Will John Tory’s ‘prudent’ leadership be tough enough to tackle Toronto’s big issues if he’s re-elected?
What John Tory’s plan for a City of Toronto is not
John Tory believes he can be re-elected as premier despite the odds. The odds, of course, haven’t been in his favour. The polls suggest a Tory victory is very unlikely, particularly if the polls have any bearing. But the question of how realistic his chances are have not really been at such focus. His most likely opponents have focused on the city’s major problems – namely, the cost of the transit line (which he has promised will be paid for through other taxes), the need for a mayor to oversee the transit line and the need to balance the budget – rather than looking at the larger issue of John Tory’s leadership.
The most recent poll from Forum Research shows the Progressive Conservative lead has shrunk considerably from three months ago, when Stephen Harper’s Conservatives were running to a narrow lead. The Liberals have closed the gap between the two parties. The lead now sits at just three per cent with a lot of that down to the NDP, and to a lesser extent the Greens (who were essentially tied in the last poll) and the Bloc Quebecois.
In his speech to the Ontario Trillium Party convention, Conservative Leader John Tory promised that the PCs would find more money for transit, cut taxes and take on the “burden” of a municipal government. There is, however, little evidence that is actually happening. For the most part, the money in the transit fund, for example, is going to expand the Scarborough subway extension. Not much has changed with the way the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority plans its budget. The TRCA is proposing that the province cut $50 million from the next fiscal year budget to balance the books. But that doesn’t mean that the province will have to pay any money for what we expect to be a $2 billion budget shortfall.
The TTC is actually getting hit financially – not from the provincial government, but from the city – for operating at a loss