Taxpayers Coalition Slams Councillors’ Junket to Vancouver

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Toronto Taxpayers Coalition is asking why so many Toronto City Councillors needed to attend the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) conference in Vancouver this week.

Noting that the City of Toronto has two city councillors – Pam McConnell, Michael Thompson – on the FCM Ontario board of directors, coalition president Matthew McGuire was surprised to hear that 18 councillors spent taxpayers’ money to attend.

“While some on council are trying to stop the gravy train, other councillors have found a new mode of transportation: The Gravy Plane”, declared McGuire, referring to the cost of plane tickets and hotel accommodation for 18 councillors.

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Former Mayor David Miller Reaches From Political Grave To Cost Taxpayers $55 Million

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David Miller is reaching out of the political grave to pick the pockets of Toronto taxpayers…again. In a stunning report released today from Auditor General Jeff Griffiths, it was revealed that former mayor David Miller’s last budget included a secret $55 million increase on a computer spending item.

“It’s obvious to me that David Miller and his budget chief knew, or ought to have known, about this secret $55 million increase,” said Coalition president Matthew McGuire. “This is something that senior staff would have brought to the Mayor and the budget chief because of the political sensitivities,” added McGuire, referring to the MFP Computer Leasing Scandal.

The irony is not lost on taxpayers who saw David Miller swept into office on a promise to clean up such practices.

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Complaints Filed Against Adam Vaughan, Mike Layton With Integrity Commissioner

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Today, Toronto Taxpayers Coalition has made good on a threat to file formal complaints to the Office of the Integrity Commissioner against Councillors Adam Vaughan and Mike Layton. The pair are alleged to have violated the Code of Conduct for Members of Council. The formal complaints come on the heels of both councillors refusing to apologize for what appears to be a series of clear breaches.

“When you accuse the City Manager of authoring a report that is ‘fantasy’, ‘fictitious’, with ‘nothing real’ in it, we believe you are injuring the professional or ethical reputation of staff,” stated Toronto Taxpayers Coalition president Matthew McGuire. “Councillors Vaughan and Layton have undermined the City Manager by accusing him of fabricating the report.”

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Taxpayers Coalition Condemns Liberal Government

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Toronto Taxpayers Coalition is condemning Premier Kathleen Wynne for choosing to release the Sunshine List during a very significant Jewish and Christian holiday – a move that shows contempt for taxpayers of the two faiths.

“I know we’re supposed to be a pluralistic society, but the only other day that could be worse for releasing this information would be Christmas Eve,” explained coalition president Matthew McGuire.

Political consultants know that the best way to bury a bad news story is to release it on Holy Thursday. The coalition wants to know “What is the Liberal government trying to hide?”

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Sunshine List Turns Up Shocking Figures

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Number of employees of Toronto and its ABC’s on the Sunshine List climbs 30%

It’s clear many municipal employees are walking on sunshine at the taxpayers’ expense.

The shocking disclosures in today’s release of the annual Sunshine List – a disclosure of public sector salaries in Ontario greater than $100,000 – has left members of Toronto Taxpayers Coalition shaking their heads. The list reveals that labour costs in the City of Toronto continue to rise at dramatic rates, putting considerable pressure on efforts to lower spending and reduce the cost of government.

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Taxpayers Coalition Wants To Close “Licence To Lobby” Loophole

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Toronto Taxpayers Coalition today is urging the Mayor’s Executive Committee to make meaningful changes by ending the “Licence To Lobby” loophole.

Each year, local community organizations lobby city councillors for millions of dollars in funding and for support of various issues. “Lobbying activities by political not-for-profit groups are not only private, they’re completely undocumented,” said coalition president Matthew McGuire. “Many of these groups receive government funding, others still put considerable influence on City Council, and we have no record of who they’ve met with.”

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TTC Favours By-Election Over Appointment If Ford Removed From Office

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“We’ve fought against sole sourcing city contracts, and now we’re fighting against sole sourcing our mayor” – Coalition president Matthew McGuire

Toronto Taxpayers Coalition is urging City Council to call a by-election should Rob Ford lose his appeal of a court decision to remove him from office.

Under the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, City Council has the authority to appoint somebody as mayor or call a by-election to let voters decide on their replacement mayor for the remainder of the term.

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David Miller Spent $1 Billion More Than Rob Ford: Taxpayers Coalition

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The Toronto Taxpayers Coalition today released an infographic which visually represents the difference in spending habits of Mayor Rob Ford compared to his predecessor, Mayor David Miller.

The infographic utilizes budget information posted on the City of Toronto website which shows spending in David Miller’s first three budgets grew by $1 billion. By comparison, Rob Ford’s administration increased spending by a mere $20 million. The infographic assumes the budget is approved unchanged during this week’s budget deliberations.

“While we don’t endorse increasing costs to taxpayers, our research shows that even with a $20million increase over the past two years there is a $980 million difference between Ford and Miller,” said coalition president Matthew McGuire.

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Casino Would Be A Cornerstone To A $400 Million Subway Expansion Plan

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The Toronto Taxpayers Coalition announced a bold new position with the release of a policy paper at City Hall this morning – one that would allow the city to build 1Km of underground subway tunnel and 1 subway station per year.

“A casino would be the cornerstone to a fully funded subway expansion plan that doesn’t raise taxes one cent,” said coalition president Matthew McGuire. “Putting this revenue towards expanding our subway network means Toronto wins.”

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Toronto Taxpayers Coalition Issues 2012 City Council Report Cards

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City Council gets a C-; Mayor Ford awarded a B

There may be uncertainty surrounding some Ontario report cards, but these ones are delivered on time and well thought-out.

The Toronto Taxpayers Coalition has been monitoring city council for the past 12 months and has graded the mayor and each member of council. This year, Councillor Cesar Palacio (Ward 17 Davenport) is the highest achiever.

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