Carwars at the Centre of the Universe

To readers outside of Toronto, forgive this stereotypically navel-gazing rant, and thank your lucky stars (probably not for the first time today) that you don’t live in Toronto. Yesterday was the kick-off of our new mayor’s regime. He declared the ‘war on the car’ over. Coincidentally and creepily, the price at the pumps inflated by 4 cents.

For those of us who didn’t know there was a war on the car (sure puts the suffering Afghanistan in perspective) it comes as a relief. More news from the mayor suggests that we’re about to be relieved of a lot more.

Millions spent in infrastructure on the former mayor’s transit plan are about to evaporate, the investment flushed. Just like that.

Worse, this town’s about to be relieved of streetcars. Yes, they’re perhaps the only distinctly iconic feature it has (other than the world’s second tallest free-standing phallic symbol) and that’s depressing.

What’s far worse is the extra unnecessary millions removing them will waste. Instead of streetcars, the new mayor wants subways. Don’t worry, they’re not expensive.

Back to the war.

What the new mayor meant when comparing driving during rush hour with military aggression and ethic cleansing was that Torontonians will no longer pay an annual $60 tax on their vehicles.

Yes, most of us are OK with that. But how can we write off years of infrastructure, freeze property taxes, eliminate vehicle taxes and build subways?

By contracting out our recycling. Glad we cleared that up?

The real war’s going to be at city hall and will be dangerously expensive. The mayor can’t act without the support of council. All indicators suggest that council will be frozen – nothing significant will get done.

Far more of our money will be wasted than saved or invested.

Clearly the taxes are only being postponed and will hit far harder soon after our next civic election. Where does that leave drivers? It’s going to be more expensive to live and drive here.

His name is Rob Ford. Ironically, that’s what his plan does: rob Ford, Toyota, Kia, Chrysler and so on.

Image courtesy of saharsh.

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