Monday, October 25, 2004 - Mayor's strategy could backfire

The Star's Royson James gives a realistic assessment of the PR battle over the level of provincial subsidies to the TTC: - Mayor's strategy could backfire

I enjoy James' columns. Despite shackles that tie him to his newpaper's party line of 'hear no evil, see no evil' on the City of Toronto's and the TTC's spendthrift ways - at least he is realistic enough to grasp that there are limits to what the Province will be willing to listen to.

The McGuinty regime is going to be in tough trying to temper the demands of unions on its own negotiating front. Meanwhile, Mayor Miller and his cabal have already shot themselves in the foot by granting generous increases to the firefighters - 3.5% a year for three years PLUS 'recognition pay' bumps based on seniority that push the average increase to at least 5% a year.

(Did we have aproblem recognizing our firefighters?)

Our MPPs may not be the swiftest - but they will surely recognize that most of the gas tax money granted to the the City will end up in CUPE and other union members pay packets. I hope Miller ratchets up the rhetoric even more. This might spark the McGunity crew into finding the nerve to make a public issue of Toronto's spendthrift ways. Could this be step one towards the long path to fiscal sanity in this city? (I can be such an optimist at times!)

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