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Blue Blogging Soapbox
...rambling rants, thoughts and musings on mostly political topics - from your late night blogger.

Monday, March 13, 2006

You do the math 
(en francais)

The City of Toronto can't seem to find a way to balance it's budget. Of late, they seem content to sit and wait for the Province to bail them out. It just makes me shake my head when you see items like the following:
City wants to shut down vehicle idlers
$130 fine for idling over 3 minutes
City fleets may get automatic shutoffs
Mar. 13, 2006. 01:00 AM
PAUL MOLONEY
CITY HALL BUREAU

The city's fleet services director is researching equipment that could be used to limit idling for 4,200 city vehicles, excluding police cruisers, fire trucks, ambulances and transit buses. The devices would shut off the engine after three minutes.

If approved by city council, it's expected it would cost less than $100 per vehicle to add a "stall feature" to light trucks and sedans used by city departments, said fleet director Gerry Pietschmann.
If you believe the claim of $100 per vehicle to add a 'stall' feature, please email me as I have some spare swamp land in Florida available.

Even better:
The city is also looking at adding six idling bylaw enforcement officers. The extra officers would cost the city $443,000, but it's expected they would raise $367,600 from tickets. The ticket for idling is $130.
Let's put aside the silly notion of "idling bylaw enforcement officers" for the moment. A city that is facing a budget deficit of just over half a billion dollars is not only contemplating continuing to hire staff, but doing so at a loss of $76,000 dollars. While $76,000 may seem a piddling amount when compared to the entire Toronto budget, how many more examples like this do you think could be found within that budget?

Sue-Ann Levy has some great examples:

March Break came early for council

No bailout required

'Jewel' for downtown

Suites for the streets


For the Province to even consider yet another bailout for Toronto, there should be some hefty strings attached. How about an independent audit of Toronto's books or a requirement that the city begin implementing an auditors report with over 800 efficiency recommendations?

To be fair, Toronto faces many unique costs due to it's size and position as Canada's largest city. That being said, it is not fair to the rest of Ontario's municipalities that are living within their means to continually bail out Toronto for failing to make difficult decisions. In the new era of balanced budgets in Canada, why is Toronto not being forced to play by the same rules as everyone else?

Continued bailouts will only lead to one thing - continued deficits in Toronto.

Just say no!

Paul Synnott at 5:20 AM    | en francais | Go to Top|


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