Harris has seen the enemy
TheStar.com – comment/editorial – Harris has seen the enemy
June 29, 2008
There is something egregious about Mike Harris co-authoring a study that has declared Toronto is in decline. Or, as the former premier himself put it in last week’s news release heralding the Fraser Institute-sponsored report: “While most other major cities across Canada have experienced growing incomes and job creation, Toronto has become a national laggard.”
Harris blamed, in part, local taxation levels.
It is as if former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager John Ferguson Jr. were to describe the Leafs as a team in decline and to blame bad free-agent signings and trades.
After all, it was Harris who downloaded social services onto municipalities, including public housing, thereby forcing Toronto to hike taxes. (The swap was never revenue neutral, as he used to claim.) It was Harris who saddled Toronto businesses with a disproportionately high property tax for education, thereby helping to spur the exodus to 905 municipalities. And it was Harris who killed provincial funding of transit, thereby forcing Toronto to raise the money on its own.
In other words, Harris is blaming himself