John Tory is right to rally Toronto against Ford's cuts - 2019-05-23
They don't come more fiscally conservative at Toronto City Hall than Stephen Holyday. If anyone should be on side with Doug Ford's insistence that Toronto can easily cut tens of millions of dollars from its budget, it's the deputy mayor and councillor for Etobicoke Centre. So it speaks volumes that even Holyday is fed up with Ford's demands and his outright distortion of how the city handles its finances. He's blasting Ford for spreading "half-truths" about how the city deals with budget audits. And he says Ford is flat wrong that the city doesn't act when its auditor recommends ways to save money.
The lazy Ford narrative about Toronto — that it's run by a "bunch of lefties" addicted to spending public money — was always a crock. And now that Ford is in charge at Queen's Park and in a position to impose cuts in public health, child care and transit long after the city set its budget, it's being exposed as both short-sighted and inept. Mayor John Tory is right to rally city council to refuse Ford's demand. Just as important, he's right to call on voters — citizens, really — to make sure Ford and his loyalists hear what the city as a whole thinks about slashing away at such important services.
The least anyone upset at the Ford cuts can do is register their opposition at the website set up by the city for just that purpose, at toronto.ca/stop the cuts. They can go a step further by making sure the Progressive Conservative MPPs representing Toronto ridings (there are 11 of them, including Ford himself; their names are below) know what they think of how this provincial government is treating Ontario's metropolis, the engine that drives the entire province. Instead of supporting Toronto, Ford is pursuing a vendetta against it. His government has singled out the city for particularly deep cuts, in areas that will have a direct impact on people's lives. Instead of taking steps to make the city more inclusive, the government is making it less affordable for the kind of "regular folks" that Ford likes to pretend he stands up for. Already, people in his own riding of Etobicoke North are telling the Star that chipping away at subsidized child care may drive some of them out of the city. Instead of showing some understanding for the challenges faced by a major city like Toronto, which must wrestle with the impact of issues like immigration, refugee arrivals and soaring housing costs, the government is showing it the back of its hand.