FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TORONTO – OCTOBER 26, 2014
Toronto is facing multiple crises in budgets, development, transit, infrastructure, and employment, yet leadership on these critical issues has not been shown by the “big three” mayoral candidates, says Ari Goldkind.
“No one knows how it happened but somehow it was decided that voters can’t handle the truth,” says Goldkind. “They don’t release complete platforms; they don’t tell us the real costs; they don’t tell us how things are going to be paid for; they don’t tell us the choices that have to be made to get the kind of country, province or city we want.”
Goldkind points out one specific example that determines so many others: Toronto’s police budget, which has gone un-addressed by the three. “As someone who works closely with law enforcement, I know that the police are critical to our wellbeing. But that doesn’t give them a free pass when it comes to justifying their budgets,” he says.
Goldkind states there are important questions that the next Mayor needs to answer, including:
- Should police budgets receive rubber stamp approval year after year?
- Does over-investment in policing affect other essential services that are underfunded?
- Is it smart spending to base pay on seniority instead of achievement?
- How can our politicians justify salaries that place 40% of the Toronto Police Service on the Sunshine List?
- Is it right for our politicians to abdicate their responsibility and allow decisions to be made by an arbitrator?
- Is there any evidence that retention pay on top of already high salaries is necessary to keeping police here?
Goldkind believes that Toronto voters can handle the truth, that each of the three candidates knows we have to do something, but not one of them is willing to say it. “The price of being truthful appears too high for the big three,” he says, “but I’ve been willing to pay that price.”
- The truth is that we need new dedicated funding to build transit, maintain and improve the infrastructure we already have, and fund the services and programs for youth, new mothers, seniors and the disabled, that make this city a great place to live.
- The truth is that we are going to have to make tough choices.
- The truth is taxes already are going up (Scarborough subway tax) and are going to have to go up further.
- The truth is that someone who can afford a $1 million home can afford to pay an extra $250 a year in property tax.
- The truth is that someone from Newmarket or Whitby who burns a quarter tank of gas to come downtown and pay $20 for parking can also pay a $3 toll on the Gardiner or DVP.
- The truth is that most people are willing to pay a little bit more as long as they know every dollar is being spent wisely.
- The truth is that when they can see things are finally getting better, they’ll know the investment is worth it.
“This city needs a Mayor who will make the case for Toronto. Unfortunately, the big three have made the case for themselves. We can take a long-term view and make the tough decisions that will propel us towards prosperity and success, or we can elect the same kind of promising politicians who have failed to act and truly build for the future.”
Mr. Goldkind can be reached for comment at: