David Rider, with the Star:
Just before unveiling his full 2011 spending plan today, Mayor Rob Ford announced a 10-cent TTC fare hike — effective Feb. 1 if approved — though he promised to try and avoid it.
He also said he was meeting today with police Chief Bill Blair to seek cuts to the police budget – and would not say if Blair’s job is on the line.
Of the proposed fare hike, Ford said: “I did not want to agree to this. I am not happy about this.”
A TTC fare hike was not something I anticipated, and it represents a failure on the part of the mayor to consider the consequences before making promises. A modest property tax increase to increase the TTC’s subsidy from the city would be far more preferable to yet another fare increase. (And, for the record, I say this as a property owner.)
That said, there’s some political gamesmanship going on here. The fare hike will be the lead story for the week, allowing other budgetary information to fly under the radar. If they’re able to make changes that reverse the need for a fare hike, Ford could very well end up looking like a hero.