Doug Ford promised he'd find efficiencies. He didn't. Now cities are paying for it - 2019-04-12
The boy in short pants just got pantsed. Again. Under the old premier, the mayor of Canada's largest city complained he felt like a schoolboy going begging to the headmaster in his dealings with Queen's Park. But the new guy in charge up at the top of University Ave. is less like a stingy administrator and more a campus bully, stealing the city's lunch money, delivering atomic wedgies and leaving us dangling from a hook stuffed inside a locker.
Case in point: Thursday's provincial budget eliminated more than a billion dollars in gas tax money the city was supposed to get from the province over the next 10 years. That's money — a lot of money by municipal standards — that the city needs and has been counting on to keep buses running, repair broken escalators, rebuild subway tracks. It's money (not enough of it, even still) that would keep the transit system running. Former Premier Kathleen Wynne promised that money to the city when she spiked Mayor John Tory's proposed road toll plan. That inspired one of those "short pants" complaints. But cash in hand, the city was able to plan, at least (and did, to the tune of planned spending of half that money — over $500 million — over the next few years). I think it's important to note that on the campaign trail, now-Premier Doug Ford explicitly and specifically promised to maintain that funding. But as many of us have long noted, Ford says a lot of things that turn out not to be true. And, surprise, surprise, this turns out to be yet another of those.