TORONTO – City council will soon debate revenue tools for public transit despite the threats and wishes of the mayor.
Mayor Rob Ford’s executive committee had voted to delay any discussion of revenue tools until a May 28 meeting – one day after Metrolinx made its recommendations to the province.
Councillor John Parker’s motion sought to remove the item from executive committee and have it discussed at city council.
It passed successfully by a vote of 27-13 and will likely be discussed Wednesday. Councillor Gary Crawford, a member of the executive committee who had originally voted to defer the debate, changed his vote Tuesday, voting to have the discussion.
The delay caused uproar among councillors: Most notably TTC Chair Karen Stintz who accused the mayor of “abdicating his responsibility” by not allowing city council to discuss the issue.
It’s a discussion the mayor did not want to have.
On his weekly radio show, Ford had threatened to name and shame any councillor who voted to increase taxes on Torontonians.
“What they want the public to do is hand over a blank cheque to the most irresponsible government this government has ever seen and blindly raise taxes for the people of Ontario,” Councillor Doug Ford said. “It’s unacceptable.”
But Stintz said the council debate allows the city to tell the province which taxes do or do not work for Torontonians.
“I think there are some revenue tools like parking taxes that are very detrimental to business in the city and those are the kinds of revenue tools that I think council should say no to.”
– With files from Jackson Proskow
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