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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Equalization on Steroids!

Canadian big city mayors like David Miller and Hazel McCallion are united in their cries to grab a piece of the federal GST.  They see an opportunity to receive more cash for local needs, while not having to personally endure the political fallout from raising local taxes or trimming their wasteful spending.

For now, the mayors appear united in solidarity in their quest for more cash, trying to sound like crusaders standing up for local residents.  They’re motivated by the greed to get more money, and by the desire to look like local heroes standing up for their city, going into battle with those ‘evil Conservatives’ in Ottawa.  Unfortunately, it’s those same motives that will create a very different picture if the cities are successful in taking a share of the federal GST.

Now let’s just suppose for a moment that the federal government eventually agreed to offer the 1% share that mayors are asking for.  How will that money be allocated to the cities?  There are perhaps as many different ideas for allocation methods, as there are Canadian cities to receive the cash.

Do you recall the drama of our 13 Premiers, a group who can’t seem to agree on what to have for lunch, bickering like little children over Provincial equalization formulas?  The arguments have gone on for decades.  The players have changed over the years, but through it all, nobody is ever happy, and they’re all very vocal about it.

Well… You ain’t heard nothin’ yet, folks!

Once the money has been set aside for the cities, the mayoral gloves will come off.  Suddenly, it will be each city mayor trying to get the most for themselves.

Mayors of the larger cities like Toronto and Vancouver will go it alone against Ottawa.  But there will be strategic alliances formed.  Smaller towns and cities will realize they need to band together to boost their bargaining power to get their messages heard.  However, those bargaining alliances certainly won’t prevent fighting from within over the allocation between the local towns.

One faction will say the money should be allocated based on population.  Another will argue for a share of the GST collected from commerce within the city.  Another will say the money should be distributed based on need and the so-called ‘infrastructure deficit’.  Toronto may even argue that they’re ‘special’, and should therefore receive an additional share because of what they do for Canada!

Large cities may argue that rural areas don’t need a share because they don’t have much infrastructure to finance.  Rural areas will argue they need the money more than cities, because they don’t have a large a population base to pay for the services they already provide.

It doesn’t matter what system is proposed, the complaints will be loud and constant.  If you thought provincial equalization was an ugly mess with only 13 bickering children, just imagine what municipal equalization discussions can do.  I get a headache just thinking about it, and so will any federal finance minister who attempts it!

Cross-posted at www.exactlyright.ca.

Posted by Dave Hodson on November 21, 2007 | Permalink


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Frederic Bastiat said "Government is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else".

And it's as true of governments themselves as it is of individuals.

Posted by: Doug | 2007-11-21 6:23:32 PM

Oh, but Toronto IS "special"--only it is pronounced, "spethal".

I think the real reason for going 'straight' to the cities, is that the Provinces SAY they are going to spend whatever they get on this, that and the other, and then when it comes time to the other, they are very busy spending it on bureaucrats.

Meanwhile, the munipal infrastructures go, and the municipalities end up having to raise municipal taxes, which means more taxation on the backs of already over taxed people.

Although the cities will never agree--it is yet to be seen as to whether or not it is necessary for the munipalities to agree--or perhaps elect the best councilors, who are better able to put the best arguement forward--with the best Mayor--to get the most bang for the federal buckaroos.

Posted by: Lady | 2007-11-21 6:37:49 PM

Right, more taxation without representation. They can join the line-up of all the others with their hands out.

Posted by: Alain | 2007-11-21 6:52:44 PM

"They can join the line-up of all the others with their hands out."

. . . and IN our pockets.

Posted by: obc | 2007-11-21 6:54:18 PM

. . . and if they get much deeper into our pockets, they should be arrested for sexual assault.

Reminiscent of Bob Hope on an Army tour, where a movie star reached into his pocket for car keys:

"Oh, Bob, this makes me feel kinda funny."

"Honey, any deeper - and you'll feel nuts!"

Posted by: obc | 2007-11-21 6:58:02 PM

"They can join the line-up of all the others with their hands out."

. . . and IN our pockets.""

I dunno...I am hoping that by taking the rpessure off the cooker, they can stop grabbing at the munipal level--what am I kidding myself?

Posted by: Lady | 2007-11-21 6:59:17 PM

These pompous twits, especially The Hair That Calls Itself David Miller, act like the tax pie just magically expands whenever their gluttony says "wahhh, we can't control our spending!!!"

MillerMcCallion et al, you remind me of buzzards on a carcass.

Posted by: Larry | 2007-11-21 7:09:09 PM

Not one penny to Ontario until they cease their plan to segregate their school system. No Apartheid in Canada.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2007-11-21 7:15:42 PM

Zeb--spoken like a true socialist!

Spoken like Desmond Tutu!

I don't care if people want to segregate their children from some of the terrible schools--so long as it is not mandatory. That would indeed be segregation.

Posted by: Lady | 2007-11-21 7:30:02 PM

The problem of the infrastructure is upon us because while city governments were busy using the money to buy elections, handing out money to every whiny do-gooder group and poverty pimp in town and wasting money left and right (mostly left) to make themselves local heroes, the rot was going on under there feet.

This is not different the all the suckers walking around today not saving anything for their retirement. Taking equity loans to pay off their credit cards so they can keep on shopping.

To quote the late great Jimi Hendrix " Castles made of sand slips into the sea, eventually."

