DAVE AGAR

Friday, January 17th Commentary

Posted By: Dave Agar · 1/17/2014 7:18:00 AM

Taxes owed

I hope there is something amiss with this story...a key fact that has been overlooked because on the face of it, Toronto city council has basically put 49-million dollars a year into the pocket of the Toronto Port Authority.

These two have been feuding for more than a decade over how much property tax the TPA should pay each year.

According to the CBC, the city's going in position was the Port Authority owes 50-million a year in property taxes.

Low and behold the TPA has announce that they've accepted city council's most recent offer, which apparently was agreed to in a private session of council, that instead of 50-million a year it should pay one-million.

Councillors Shelley Carroll and Joe Mihevc are quoted by the CBC as saying this is not a done deal until it’s ratified in open council and Mihevc says the city doesn't give anyone a cut on their property taxes ever.

I would suspect that this would be political dynamite as we race towards the municipal election.

Garbage

It's time we took another look at the job being done by the company collecting Toronto's garbage west of Yonge.

That firm is Green for Life or GFL which has a 1-hundred-76-million dollar contract with the city.

GFL is in various municipalities in the GTA and there have been a raft of complaints coming in especially in northern York Region...Newmarket, Aurora, Georgina, King Township and Stouffville.

In November a councillor in King Township declared that the service from GFL was so bad the "waste management situation is a crisis."

Officials in Georgina are looking at going after GFL for breach of contract.

The company is blaming the ice storm, heavy snowfall, bitter cold temperatures for most of the problems along with staff turnover and greater volume from the holiday season.   Newmarket councillor Joe Sponga says nonsense...these troubles started in the fall.   He's quoted as saying "GFL is a national company.  You expect me to buy this story....Get your act together and pick up the garbage like you agreed to do."

This should serve as a cautionary tale to Toronto not to leap into phase two of contracting out.

 

Cabs

Have you heard about Toronto's proposed changes to the taxi cab industry?

If council green lights staff recommendations if you were to hail a cab the driver could ask for payment up front...to a maximum of 25 dollars.   If you were to lose your lunch or pee in the cab, you could be charged a cleaning fee of up to 25 dollars.

Any new cab companies starting up will have to make all of their vehicles wheelchair accessible.   Those 3 items onto themselves sound reasonable...but as many of you know reasonable is the first thing down the urinal when people are out partying in the clubs and bars.

The staff is also recommending a major overhaul of the licensing system and for that the cab companies are furious.   I suspect that in an election year, you'll see none of this passed by council...again.

 

Trudeau

The bloom may finally be off the rose of Justin Trudeau's lapel.

The Liberal leader has admitted that he improperly claimed 8-hundred-40 dollars in MP travel and living expenses when he shouldn't have because he was out moonlighting as a paid public speaker.

This happened while he was an MP but before he won the leadership.   He seems to be suggesting that the error was made by staff not by him.   I don't know about you but any expense claim I've filed out at work, I have to sign it to acknowledge that the information is truthful.  So did he sign the expense sheet?  I assume reporters will keep after him about this.

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