On the heels of the expected nada for the latest TTC plan in the federal budget — other than the previously announced subway extension — and to be fair, the nada is expected cause the federal government always says nada — the TTC and Toronto announce a partial car ban on parts of King Street in order to resolve the jammed up and slow streetcars. Yawn. Didn’t they announce this before? CBC News at Six was kind enough to tell me when: 2001. It was tossed back then because local businesses objected vociferously. Apparently in Toronto when an idea doesn’t succeed, wait a few years, try again, and hope your opponents are too high on spring warmth to notice. Don’t, for heaven’s sakes, upbraid the police and parking authority for not enforcing the no-parking rules, their neglect directly causing much of the jam. Don’t suggest a Queen subway as a way to get people through the core quickly and to hotspots like the Beach, while the King and Queen cars continue to act like milk runs for local trips. And don’t consult with the locals first.
Today Provincial Finance Minister Greg Sorbara announces that it’s simply unfair for property tax payers in the 905 area to shoulder the costs of social services; hence he relieved them of that burden. But it is fair for people in the 416 area to do so, was what he implicitly stated, as he left that burden on our shoulders. Tory Blue for 416 anyone? Or perhaps Hampton Orange come October? Definitely not McGuinty Red, the colour of our bleeding downtown.
Speaking of blood, we are guaranteed property tax raises this year, as there was no relief from either of the senior governments for such big-ticket items like TTC maintenance or operating costs, social services, and Mayor Miller’s office expansion. There is one bright spot: The city introduced property tax increase cancellation for low-income homeowners, and deferrals for those between low and middle-income. However, everyone who qualifies will still have to pay the increase in order to receive it back at the end of this year. You can’t pay. You don’t get it back. Kind of ironic, eh?