Aug 14, 2014
By Scott Walker
Mayor Rob Ford used two economic reports this week to trumpet his record and outline his plans for cutting expenses if he’s elected again.
But his reading of one of the reports wasn’t entirely accurate.
First, he referred to the Fraser Institute report that found Canadians’ tax burden had inflated by more than 1,800 per cent in the past fifty years. He promised to keep taxes below the rate of inflation.
Then he pointed to a report from the University of Toronto yesterday on the city’s history of revenue and expenses.
In reality, the U of T report found that city expenditures are roughly the same as they were a decade ago under his predecessor David Miller, once inflation and population growth are taken into account.
Ford has also claimed that his administration brought Toronto back from what he called a “fiscal cliff.” But City Manager Joe Pennachetti says Toronto has never been at a fiscal cliff. The U of T report shows Toronto’s property taxes are low compared to other Ontario cities, and the city’s debt is quite manageable.
Ford repeated his claim that he is the only one with the experience to keep taxes low.
Reporters asked him about the ongoing dispute between his brother, Councillor Doug Ford, and Police Chief Bill Blair. But Ford wouldn’t comment.