Olivia Chow: Feeding Deprived Children On A Home-Buyers’ Dime?

Okay, okay, settle down, class.

By now, you’ve all heard about Olivia Chow’s plan to raise land transfer tax, in an effort to pay for lunches for students who can’t afford them.

Every time I write a blog like this, I run the risk of offending readers, who could be prospective clients, and people always ask me, “Why do you do it?”

Well, I guess my passion for the city, and for freedom of opinion, trumps that of a new client here or there.  But having said that, I’m interested to know what people think of Ms. Chow’s announcement, and I’d like to have a spirited debate on the merits of her initiative…

ChowMayor

This is the part I hate about politics.

In order to get elected, you often have to do something big and controversial, or, do nothing at all; completely opposite strategies, that usually take away from the end game: to serve ALL the people.

Take Tim Hudak, for example.

He had one simple task to do, which would have guaranteed him a victory in the Provincial election.  That task?  Nothing!

Like George and Jerry’s “Show about nothing” pitched to NBC during an episode of Seinfeld, all Tim Hudak had to do was keep his mouth shut, promise nothing, give no indication of a platform whatsoever, and he would have won.

All Tim Hudak had to do was keep saying, “Gas plant scandal!” And “Ornge scandal,” among dozens of other catch-phrases based around the Liberals’ corrupt government of the last decade, and he’d have prevailed.

But alas, he couldn’t keep his mouth shut.  He had to promise something insane, like ONE MILLION JOBS, eerily reminiscent of the time NHL goalie Ed Belfour tried to bribe the police in Dallas by offering them “One Billion Dollars,” to let him go free, or Austin Powers asking for “One Hundred Trillion Dollars.”

On the flip side of the coin, we have politicians that identify they cannot win by satisfying the entire voting population, so instead, they find the segment of the population most likely to vote for them in drives, and aim to satisfy it.

Case in point: Olivia Chow’s announcement that she would raise land transfer tax to help pay for school lunches.

Ms. Chow has clearly drawn her line in the sand, and she’s clearly attempting to rein in the “poor vote” (those aren’t my words folks, but that’s what’s trending out there).

When you really break this down, however, it’s a very shrewd move on Ms. Chow’s part.

The increase in land transfer tax isn’t an across the board tax, but rather a “one point hike” for the overall sliding scale.

According to reports, Ms. Chow is suggesting that people purchasing a house over $2,000,000 pay an extra 1%.

Apparently, this would only affect 500-600 home buyers per year, so Ms. Chow, in theory, is only losing 500-600 votes.

It’s a great move on her part!  She turns away 500-600 voters, who to be perfectly honest – if they could afford a $2,000,000 house, there’s no way they’re the “type” to vote for Ms. Chow anyways, and in the process, likely gains support from tens of thousands of underprivileged families, who can see a tangible difference in political policies in the form of food for their beloved children.

It’s political genius, in theory, that is.

But is Ms. Chow really trading 500-600 votes straight up for 20,000 – 30,000?

If only the people directly affected by the increased tax and the free lunches changed their political stances, then yes, this works.

But in my humble opinion, I think this announcement from Ms. Chow, while valiant and bold, will end up serving as the desperation move she needed to make, when we look back at John Tory’s victory in the fall.

I think there are a lot of undecided voters out there, who today said, “Olivia Chow is going to do WHAT?” who now got a glimpse of what she’s capable of, where her political views lay, and ultimately that she really is a hardcore socialist at heart.

And yes, I’m using that word again: socialist.

Somebody suggested after Friday’s post that I stop using that word, and that I don’t know what true socialism is.

But explain how this Robin Hood political office – where the government takes from the rich and gives to the poor, isn’t based on socialist ideals?

Consider the uninformed voter, of whom there are many in Toronto, who hears buzz words like “land transfer tax,” but doesn’t really understand what that is, or how it works.

