I love a city council that votes to defer David Miller's tax plan to increase city revenues, yet steadfastly refuses to take a pay cut. They know better than anyone that Toronto faces a budget crunch. It's like the two sides of their brains- the 'I'm greedy' and the 'I'm politically cowardly' halves- aren't speaking, creating a swirling vortex of contradiction that threatens to implode their very skulls, dragging the rest of us down with them.
One of the few councillors that seem to get it, Michael Walker (Ward 22, St. Paul's) had this to say:
"We say there's a crisis and we all agree, but nobody's prepared to start making a sacrifice in their own home or their own pocket."
Indeed. Leading sacrifice-adverse councillor Brian Ashton (Ward 36, Scarborough-Southwest) makes this edifying response:
"I always find it curious that when a company's in trouble, people want to hire cheaper executives."
Well, duh, Brian. Because when the company's in trouble, it's the freakin' executives' fault! Rewarding inept and/or corrupt executives may be in vogue right now, but seriously. Maybe you should hold off on lining your own pockets until Toronto's back on some solid financial ground.
Of course, the real issues here are much more serious than a bunch of douchebag councillors, who admittedly are pretty small fish in a big pond. Toronto doesn't get enough of its tax revenue back, for starters. And we're still dealing with those enlightened hangovers of the 'Common Sense' Revolution, super-city amalgamation and downloading of social services to municipalities. Memo to Mike Harris: shifting costs onto jurisdictions that have no ability (until recently- a Liberal innovation) to leverage additional revenue is not an efficient budget cut. It's a cynical screw-job.
I love Toronto. Everywhere I look I see nothing but economic, cultural and lifestyle potential. Too bad it keeps getting sold out by bullshit politicians.