Jun 01, 2023
By Jane Brown
Stopping what Mainstreet Pollster Quito Maggi refers to as Chowmentum.
That’s what Olivia Chow’s five main Toronto mayoral competitors are trying to do as Chow continues to poll way out in front among decided voters.
At Wednesday night’s debate hosted by United Way Greater Toronto, Toronto Star and Toronto Metropolitan University, Mark Saunders, Brad Bradford, Ana Bailao and Mitzie Hunter all asked Chow about putting a number to the percentage increase she would raise property taxes if elected on June 26th.
Bailao pointed to a 90 year old woman named Peggy who owns her home in Willowdale and is worried about losing it if property taxes go up too much.
Chow’s responded by saying, “You and I know there’s a senior program that exempts the person you’re talking about, so that they don’t have to pay the increase. Come on Ana, you know that.”
But Chow would not put a number on the percentage amount she would raise property taxes, saying repeatedly instead, it will be modest.
Chow also explained that in addition to a modest tax increase for property owners, she will raise land transfer taxes for people who buy homes over $3-million and increase the speculator vacancy tax from 1 percent to 3 percent.
Mark Saunders was also targeted and told by Josh Matlow he sounds like Premier Doug Ford in his responses to which city services the former Toronto Police chief plans to cut if elected.
Saunders responded his job as mayor would be to get maximum value for tax dollars and would start by making sure that we (city staff) are accountable for the dollars first.
There are more debates to come, including CARP’s Toronto mayoral debate on Wednesday June 7th at noon in ZoomerHall here at the ZoomerPlex, moderated by Libby Znaimer.
The top six, along with Chloe Brown and Anthony Furey, will debate the issues.