that he "certainly wouldn't support" the introduction of road tolls on the DVP and Gardiner.

"I think Ontario is becoming less and less affordable and this would make it worse. I hope Kathleen Wynne has not given the City of Toronto secret permission to go out and do this," he said.

Tories and NDP have expressed concerns

Both the Tories and the NDP have expressed concerns about allowing tolled roads in Toronto.

Ahead of today’s meeting NDP Leader Andrea Horwath penned a letter to Tory in which she suggested that the province reinstate support for municipal transit operating costs as an alternative, something she estimated would result in an additional $330 million in annual revenue for the city.

“The city’s need for revenue is real and I respect the right of municipal governments to determine the most appropriate way to raise revenues. However, I am concerned that an increasing dependence on flat and regressive fees – such as road tolls and transit fares – can have a disproportionate and unfair impact on struggling residents and marginalized communities,” she wrote.

In addition to Tory’s road toll plan, council is also expected to vote on the budget for 2017 during this week’s meeting.

That budget includes a two per cent property tax hike

http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/coun.....-1.3201129
RCO





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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( notice there not actually planning to bring in the tolls till after the next provincial and municipal elections , they want to make sure the backlash happens after the next election is already over )


Toronto council approves road tolls

Mayor John Tory listens during the day-long road toll debate at city council on Dec. 13, 2016....



Dec 13, 2016
, Last Updated: 11:27 PM ET


City council has given Mayor John Tory’s tolls the green light.

In a 32-9 vote, council endorsed Tory’s plan and gave city staff the go-ahead to begin an in-depth analysis which would pave the way to implementing tolls on the Gardiner Expwy. and Don Valley Pkwy.

Staff estimated the soonest they could have tolls up and running on the key arteries into downtown would be 2019-2020. The study will return for council’s review next year.

Moments after the vote, which took over a hour because of dozens of amendments, Tory declared the city had broken through years of “gridlock and indecision” with the endorsement of tolls.

“Make no mistake,” Tory said. “Today demonstrates overwhelming support for a real plan to build a real transit network with a real answer on how we will pay for it.”

The vote also means the city will ask Ontario’s Liberal government for regulatory changes that would allow tolling on both highways. Tory has proposed a $2 toll which could raise as much as $200 million a year.

“I have been honest with the people of Toronto about what we need to build and how we’re going to do it,” he said.

Tory’s win on tolls came packaged with council’s approval of a 4% hotel tax after a day of debate at City Hall where tempers flared at times.

Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti went head-to-head with nearly every councillor who supported tolls or proposed other new taxes.

“The toonie ride we’re talking about is absolutely loonie,” hMammoliti declared at one point in exasperation.

He also challenged Tory to step down, saying he didn’t have the mandate to toll both highways because he didn’t raise the issue during the 2014 election.

“If tolls were part of this ... it would be a different mayor sitting beside me today,” Mammoliti said, adding the Doug Ford would have won the mayoral race.

But during a testy exchange, Tory challenged Mammoliti on his past stance on tolls. Pulling a 2010 newspaper story from a folder, Tory quoted Mammoliti from the piece in which he mused about supporting tolls.

Mammoliti later clarified, saying at the time he supported tolls on “new highways” not existing ones.

Councillors attempted to add and subtract various taxes, tolls and fees during the day-long debate. Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam tried unsuccessfully to resurrect the hated vehicle registration tax, which she said would raise $120 million annually.

“I think it would be a mistake to think that road tolls alone will fix our fiscal problems,” Wong-Tam said.

**********

For: Paul Ainslie, Ana Bailao, Jon Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael-Greb, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Justin Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Mark Grimes, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata, Cesar Palacio, James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, John Tory.



Against: Maria Augimeri, Vince Crisanti, Michael Ford, Michelle Holland, Stephen Holyday, Norm Kelly, Giorgio Mammoliti, Anthony Perruzza, Kristyn Wong-Tam.



