Disaster Planning – What Are Mayoral Candidates Promising?

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On the one year anniversary of a storm that caused extensive damage throughout the city, Toronto Taxpayers Coalition is asking mayoral candidates how they would prepare to better deal with such a disaster in the future.

“The July 8th flood was the first in a series of weather related events that hit Toronto in 2013,” coalition president Matthew McGuire asked. “We want to know: How will each candidate prepare for such a disaster in the future?”

The first July storm cost the city almost $65 million, according to city staff. A second storm followed a few weeks later, and an ice storm brought the city to its knees in late December.

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Taxpayers Coalition To Executive Committee: Take A Pass On Pay Hike

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The Toronto Taxpayers Coalition is hoping that the city’s Executive Committee votes down the latest expensive pay hike for city councillors.

“Last year, city council’s salaries went up by 1.5%. The year before, it was 3%,” said Toronto Taxpayers Coalition president Matthew McGuire. “City councillors in Toronto are currently paid over $100,000 a year. That’s far more than most Torontonians could ever hope to make.”

McGuire pointed out that many people, including Councillor Michael Thompson, feel that approving this pay hike would be a terrible precedent ahead of negotiations between public sector unions and the city. Nothing would stop unions from demanding similar or higher increases.

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Taxpayers on the hook for professional hand-holder study

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The Toronto Taxpayers Coalition reacted with shock and a little bit of sadness to news that Toronto City Council would be spending $100,000 of taxpayer money to study the possibility of employing Transport Assistance Personnel (TAPs) to stand at crosswalks in downtown Toronto and remind pedestrians to finish crossing the street before the light changes.

“It’s rare that we come across an idea that is this bad,” observed Toronto Taxpayers Coalition president Matt McGuire. “This would be one. Research is always important, but at the end of the day, what is the best they could come up with? That we need someone to literally nanny us across the street?”

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TDSB bureaucrats fired for spending spree that included $150 pencil sharpener

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The Toronto Taxpayers Coalition was pleased to hear that Toronto District School Board officials who overcharged taxpayers for maintenance projects have been fired and that the overall budget will be cut by several million dollars, but remain concerned that the culture of overspending will continue.

“Punishing these money-wasters and reducing the size of the budget is a good example to set for our children,” said Taxpayers Coalition president Matthew McGuire. “However, the TDSB continues to act after the fact when it comes to wasteful spending.”

In addition to the infamous $150 pencil sharpener, officials spent upwards of $70,000 to repaint one school and spent almost $4000 to change clocks for daylight savings time. The expenses were found in work order documents obtained by CTV News.

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Soknacki’s LRT Plan Disappointing, says Toronto Taxpayers Coalition

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The Toronto Taxpayers Coalition says it’s extremely disappointed with mayoral candidate David Soknacki’s plan to cancel the Scarborough Subway.

“Soknacki’s proposal risks running off the rails the first real plan Toronto has had in years to expand subway infrastructure”, says Toronto Taxpayers Coalition president Matthew McGuire. “That will mean more years of gridlock and a return to the political tug-of-war that has seen little transit infrastructure built to support Toronto’s growing suburbs.”

The coalition organized a “Save The Subways” campaign two years ago, a campaign that included placing pro-subway advertisements on streetcars and on buses in suburban Toronto.

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