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Autonomy For All: Sadly, Tying Property Taxes To Inflation Is Progress

Earlier in the Mayoral campaign, with the unsurprising exception of Ford, the other four (then) “major” candidates (Chow, Stintz, Tory, Soknacki) solidified their positions on property taxes around a general consensus that such taxes should match inflation.

A number of people whose views I respect have written some thoughtful pieces on how this is bad public policy: Matt Elliott argues that aggregate measures of inflation like the consumer price index can often be poor guides to what kinds of uncontrollable price increases city operating budgets may face, necessitating a larger-than-CPI tax increase just to maintain existing services.  Cityslikr took (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Ice Storm 2013: It’s still an emergency, and the PM is still missing in inaction

Canadian soldiers, summoned by Mayor Mel Lastman, clean up the streets of Toronto after the big dump of 1999. Below: Mr. Lastman. (Photos grabbed from the Toronto Star.)

More days of silence from the prime minister of Canada have passed while the citizens of Toronto continue to dig themselves out from under a catastrophic sheet of ice.

While putative leader of the country says nothing, 32,000 Torontonians remain without electricity today. The Globe and Mail now reports that a forecast of high winds means that number may increase again.

With Stephen Harper working the levers behind the green curtain (Read more…)

David Climenhaga's Alberta Diary: An Open Letter about Rob Ford to the City of Toronto, from the Rest of Canada

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, a political figure so big he has his own gravitational field! Toronto politicians may not appear exactly as illustrated.

Dear Toronto:

It’s time we had a frank talk about that Chief Magistrate of yours.

We are speaking of course about Rob Ford, the big guy who keeps showing up in that lime-green team jacket.

We’re sorry we can’t think of a gentle way to put this, but surely we’re all in agreement that your Mr. Ford is a jackass? First there was that thing with closing public libraries and trying to insult Peggy Atwood. (It must

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