Mayor Intent on Cutting Transit, Libraries, Affordable Housing

Toronto's Mayor Rob Ford keeps insisting that the city has plenty of "gravy" -- in the form of municipal services -- that can be cut from the budget; however, according to Jack Diamond "there is no gravy train."
August 2, 2011, 12pm PDT | Michael Dudley
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Architect Jack Diamond argues that cutting municipal services such as public transit, public libraries and schools deteriorate a city's quality of life, which is a key element in attracting investment and a knowledge-based economy. Diamond writes,

"Paradoxically, those who believe that market forces should be the sole determinants of public policy, or those whose priorities are business and the economy, are among those who blunt our economic advantage. This is so because when it's inevitably found that there's no gravy train and thus the slogan 'no tax increases, no service cuts' becomes clearly impossible, it's to realize that service cuts – which diminish our quality of life – become the target. And there goes our competitive economic advantage.

Any competent business person knows it's more important to focus on the revenue side than to waste time and energy on the elimination of minor inefficiencies and costs. Focusing on a non-existent gravy train will ensure one thing only – passage on an urban graveyard train."

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Published on Tuesday, August 2, 2011 in Globe and Mail
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