The creative vacuum at Metrolinx.

Would someone please put the appointees to the regional planning group Metrolinx out of their misery? These sage advisors have combined their wisdom to tell us not only how to solve Toronto’s gridlock but also how to pay for it. They gave it their best one-two punch. It is now time for them to go. Their job is done. They have failed us.

Without truly creative thinking, the taxes proposed by Metrolinx will become the noose that hangs the Wynne Liberals at Queen’s Park. The buck stops there. The opposition are chortling. Nobody can sell these new taxes.

Look at the suggestions. They are a mish-mash of guaranteed failure. Hike the Harmonized Sales Tax they say. Add parking taxes in Toronto. Throw more taxes on gasoline. Pay for parking at GO stations. Add to land taxes on GO lines. And then there is that old favourite, tolls on HOV highway lanes.

Hudak’s hypocrites on the far right are sanctimoniously condemning these taxes without question. They offer the old chestnut cost savings as the panacea. Last time that was tried, they killed people.

Horwath’s left says tax the corporations. What else is new?

And the axe falls on Finance Minister Charles Sousa. Say what you like about Charles but leave out the word ‘creative.’ That, Charles is not. People knew he had lost it when he first suggested using the High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV) lanes on nearby highways to generate revenue from drivers in a hurry. He would clog those lanes so badly that they would have to bar high occupancy vehicles.

Charles does not want to take the blame for his first budget. He calls it his New Democrat budget. They wrote it for him. They had to agree with him. Nobody told him that if the voters wanted an NDP budget, they could have got it by voting for that party.

One little tidbit in all these taxes is that there is a proposal for a mobility tax credit. These people think if the government screws you out of hundreds of dollars for transit, you will forgive them if they give poor people back a few dimes on their taxes. And, of course, by then, we will all be poor.

Metrolinx chair Robert Pritchard is not held back by his voters. He has none. He thinks the people of Toronto will really appreciate what these new taxes buy for them. Maybe he should run for election and ask them.

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Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

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