Call him a villain, a liar, uncouth, unsophisticated and even fat if you wish, but Mayor Rob Ford is working hard to fix the city of Toronto.
Whether people see or or not, Toronto is in financial trouble. Past mayors had their pet initiatives to make Toronto a “world class city”. Nice ideal to have but when you keep spending taxpayer money as if it is an unlimited financial resource you eventually dig a deep hole.
Additionally, when you give union workers everything they want to ensure your re-election, you further dig that financial hole that is even harder to get out of.
When Rob Ford won the election he did so with one clear goal in mind…save the city of Toronto.
Unlike past regimes that just looked for one item on a balance sheet to chop and hope that would fix the financial mess, Ford is trying to alleviate the financial pressure with a 1000 little cuts.
Cut the city council spending budget by $20,000 each, no more free meals for council, reduce library hours, shut down unused social centres…we’ve heard all the cuts.
None of these cuts are sexy, but they are meant to save money anywhere possible.
Recently the sale of valuable real estate has begun and in this hot market in Toronto, old dilapidated houses are going for a king’s ransom. None of the people will be left homeless, but single old ladies will no longer get to live on the government teet in a million dollar house.
With this settlement with the unions, we shall see how many concessions were made to make Rob Ford happy. Rob Ford stood up to the unions and sealed his fate with any future votes that he could have garnered in the future. Past mayors talked tough, then gave the unions everything they wanted to solidify another term as Mayor of Toronto.
We haven’t yet seen the details of the agreement and I would suspect that the city did not break them down as much as I would have like to have seen. According to Rob Ford, this agreement will help them solve some future financial issues that previous agreements have handcuffed them on.
When election time comes around again, many contenders will point to Rob Ford and blame him for the cuts that had to be made. The left wing tree hugging hippies will put down their pot, come out of their tents and cast their first vote ever to try to eliminate Rob Ford from office.
Whether Ford will be able to beat back the rivals and win another term has yet to be seen, but in the end, he will allow the city of Toronto to avoid financial bankruptcy…at least until the David Miller want to be Adam Vaughn steps in and starts Toronto back on the path to financial ruin.