19 Oct, 2016

Ed Keenan writes about the Toronto City Manager’s Address

In his October 19 column in the Toronto Star, Ed Keenan comments on Toronto City Manager Peter Wallace’s recent address to IMFG, in the context of speeches made by his predecessor, and statements from Toronto’s mayor, John Tory.

Toronto’s government has a long list of things it has committed to do, and steadfastly refuses to raise the money necessary to do those things, and is basically MacGyver-ing fixes together year by year rather than engaging in any effective long-term planning. Former city manager Joe Penachetti [sic] delivered much the same message in his speeches in the last few years before he retired. You cannot build and maintain the infrastructure of a growing global metropolis using rubber bands, band aids and paper clips you find in the back of the drawer, and you can’t budget with one windfall tax tied to the fortune of the real estate market, insistence on cutting the stationery budget and whispered prayers that the provincial or federal governments will finally, suddenly drive in with a dump truck full of cash.

Keenan comments that the Toronto City Manager’s forthright talk about the City’s finances comes at “an interesting time,” noting the City’s mayor, John Tory, has referred obliquely that his administration may be prepared to embrace new revenue tools.