Absent: Shelley Carroll, Jim Karygiannis, Ron Moeser


http://cnews.canoe.com/CNEWS/C.....90061.html
RCO





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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fiscal sanity never stood a chance in Toronto toll vote



Sue-Ann Levy, Toronto Sun
Dec 13, 2016
, Last Updated: 11:25 PM ET


TORONTO - It was all preordained.

It took me only an hour listening to the lame questions from councillors of the bureaucrats and Mayor John Tory — and the lack of pushback on the picayune efficiencies that have been exacted at City Hall — to realize council was just going through the motions.

The so-called debate on whether to proceed with controversial tolls on the Gardiner Expwy. and DVP and other revenue tools was nothing of the sort, even though councillors managed to drag out their decision all day.

In a style eerily reminiscent of David Miller (who first put in place the cash cow called the Municipal Land Transfer Tax nearly 10 years ago), I suspect councillors had already been advised by the mayor’s office that they’d better support tolls, or else they’d risk being isolated, banned to council’s equivalent of the back benches (meaning no plum appointments or perqs).

To be honest, most of council — the most spineless bunch I’ve seen in 18 years — were also outgunned and outmanoeuvred by a slick sales pitch from both city manager Peter Wallace and Tory himself who both constantly reiterated only two other options: Either “massively” cut services OR “massively” increase property taxes.

The only opposition I heard came from Stephen Holyday, who channelling his dad and former deputy mayor, Doug, heatedly called it an unfair tax on the ‘burbs. Giorgio Mammoliti was mocked many times by councillors for daring to ask some hard questions of his colleagues.

The leftists on council, positively salivating over the money that would be forthcoming from tolls, kept reiterating the same talking points: Something related to congratulating the mayor for his “leadership” and “courage” to impose tolls and how the tolls would reduce congestion on both highways.

For one thing, I don’t believe the tolls will reduce congestion in the slightest and will in fact, make gridlock even more horrendous than it is now on arterial roads running parallel to the DVP and the Gardiner — like Bayview Ave. or LakeShore Blvd.

I also don’t consider imposing tolls to bail one out of fiscal problems and fund one’s vanity projects (like the $1-billion hybrid option for the east portion of the Gardiner) the least bit courageous, mature or indicative of leadership — unless I see a real commitment to cutting the waste at Tory’s City Hall (which I have not seen.)

Not one councillor asked about what happened to the federal and provincial gas taxes, which were supposed to fund municipal infrastructure (a point I’m sure Tory was content not to raise until the bitter end of Tuesday’s debate, after I had questioned staff how much was being provided).

It seems the city has received more than $300 million from the federal and provincial gas taxes in 2015 and 2016 — and is slated to get nearly $330 million in 2017.

The money, according to city spokesperson Wynna Brown, has gone mostly to the TTC’s capital budget, except for $91 million which is absorbed by the TTC’s operating budget.

Given this, Tory’s repeated refrain that there is “no free transit” and the fact that city staff made it clear the Gardiner will only cost $7 million a year, I would have loved to hear exactly what the mayor intends to do with an extra $166 million a year from the tolls (at $2 a one-way trip).

But that all got caught up in rhetoric and Tory’s (and his lapdogs’) attacks on the integrity of those who don’t get it that tolls are desperately needed.

That notwithstanding, I shouldn’t be the least bit surprised.

After all, for a City Hall used to dragging its feet on most anything — most especially efficiencies — this whole toll idea was rammed through in less than two weeks (from the time the report came to executive committee to Tuesday’s council meeting) during a time of year when most people are distracted with the impending holidays.

The consultation process last week was a sham, an expensive one at $250,000, but nevertheless a sham.

That’s the real issue.

I suspect it will come back to haunt the mayor. Big time.

Can we say Donald Trump?

http://cnews.canoe.com/CNEWS/C.....90059.html
RCO





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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( the issue of road tolls has oddly enough divided the ndp , with some in Toronto being for them , including most of the ndp friendly city councillors , however the provincial party itself is not for the idea )


Why an NDP veteran cut his party ties over tolls: Cohn


Paul Ferreira, a lifelong New Democrat, one-time MPP, and former chief of staff to two NDP leaders, has quit the party.