Now consider that all the chatter over the past four years has been about reducing the tax, and Olivia Chow came out today and said she would RAISE the tax.

That’s enough to make the average Torontonian say, “Huh?  She’s going to do WHAT?”

I’m sorry to say, but the uninformed vote is massive!

Remember when Rob Ford went for that photo-op at the park whose construction he voted against?

FordJungleGym

And now remember all the Torontonians interviewed by the various news channels – made to look foolish when they lauded Rob Ford’s efforts, only to be told that Ford, in fact, voted against the project?

Don’t ever underestimate the power of the uninformed in elections!

So yes, I think that there are a lot of folks out there that will hear the words “Raise Land Transfer Tax,” and wonder what Ms. Chow’s agenda is.

I think we got a pretty good idea of that on Tuesday.

So let me ask you all a simple yes-or-no question, and since you’re all anonymous, feel free to answer honestly:

Is it fair to ask the 500-600 buyers of $2,000,000+ homes each year to come up with $20,000,000 to feed 36,000 children?

It’s a simple question, and your answer should fly out of your mouth without hesitation.

I honestly believe that each and every one of you have an answer to this already, based on your political, economic, social, and socio-economic beliefs.

Or maybe your answer depends on how the question is posed:

1) Should there be an increase in land transfer tax in Toronto?
2) Is it fair to ask the 500-600 buyers of $2,000,000+ homes each year to come up with $20,000,000 to feed 36,000 children?

Would your answer differ if you were asked both questions?

Perhaps for some of you, your answer would differ if the proposed increase in land transfer tax directly affected you or not.

Perhaps if you were looking at the purchase of an $800,000 home today, you might shout “down with Chow” when you sign the offer, but had you heard that the increase in land transfer tax would only affect those buying over $2,000,000, you wouldn’t care less.

This is where I think the mistake could be made.

I’d like to think that I don’t always look at issues in terms of how they affect me directly, hence my constant clamouring for massively increased public transit, despite the fact that I haven’t been on a streetcar in five years.

So if you’d have no problem with an increase in land transfer tax for houses over $2,000,000, but you would have an issue if the tax was across the board, from $0 to infinity, then I think you need to dig a bit deeper.

My main issue with the land transfer tax has always been that it’s exceptionally punitive to those who are buying houses.

It’s not punitive to those that own houses, or those that are renovating houses.

But to tax the transfer of a house, which the buyer pays for anyways, has always seemed arbitrary to me, and the amount of the tax is utterly insane.  Consider a $2,000,000 house, which currently comes with a $36,475 Provincial LTT and a $35,725 Municipal LTT.  Under Ms. Chow’s proposed changes, that Municipal LTT would increase to $55,725, for a total of $92,200 total LTT.  Isn’t that insane?  It costs you $750 for the moving truck, and $92,200 for the right to move.

The numbers are simply staggering to begin with, for a tax that I personally believe is arbitrary, but under the proposed changes, the numbers are downright silly.

So if we do need new tax revenue, and we do need to increase a tax somewhere, and if we absolutely, positively, have to increase taxes where homes are concerned, then for the love of God: raise property taxes across the board.

This is what I just don’t understand.

How can anybody suggest raising land transfer tax, which was already doubled a few years ago, when the simple, not to mention FAIR solution, is to increase property taxes?

Well, the simple answer, is that everybody who owns a house would be upset with Olivia Chow if she suggested we increase property taxes, since everybody that owns a house would be affected!

But if we simply increase taxes for the 500-600 folks who are seemingly made of money, then every other property owner remains happy.

Should we mention that Toronto has perhaps the lowest property tax rate of any large municipality in Ontario?

Perhaps that should factor into the discussion when property taxes are concerned?

I picked ten municipalities at random and researched their tax rates, then threw Toronto’s tax rate into the mix.  Guess how they line up?

