City’s budget problems not about council meals or expenses

Spacing has a great interview with Hugh Mackenzie, research fellow at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, regarding the city budget. He concludes:

The City’s budget problems are not about council meals or whether the expense allowance is $50,000 or $30,000. This is about big-picture political decisions made at Queen’s Park. It doesn’t matter what Rob Ford does with incidental expenditures because it won’t alter the fact that every spring there will be a jousting match over the City’s budget.

via HEADSPACE: Economist Hugh Mackenzie discusses the City’s budget « Spacing Toronto.

The whole thing is worth reading, and it serves as a nice follow-up to what I posted about earlier this week. The city’s budget problems are far more fundamental than overpaid TTC ticket takers and expense account retirement parties.

One of the most damaging things the Toronto media did over the Miller years was continually characterize council’s emphasis on securing more funding from the provincial and federal governments as “crying poor” or “going cap in hand.” By doing so they took what should have been a rallying point of an issue — giving Canadian municipalities their fair share of tax dollars so they can provide the services people rely on — and turned into a joke.


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