Today’s anti-toll, anti-tax NDP is more transactional than environmental. But opposing road tolls won’t make inroads for them in downtown Toronto, Martin Regg Cohn writes.



By Martin Regg CohnOntario Politics Columnist

Tues., Dec. 13, 2016


Politicians are like pretzels — easily twisted out of shape.

Until they snap.

Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives are twisting themselves into cloverleafs over road tolls. But they’re not the only politicians clutching fig leafs.

The New Democratic Party is also twisting and turning in ideological circles over road tolls. And this time, the road kill is one of their own.

Paul Ferreira, a lifelong New Democrat, one-time MPP, and former chief of staff to two of Ontario’s NDP leaders, has quit the party.


Many New Democrats responded by telling him they’d “already taken a similar decision,” Ferreira told me, for the same reason: The party is being “fundamentally dishonest.”

His departure is a loss for the NDP. And a sign that, in his words, the party has “lost its way” by erecting “reactionary” roadblocks against highway tolls.

For Ferreira, the party’s decision to get in bed with the anti-toll Tories last week was the “last straw.”


Progressive Conservative Leader Patrick Brown led opposition in the legislature to a plan by Toronto Mayor John Tory — himself a former leader of the PCs from 2004-09 — seeking toonie tolls on the city-owned Don Valley Parkway and Gardiner Expressway. Never mind that the plan emanates from city hall, Brown is trying to pin the blame on Premier Kathleen Wynne.

The Liberal government’s position is that it will allow the local, elected level of government to decide its fate — a position Brown once held, but has since set aside. Bizarrely, Brown now insists he will overturn any provincial authorization should he ever become premier, tying Toronto in knots.

And so the PCs are leading with U-turns. And the NDP is following.

“From a strategic point of view I was gobsmacked that we would support that motion,” Ferreira said in our interview.

In the legislature, the party’s position was articulated by Gilles Bisson — an MPP from Timmins attacking tolls in Toronto on behalf of his northern constituents: “First off, I want to say that New Democrats will be voting in favour of this (PC) motion, because we, too, believe that citizens back home, our friends and our neighbours, are being squeezed.”

Ferreira was incredulous. “The guy from Timmins is the guy who speaks out on a Toronto issue?”

When Ferreira dared to speak of tolls in the 2011 election, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath muzzled him. His mistake had been to give an honest answer when the issue came up during a radio debate on Toronto issues:

“I think we owe it to voters, to residents, to citizens to have mature conversations on topics like that. Should there be road tolls?”

The next day, Horwath threw him under the bus — and rallied to the defence of the almighty car:

“Definitely no tolls!” she told reporters on the campaign trail. “I was quite surprised to find that this is something Paul said during a debate.... If he’s trying to do that then it will stop at my desk.”

Canvassing for votes that evening, Ferreira could hear Horwath’s voice wafting from television sets in an apartment hallway. A voter opening the door to Ferreira recognized him as the candidate who had just been repudiated by his leader, and gave him a quizzical look.

Done in by his own party, he stuck with them a while longer. Now he’s done with New Democrats for good.

What bothers Ferreira is that he long ago understood the need for tolls to make motorists pay their fair share. And was made to pay price for being ahead of the curve.

All these years later, city hall is coming round to his position — even NDP councillors are seemingly, grudgingly, open to tolls — but not Ontario New Democrats. Coveting votes in the suburbs, tolls are too toxic — for Horwath as they are for Brown and even Wynne.

The NDP-PC tag team rallied against Wynne as she considered new tolls during her first minority government. When the premier later took a timid first step with optional high-occupancy toll lanes, Horwath disparaged them as “Lexus lanes” (ignoring studies that show working class motorists also use them to bypass traffic jams if they’re late for a job).

Today’s anti-toll, anti-tax NDP is more transactional than environmental. But opposing road tolls won’t make inroads for them in downtown Toronto.

Ferreira says the party is wrong both ideologically and strategically. By betting on the 905 over the 416, the NDP is taking downtown voters for granted while chasing a suburban dream — riding the auto boom — that will only twist it out of shape, he warns.