St. Catharines – 1.48%
Hamilton – 1.39%
London – 1.37%
Niagara Falls – 1.37%
Waterloo – 1.18%
Brampton – 1.13%
Burlington – 0.91%
Mississauga 0.91%
Oakville – 0.87%
Milton – 0.78%
Toronto – 0.72%

That’s right, folks!  Toronto has the lowest marginal tax rate of the group.

Now I’m not ignoring the fact that Toronto also has the highest property values of any city on the list, or anywhere in Ontario, but we’re the largest city, and the most complicated to run.  We seemingly have the most services, and definitely the most employees.

So why then do we have the lowest marginal tax rate of any major municipality in Ontario?

If Olivia Chow wants to raise taxes, then she should raise property taxes, and not land transfer taxes.

It’s that simple to me.

I believe that with her announcement on Tuesday, she’s shown that she is officially taking sides, and playing favourites.

What if John Tory said that he wanted to round-up the homeless, and strap them to rickshaws, because “They’re not doing anything else“?  (Seinfeld reference, FYI.  Neither me or Mr. Tory are that cruel…)

What if David Soknacki said he wanted to increase income tax for single mothers, and use those tax dollars to purchase better signage for the Toronto Yacht Club?

I know that politicians have to take stances, and they have to make hard decisions, but Toronto’s land transfer tax is not a never-ending stream of income that politicians can continue to feed off of.

If Olivia Chow wants to raise taxes to pay for school breakfast programs, then listen to me here and now: I am 100% for it.

I suppose the topic of why PARENTS are no longer responsible to provide food for their children is a topic for another day, and don’t suggest that they can’t afford it.  Bread is $1.99 a loaf, peanut-butter is $3 per jar, and that $5 can make ten sandwiches for little Billy…

Ah, darn.  I said I wouldn’t get off topic.

So yes, I’m 100% for increasing taxes to pay for what parents should be providing anyways (there I go again…), and helping children get the start they need in the morning, and the boost they need at lunch.  I’m happy to say that Bosley Real Estate has been involved with the children’s breakfast program at Thorncliffe Park P.S. for the last five years, and I know that Keller Williams has been involved too.

I’m not suggesting this isn’t an important topic, but I am suggesting that Ms. Chow is going about it the wrong way.  We do need to provide for our children, as Ms. Chow suggests.

But not through raising the land transfer tax for luxury homes, and I’m not just saying that as a Realtor.

I’m speaking as a voter.  Plain and simple.

Now – who are you voting for, and why?  10,000 words or less, please… 🙂

34 Comments

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  1. jimbo says:

    I like the idea of a 1% LTT increase on all Toronto homes. Really what is an extra $9000 when you’re spending $900,000 on a house. Also it is just a one time fee that cost you $30 a month if it is spread over 25 years within your mortgage.

  2. Ed says:

    From Sept 5th debate—-Tory questioned how Chow plans to pay for a downtown relief line, which she says is a top priority. Chow explained she will use a one percentage point hike in the land transfer tax for homes over $2 million to pay for $200 million in engineering studies needed before construction can begin.

    But Olivia, what about the children???

  3. johnny chase says:

    My fiend just bought a home in Roncy. Over $1M. Kid is going to Fern which has a breakfast program. Free breakfast for the kids everyday. Family income is over $250K.

  4. Den says:

    Maybe she should use the money to educate people who can’t afford kids about birth control?

    1. Qaf says:

      Things can change pretty quickly, especially now that a lot of jobs are contract and part time. You may have been able to afford 2, 3, 4 kids when you made the decision to have each one, but 10 years down the road the company you work for shuts down and now you have no income. Shit just happens, you can’t predict it.

  5. George says:

    Are kids really starving to death in Toronto?

    You know what kids ate when I was in school? Candy, fries, nasty bologna sandwiches, and soft drinks. We were probably better off just not eating any of that crap altogether.

