TORONTO – The City of Toronto hasn't been using all of the tax room that it has at its disposal – it's sitting on more than $600 million in untapped potential revenue, says a study from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives' Ontario office (CCPA-Ontario). Just allowing Toronto property taxes to keep up with inflation and population growth would yield $200 million in additional annual revenue and a set of untapped tax options available under the City of Toronto Act could yield up to $440 million in additional annual revenue, according to the study.
Taxes and tax cuts
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This paper examines the full weight of neoliberal policies on Ontario municipalities and calls for a new urban deal. As "creatures" of the provincial government, municipalities have far more limited revenue options than do senior levels of government, yet infrastructure and public service pressure on Ontario cities has expanded under neoliberal policies.
Last night several dozen business leaders, politicians and high profile Winnipeggers spent a night at Portage and Main in the annual CEO Sleep Out to raise funds and awareness about poverty and homelessness. However if we as a society are actually going to end homelessness, systemic change is needed.
Lorrie Steeve’s distasteful comments about Aboriginal panhandlers set off a series of responses that reflected badly on many Winnipeggers. The following week’s big story was the murder of Tina Fontaine and the suicide of Faron Hall. There followed a seemingly unrelated Free Press op ed about climate change, and another breaking story about Manitoba’s and Winnipeg’s credit rating. The Free Press presented all these stories, but failed to connect the dots. Doing so is revealing.
It seems like every newly elected Premier in Ontario who wins on even a slightly progressive platform feels like the first step in office is to help the boys on Bay Street relax. And so it is, perhaps, that Premier-elect Kathleen Wynne came out of the gates post-election with two primary (albeit mixed) messages: she’ll promote an activist government but “there’s no new money” for even modest raises in the public sector. Here’s the thing: a broad swath of commentators agree Wynne managed to do the unexpected by securing a majority government.
As Winnipeggers come out of an unusually punishing winter, the sun seems to be stimulating more than the usual spring activities. There is a feeling that our city is poised to embrace a change; that politicians will be forced to finally adopt some rational policies to move Winnipeg into the ranks of a modern city. Maybe the frozen pipes, water main breaks, a bus system that struggled to meet the needs of passengers and the worst potholes ever will serve to finally hold decision makers responsible for our infrastructure problems.
Another new government and another opportunity to consider what the next four years and beyond will bring for Nova Scotians. It is critical for Nova Scotians to hold our governments accountable for the choices that it makes or doesn’t make on our behalf.
By substantially raising EIA shelter rates and increasing child care spaces, new apprenticeship programs and support to social enterprises, the province is taking action to assist low income people to overcome barriers to education and employment.