“The party right now is at a crossroads.”

Or perhaps the NDP has come to a cloverleaf — which is, after all, an interchange designed by road engineers to avoid left-hand-turns

https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2016/12/13/why-an-ndp-veteran-cut-his-party-ties-over-tolls-cohn.html
Bugs





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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why is Brown making the right move on this?

The city has been using the money it ought to have been using for maintenance on the existing roads for the TTC. The TTC? $330 million annually? To tell you the truth, I don't believe it. Even these days, $330,000,000 is a lot of money.

The city of Toronto has been beggaring the higher levels of government shamelessly ever since amalgamation. Miller ran an anti-Harper ad campaign inside the subway and buses, with posters blaming the overcrowding on the Conservatives by implication. Why on earth should people in North Bay or Regina subsidize Toronto's lavish programs?

Oh, because of the climate? Nonsense!

Why isn't this misappropriation of funds? Road taxes started out being for the construction and maintenance of a road system, but the politicians have treated it as general revenue for decades -- and the road maintenance is reduced to a minimum.

The reason they all hated Ford so much was because he saw the answer in cost cutting, in bringing expenditures into line with revenues. Tory is refusing to stop the gravy-train, and this proves it.

Believe me, this won't stop with tolls. Once implemented, this will become another cash cow, and the free-spending ways will only increase. Road maintenance won't improve, and the dreamers in the planning department will go on building their castles in the clouds.

I don't see any answer here. Brown is doing the 'smart politics' on this, but it's not a real contribution to the discussion. The problem is that people who use the roads should pay for them, but they already do!
RCO





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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:
Why is Brown making the right move on this?

The city has been using the money it ought to have been using for maintenance on the existing roads for the TTC. The TTC? $330 million annually? To tell you the truth, I don't believe it. Even these days, $330,000,000 is a lot of money.

The city of Toronto has been beggaring the higher levels of government shamelessly ever since amalgamation. Miller ran an anti-Harper ad campaign inside the subway and buses, with posters blaming the overcrowding on the Conservatives by implication. Why on earth should people in North Bay or Regina subsidize Toronto's lavish programs?

Oh, because of the climate? Nonsense!

Why isn't this misappropriation of funds? Road taxes started out being for the construction and maintenance of a road system, but the politicians have treated it as general revenue for decades -- and the road maintenance is reduced to a minimum.

The reason they all hated Ford so much was because he saw the answer in cost cutting, in bringing expenditures into line with revenues. Tory is refusing to stop the gravy-train, and this proves it.

Believe me, this won't stop with tolls. Once implemented, this will become another cash cow, and the free-spending ways will only increase. Road maintenance won't improve, and the dreamers in the planning department will go on building their castles in the clouds.

I don't see any answer here. Brown is doing the 'smart politics' on this, but it's not a real contribution to the discussion. The problem is that people who use the roads should pay for them, but they already do!



I'm certain these tolls are unnecessary , I'm sure city council could finds ways within the budget and overall spending to save $200 million a year , if they were willing to actually take a deeper look at city spending and all the money being wasted

the liberals solution at the moment is simply more taxes and fees , there unwilling to cut anything or even consider the possibility of letting a single civil servant go , its very unrealistic considering the federal and provincial debt levels and will leave future generations a massive debt to deal with
Toronto Centre





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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:

The city of Toronto has been beggaring the higher levels of government shamelessly ever since amalgamation.

And rightly so. The Feds should provide much better subsidies to City Hall in line with other major cities. As it stands now, Toronto is last. If we were middle of the pack then the toll idea would not have been forwarded.
Quote:

Why on earth should people in North Bay or Regina subsidize Toronto's lavish programs?

Let me put it in simple terms.

The new Hospital in Atikokan, the new highway to the new bridge in Windsor, the realignment of roads in Northern Ontario, the infrastructure in small towns across the province were paid with money none of these towns have.

Toronto and GTA are the engine that runs the province. We COULD keep our money, but the rest of the province would go broke in no time.