  6. joel says:

    In reading your article the LTT vs property tax reminded me of the show Dragons Den. Kevin O’leary often states that it’s not the initial money they are after, but the residuals.This is where Toronto is doing it wrong. In order to make more money and actually be able to fund half of the things the candidates are proposing there needs to be more money coming in. By raising property tax by 1% the effects on a homeowner would be very minimal and the money brought in to the city would be significantly higher than the LTT. With a gradual raising of the property tax over the next several years this city could potentially be able to fund what it needs.

    Many other large cities have had help from the billionaires that live there in creating infrastructure and helping to boost the cities that have made them so wealthy. (Chicago and New York come to mind) Toronto need someone to step up. A Roger or Thompson to pledge money to get our infrastructure in place. Or for Chow’s sake to feed the children. “Won’t somebody think of the children!!”

  7. Teegee says:

    David, ICYMI, the star had an article discussing children living in poverty, including large sections of downtown at over 40%: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2014/08/27/toronto_child_poverty_rate_at_epidemic_levels.html

    To Ed, asking where does the taxing end in regards to LTT, I ask, where do we draw the line when it comes to children living in poverty? Taxing the wealthiest Torontonians when the sell their homes will hardly make a dent in their pocket.

    I’ll add that the amount of money generated by this additional tax would be basically a rounding error in the city’s $9.6b operating budget.

  8. Ed says:

    If increased LTT on homes of $2 million or greater is a good idea then increased LTT on homes of $1.5 million will be an even better idea next year, who knows where this ends. I think Ms. Chow is showing her true form and is willing to tax at will.

    Re property tax levels in cities across the province- I think if you compared similar homes from the municipalities you mention you will find that the property tax dollar amounts are also very similar.
    Example- my Etobicoke bungalow has property taxes of $3400 and is worth approx. $650,000. A comparable home in St. Catherines is worth about $285,000 but the taxes are still about $3000-$3300. So similar home on same land, same services and approx. the same amount of tax payable. Isn’t that fair?

  9. Geoff says:

    Everyone brings up that Toronto taxes residents less than other (younger cities) but how about the fact that it’s older and a lot of the infrastructure new cities need has already been built (firehouses, hospitals, roads, sewage plants, etc).

    Also, should’nt Toronto taxes be lower, if the population is bigger? How about comparing tax revenues in dollars versus tax rates.

    PS I don’t think anyone is saying don’t give food to poor children. But who would say ‘don’t give cancer treatment to those dying of cancer’ or ‘don’t treat the mentally ill’ or ‘don’t provide free dental care to 3 year olds’? The problem is that choices have to be made (this far, yes, this far no), that’s the problem.

    1. Joe Q. says:

      I’d be interested in comparison tables of tax revenue per capita and per square km.

    2. Alex says:

      Don’t forget density. A sprawling suburb is a lot more expensive to service than a dense city. We have a lot more services than people in the suburbs do though so I’d say overall we’re probably more expensive per capita to run. Transit alone is vastly superior here than in the burbs, where sometimes it is basically non-existent. We also have a lot more wear and tear on our roads, and an amazing library system. I can find a recent book on almost any technical subject available online right away from the library! I’ve learned 3 different programming languages and numerous technologies this way. I wish the library would advertise this more because it’s a great way to upgrade your skillset.

  10. JP says:

    Torontonians are acting a lot like Americans. They want the services and benefits but don’t want to pay for them.

    I understand that feeling, given that the City has wasted millions over the years.

    But our taxes are half of what people in St. Catharines pay?

    I’m voting for Tory. I don’t really like the guy, but we need to get rid of Ford – and I’m of the feeling that voting for Chow or Soknacki (or whatever his name is) is a a waste of a vote and just giving an edge to Ford Nation. I think we need someone that is capable of trying to clean up the mess that the last 4 years have brought. I think Tory is the only candidate that can possibly/hopefully do it.

