“Doug Ford’s plan is to deplete Ontario’s tax base in order to balance the province’s budget.” – AM640 radio host Brian Lilley
Regarding your article, (Doug Ford to push $800M for Highway 413?, Sports and Politics, Sept. 26) I wish to share with you an anecdote from my days in the trenches in provincial politics.
Doug Ford’s plan is to deplete Ontario’s tax base in order to balance the province’s budget. According to your sources, “Ford is the saviour of our Tories and he wants to save Ontario!”
All of this has nothing to do with theory and everything to do with the need to hold your ground, or, as in my experience in politics, your life. This is not ideological, or economic, but pragmatist; simply out of necessity.
Doug Ford has been briefed by his staff, as you did and I have, on what the most relevant and unassailable factors for current political success are. These are population density, political divisions, the cost of running a province, and economic growth. A timely example of Doug Ford’s successful tactics in courting the GTA in his platform came from our Professional Players Association, an economic infrastructure development consortium that has gained national recognition for its visionary efforts in moving Canadian heavy industry and manufacturing to the West.
The GTA has become dramatically more dense with population since the last time Doug Ford was a regular visitor to his hometown of Etobicoke, due to population growth and increased street density. The Census figures say that Toronto has 9.8 million people, and this will soon reach 10 million in less than a decade. Imposing upon the GTA both density, citywide transportation options, logistics and ease of movement for manufacturing and distribution, carries cost. This is not math, it is almost too much to absorb.
This is not a single nor even a few arenas, this is all of it. Infrastructure costs must be planned, and budgeted for, based on an expected population (and its economic needs), which has been calculated by Doug Ford’s staff in Toronto.
Billions of dollars in infrastructure costs are one of the three costs of debt that affects the financial well-being of municipalities, infrastructure development is the other two. Doug Ford’s personal targets are most appropriate in that each show up, with for a detailed analysis of his plan to address Highway 413. More importantly, it shows the importance of the human, commercial and social side of his plan. We live in one of the most prosperous countries on earth, with burgeoning assets and incomes, yet the inability of the people to move to work (and go home) makes this stark.
In a situation where people are not able to work for fear of accidents and fires due to the dense volume of traffic, a procedure could be devised to attempt this city bypass, similar to out west. However this has occurred hundreds of times in a commercial venture for decades, including to the same projects that allowed for “moderately priced housing” for “mid-market commuters”, common contributors to our high cost of living. New flight paths are better than existing suburban highways, driving costs will decrease and all manner of economic forces would be aligned in favour of anyone but Doug Ford.