Simple enough.

I have the exact same issue with my cottage. I pay a ton of taxes and get just about zero back. No garbage collection, no sewer, no water no plowing. But the town has built some wonderful new things.
I cant for the life of me figure out how they could do it. Can you ?

Oh, because of the climate? Nonsense!

Quote:


The reason they all hated Ford so much was because he saw the answer in cost cutting, in bringing expenditures into line with revenues.

Since he couldnt cut costs (none were available to be done) but he could download service fees on the users (namely the poorer) is what is the truth about Ford.

The most useless politician I have ever known.
Bugs





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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Toronto Centre wrote:
Bugs wrote:

The city of Toronto has been beggaring the higher levels of government shamelessly ever since amalgamation.

And rightly so. The Feds should provide much better subsidies to City Hall in line with other major cities. As it stands now, Toronto is last. If we were middle of the pack then the toll idea would not have been forwarded.
Quote:

Why on earth should people in North Bay or Regina subsidize Toronto's lavish programs?

Let me put it in simple terms.

The new Hospital in Atikokan, the new highway to the new bridge in Windsor, the realignment of roads in Northern Ontario, the infrastructure in small towns across the province were paid with money none of these towns have.

Toronto and GTA are the engine that runs the province. We COULD keep our money, but the rest of the province would go broke in no time.

Simple enough.

I have the exact same issue with my cottage. I pay a ton of taxes and get just about zero back. No garbage collection, no sewer, no water no plowing. But the town has built some wonderful new things.
I cant for the life of me figure out how they could do it. Can you ?

Oh, because of the climate? Nonsense!

Quote:


The reason they all hated Ford so much was because he saw the answer in cost cutting, in bringing expenditures into line with revenues.

Since he couldnt cut costs (none were available to be done) but he could download service fees on the users (namely the poorer) is what is the truth about Ford.

The most useless politician I have ever known.


The trouble with TC is that he makes his facts up so often, and he sees no moral compact in government. As far as he's concerned, all of our money belongs to the government, and we should just kiss their asses for the little that trickles back to us.

Back when we were guided by the political traditions of Westminster, we understood that taxes were used to pay the expenses of the community.

Atikokan in 2016 may be thankful for the hospital that they received from the kind hands of the bureaucracy, but in 1950, they had their own hospital. What happened? We could ask TC to make up another story to explain.

If you take all the money out of a community through taxes -- the cost of nannies being what it is -- then there isn't much left for local government.

That has the added benefit of expanding government, with its inflated salaries, and sexual and racial hiring policies ...

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

There is so much here that is so wrong. TC represents the mindset of civil servants, which is, or course, what counts. But at the core of it is the idea that Toronto is the 'engine of growth' in Ontario, and places further afield.

Really? What does Toronto produce? Where is its economic clout, outside of government?

It is the center of our economic malaise because it greedily ogres up all the wealth it can see -- the cost of Justin's nannies, and the other percs of office are just one example. (Do you think it's cheap to treat two whole planeloads of freeloaders to Paris for a week?)

The idea is to centralize everything so that the political and financial control of the state, and its creations, control everything -- even the pronouns we use can now be a hate crime. And the necessary correlate of that is that enterprise dies.

I live in a part of Ontario that is a producer of wealth. Rich farms everywhere, wind-turbines cranking out subsidized power for Michigan, everywhere you look you see wealth being produced. Except in the post office, the municipal office, and the police HQ. All the places that tell you NO, YOU CAN'T DO THAT!

There's no garbage collection, but there's someone to tell you you can't burn it. If you let your dog out, you might find some flat-hat has taken the family pet hostage, against a $450 ransom.

If any one of these government employees creates one scrap of wealth, they would probably fire them.

Where does the money go? Why it goes to those financial institutions that tower over the downtown. And then ... where? But that's what happens in Toronto -- they aren't the engine of anybody's growth, they are the choke-point that stops other parts of the province from growing.

Why does anyone think that Toronto's the engine of anything but smog?
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John Tory to announce tolls on DVP and Gardiner

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