    1. Alex says:

      What did they waste millions on? Every external audit that’s been done in the last few years has shown that the city is run very efficiently. Was it a major project or something? I never heard about it.

  11. Amelia Haynes says:

    You remind me of my childhood – peanut butter sandwiches every day for 10 years. That’s what my parents could afford and I’ll tell you – it wasn’t enough. (I dare you to try it for 10 days!) I can’t even look at a jar of peanut butter today without hatred. Did I go hungry? I sure did. Most of those sandwiches ended up in the trash. I couldn’t bring myself to eat them after time. I usually spent the whole day hungry and would steal change from my dad once in a while to buy a slice of pizza after school for $1.25. Then I would get in trouble, guilted, shamed. Stealing money we didn’t have. Resenting everything we did have. Dinner was much like lunch – The cheapest food possible. No variety, no imagination. Food was not to be celebrated and it certainly didn’t bring us together as a family! Just a reminder of our poverty and all the stress that comes with it.

    When I got to high school, I took part in the breakfast program. That bacon/eggs/toast & milk was the only meal I had that day. Without it, I don’t think I could have gotten through. My horrible relationship with food continued well into my adult life, even when I had money – in university. Self denial became the norm. Frankly, I have no idea how I got through any of it. Hunger pains go away after a while but I was always on edge and slept a lot more than most. Most days I was in pain, tired and ALWAYS had a headache. My parents did their best. “Your best is an idiot” – quote from the simpsons. lol

    Should we pay for these programs through an increased LLT? No f’kcing clue. But food as purely fuel is too simplistic a view imo. That’s not all it is. It’s nurturing. It’s energy. It’s entertainment. It’s family bonding. And you if you don’t get enough, your focus, concentration and mental health are seriously compromised – which leads to worse social problems that impact everyone. If you struggle with hunger and the stresses of poverty when you should be learning your ABCs, your chances of going on to bigger and better things are impacted significantly. If you don’t go on to live a better life, the cycle continues and the social problems affect everyone – not just the “poor” person.

    I support the breakfast programs – obviously. How to pay for them is not really my expertise. Nobody “should” have to pay for others to live, but I do believe that sharing wealth serves the wealthy. Everyone is served by supporting society’s most vulnerable.

    As a final thought – when Olivia came out with the proposed tax increase – it scared the shit out of me. I think this could cost her the election.

    1. jeff316 says:

      “As a final thought – when Olivia came out with the proposed tax increase – it scared the shit out of me. I think this could cost her the election.”

      I agree, and not because I think people are scared of taxes but because it seems so unplanned.

      There’s a flailing feel to it, a “I need to prove my lefty chops, so … let’s hike taxes for something that people can’t oppose, particularly on the heels of the recent poverty report.”.

      If it had been part of a broader plan, then it would feel less out of place.

  12. Paully says:

    I am going to vote for Chow. She never met a tax that she did not like. Since I rent, I don’t pay property tax or LTT, so bring on the Chow tax increases!

    When Olivia Chow becomes Mayor of Toronto, every homeless person will get a diamond crusted unicorn! Woo Hoo!

  13. Libertarian says:

    Hudak’s “million jobs” plan was dumb, but what was even dumber was admitting that he would cut 100,000 (if I remember correctly) government jobs. That scared the uninformed voters. So the uninformed voters had two choices – Hudak cutting 100,000 jobs or Wynne promising a spending spree. Of course they picked Wynne. Who wouldn’t pick a spending spree over acknowledging the reality of too much debt?

    For that reason, I’m surprised that Chow isn’t doing better. She’s promising a spending spree for the poor, but it doesn’t seem to be working. Probably because Tory learned from Hudak’s mistake and is keeping his mouth shut.

  14. AndrewB says:

    I’m all for my property taxes being increased if it means better services and funding more infrastructure in the city.

  15. Dan says:

    1) I think you are oversimplifying the election. If Hudak had not come out with a plan he would have been painted as having the “hidden agenda” (now, he didn’t have to come up with a bat-shit, faulty math plan but that’s a different story)

    2) I think you are right about the uniformed voter -but this is the reality and every politico working knows to keep your message simple

    3)I personally think raising the land-transfer tax (on $2 + homes) is a dumb idea. Far better to have a marginally higher tax rate on all homes because it provides a reliable income stream for the city and is actually more fair.

    4) Soknacki is the only candidate speaking rather bluntly about what the city’s challenges are and look where he is in the polls

    5) Chow’s goose is cooked.

  16. Alex says:

    I think it makes sense and I agree with it. Canada is unique in that the federal government does not invest in cities, despite them being the economic engine of the country. The feds downloaded a ton of costs to the provinces, who then downloaded more costs to the cities, and now we’re stuck with the cheque. Unfortunately neither of them gave us any real power to create revenue, so we’re still reliant on them for real funding. I think Chow is just using the only tools she has to make a progressive tax. The income divide in this country is widening, so it makes sense for governments to try and decrease it by taxing higher earners more, since it’s those higher earners that are increasing the gap in the first place.

    I’d also like to point out that Toronto house prices are not at the point yet where $2 Million is a normal home. It is the price of a luxury home, and so this is not a tax on moving, it is a tax on someone who can afford a luxury. Since house prices have continued to increase despite the LTT I think it’s a great tax, as it’s had no ill effects.

    Sorry for the long post, but I had to comment on the Tim Hudak thing. I was at a conservative campaign office a couple days after the election (helping a friend out with manual labour) and the level of denial there was staggering. I hate being around those people in general because they’re so greedy and hateful, but this was just sad. Everyone there was blaming the Libs and unions for using scare tactics. None of them realized it was what Hudak had said that had scared everyone, that he wanted to govern the entire province with a plan that made no sense economically, mathematically, or just basically logically. You’re 100% right that if he’d just kept his mouth shut and said nothing he could have been elected. The province would have been content with 4 years of nothing being done compared to another 4 years of scandals.

  17. Jackie says:

    The problem with using land transfer tax is that it is a one time tax dependant on real estate sales and values, it cannot provide predictable, stable funding for an ongoing social program. You would ideally match ongoing “revenue” to an ongoing expense. Preoperty tax would make more sense because that is collected annually is pretty predicatable since council sets the mill rate. Speaking of mill rate, David it is not logical to compare Toronto’s current tax rate to other municipalities because it is a mill rate not a set %. It would make more sense to compare other municipalities residential tax to business tax rates, here’s where you see the discrepancy. Toronto’s property values are higher than other municipalities in the GTA. Each municipality generall provides the same set of services and does so at the same cost per capita (ongoing operating, not one-time capital or start up costs), those municipalities would have higher tax rates to generate the same funds since the value of the properties are lower but they need the same $$ per person to run the programs.

    For the election, I plan to vote for John Tory. Mostly because the other candidates have each spent at least a decade on city council and should take responsibility for their playing part in the state of Toronto.

  18. Joe Q. says:

    Any new tax, levy or fee is by necessity going to make some segment of the population upset. Politicians recognize this, and target their policies accordingly so as not to alienate their voting base. I don’t see how Chow is in any way an atypical politican in this regard.

  19. jeff316 says:

    “I believe that with her announcement on Tuesday, she’s shown that she is officially taking sides, and playing favourites.”

    As has every other candidate. Like Tory did with his transit plan and no property tax hike pledge. Like Miller did when he started shifting the property tax burden away from businesses. Ford’s gravy train is the ultimate in against you politics.

    As you know well, there are winners and losers in everything – real estate, economics, politics.

  20. Geoff says:

    David – as a voter, it seems tougher to support an optional tax like the land-transfer tax (I can choose whether or not I buy a home this year) versus a mandatory income tax or property tax hike. I say hike it higher. And while you’re at it, hike taxes on lottery tickets, booze and cigarettes.

    Personally I think the Toronto land transfer tax was a brilliant idea; it’s raised a billion dollars (or whatever) in 7 years, hasnt’ cost me a thing, and still property values rise. It’s the definition of win-win-win as Michael Scott would say.

    1. Geoff says:

      oops – meant to say it’s tougher to support a mandatory tax than an optional one. Mornings!

      1. jeff316 says:

        One of the reasons it is so opposed by a small segment of the population is that it was and is extremely effective. The LTT is one of the best examples of the government successfully raising revenue in a very precise and surgical fashion.

    2. Potato says:

      Totally agree, Geoff.

      The other point in favour of the LTT is that it gets priced in, it’s not a tax in a vacuum — you charge 2% more for a house in the 416? Then the 416-905 differential just narrows by 2%. Buyers need more up front but otherwise aren’t affected. Sellers have a one-time hit in values, but with the increases of the past decade few tears will be shed. The LTT is a great tax.

      1. Geoff says:

        What’s really bad is that realtors – and you know you would David, I like you but I think you would – is that If/when housing prices decline, they’ll be pointing to the LTT as the main reason why (even though the LTT seemingly has had no effect on the increase side).

        1. Joe Q. says:

          The RE boards and organizations have already blamed the municipal LTT for a whole bunch of things. A few months ago we had a very spirited discussion here on David’s blog about the economic effects of the municipal LTT — a report had come out suggesting that it had cost the local economy billions of dollars — on closer inspection, that number was based on some pretty flimsy assumptions.

  21. long time fan, first time commentor says:

    Firstly David there is a benefit to you with supporting more public transit being less cars on the road and hence less gridlock. Not to mention all the other benefits including the long-term health of the commuters and the planet and the associated costs. Next, lets not forget decreasing or eliminating the land transfer tax also benefits you as a realtor.
    However, with that being said you want to know whom I’m voting for and why – easy Soknacki! When one is looking for a mechanic, specialist or any person to do a job that one can not do themselves, doesn’t one “hire” based on the best person for the job and not whether one can relate to them the best or want to go for beers with them. Soknacki is the only one putting out intelligent policy backed up by facts and with realistic plans to implement and pay for it. He also seems to be the only one that is looking towards the future of our city rather than voting day. Again Soknacki is the only one with the supposed required experience being that he’s already been a local politico, runs a successful business and made his money himself rather than being born into it. That’s all before we even compare his character to the other three shape shifters. Know “Tory’s good for business” and “Chow is good for the downtrodden” but seriously David for one who proclaims to love this city almost as much as Drake how is there any choice but Soknacki?!?

    1. jeff316 says:

      Because you don’t hire a mechanic to run a fleet of buses.

    2. Kyle says:

      I agree that Soknaki has a well thought out platform. Of all the candidates he’s the only one who actually tries to get his head around issues and tries to come up with practical solutions, rather than political solutions. All the other candidates instinctively choose sides based solely on where they will find voter support. Unfortunately voting for Soknaki is like abstaining and i think this year there is way too much on the line to waste my vote on an also ran.

      On the topic of the proposed LTT tax, i think it’s a horrible policy and is nothing more than a way to buy more votes. It disgusts me when Rob Ford divides up the citizenship into various camps and pit them against each other to win their support (e.g. downtown elite vs suburbs, drivers vs ttcers, etc). This is no different. She is throwing one camp under the bus to buy votes from the other camp. Plus I am not convinced 36000 kids NEED free lunches.

      Fundamentally it would be no different than forcing people to donate 20K+ to a charity of Chow’s choice (i.e. the constituents she hopes will vote for her). However at least with a registered charity you would get a tax receipt.

    3. Chroscklh says:

      The Rocco Rossi was candidate with real, actual, executable ideas last election. He no win and he change name to Rick and make money as rap-hop guy. Best guy often no win election, unfortunate.

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