All politicians and so-called leaders built their portfolios on sand and now that sand is starting to slip away.

The cement required to now fix things is in our wallets and I ain't handing any more of it over.

Let the bastards cut their social programs and use the money to fix their own problems. They can choose whether to lose the votes of the productive people who are taxed to death or they can risk the votes of the less motivated takers in society.

I hope they know where the bread is really buttered. We are heading into some tough times because of the coming recession in the USA. This is no time to start a new round of tax gouging.

These political pigs are the reason we are in this situation. We need to let them be creative in how they clean up the mess. No New Taxes!!!

Posted by: John | 2007-11-21 7:51:33 PM

Lady: there must be no support of Ontario's inherent racism. In fact, if they go through with it, funding should be withdrawn until they change their ways.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2007-11-21 7:53:59 PM

Municipal governments are bastions of Left wing incompetence and corruption. They have recieved millions of dollars and are using those dollars to fund campaigns for billions more - instead of fixing roads or picking up the garbage.

It's time that municipal governments were severely limited in the scope of their duties since they are proven incompetents.

Posted by: philanthropist | 2007-11-21 8:03:10 PM


It is not segregation in the true sense of the term. Why? Because it is not something that forces people to separate by race.

Wiki actually succinctly states it in the following, just what segregation is:

"Racial segregation characterised by separation of different races in daily life, such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a rest room, attending school, going to the movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home. Segregation may be mandated by law or exist through social norms. Segregation may be maintained by means ranging from discrimination in hiring and in the rental and sale of housing to certain races to vigilante violence such as lynchings; a situation that arises when members of different races mutually prefer to associate and do business with members of their own race would usually be described as separation or de facto separation of the races rather than segregation. Legal segregation in both South Africa and the U.S. was required and came with "anti-miscegenation laws" (prohibitions against interracial marriage) and laws against hiring people of the race that is the object of discrimination in any but menial positions.

Segregation in hiring practices contributes to economic imbalance between the races. Segregation, however, often allowed close contact in hierarchical situations, such as allowing a person of one race to work as a servant for a member of another race. Segregation can involve spatial separation of the races, and/or mandatory use of different institutions, such as schools and hospitals by people of different races.

It is not segregation if people choose to have things differently. If it were impossed, that woud be a different matter.

The Indian Act has been legally impossed, and I don't see you screaming obsenities at it--must mean you are a supporter of legalized segregation but not freedom of choice, to associate with whome people wish to associate with. If they were not under the same standards of education--that would be a different story altogether now wouldn't it.

Posted by: Lady | 2007-11-21 8:06:10 PM


Hate to tell you this--sigh--but "it" has always been built off of our wallets.

Before wallets it was off the land people tilled.

And before it was the land people tilled, it was what people could scavenge for and hunt for.

Or as in the Jewish people, what Jews could build.

And it is apparent in every single nation of people out there--none are immuned.

And it is not ALL bad.

And the only thing that Jimmy Hendrix did that was amazing was play the guitar--the rest was as bad as any imagine--till he did what to himself? Accidentally overdosed--what an idiot!

Posted by: Lady | 2007-11-21 8:12:41 PM


You must live in TO.

Posted by: Lady | 2007-11-21 8:14:28 PM


You told me nothing new. I know who politicians to make themselves look good and life the life. I am saying I am not going to pay anymore taxes than I already do.

I was quoting something Jimi said and was not referring to his life-style. Was a genius who came to a bad end.

Here is news for you. Jimi didn't overdose. He passed out and puked while lying on his back. He drowned in his own puke as did Jim Morrison of the Doors and did big fat Mama Cass Eliot of the Mammas and the Poppas.

Puke kills.

Posted by: John | 2007-11-21 8:23:40 PM

Lady: first they segregate the schools, implying a beneficent reason for doing so. What's next? Where does it end? Could it ever end, so long as they keep implying a positive reason for it? Answer: never.

Remember that the gates to Auschwitz had a sign: Arbeit Macht Frei - work will make you free. For those entering it might be a sign of hope. For those fortunate enough to escape with their lives, it became a cruel joke.

(And yes, Ontarians, the Holocaust DID happen. Don't believe what your hero Ernst Zundel and your teachers told you.)

Where would it end? Segregated everything in Ontario! After all, it's for the greater good. That's the way these so-called socialists think. Stop them now before it is too late!

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2007-11-21 8:37:30 PM

John and philanthropist - spot on. From what I have known in most of our cities it is much the same as in Toronto, only Toronto is bigger.

The local governments are stacked to the Left and quiet a bit of tax dollars are spent on all kinds of special interest causes. They should be forced to remain within their budget in any case, and when groups clammer for more special programs and spending, then they need to be made aware that this will result in higher taxes. We have too many demanding all kinds and types of programs and services excepting others to pay the bill. Why should the local governments not have to go back to their rate payers with a referendum in these cases?

Posted by: Alain | 2007-11-21 8:44:12 PM

Move away from Toronto. Move far, far away. The place is polluted with South American termites and other creatures that eat away at its heart. Toronto does nothing for the rest of the country. It's a social black hole.

Posted by: dewp | 2007-11-21 9:23:53 PM


There is no such thing as segregation in Ontario.

Which part of this do you NOT understand?

People are not forced to go to different schools, on the basis of their race, religion, or creed.

You are useing material for an arguement against people sending their children to schools of their choosing.

And, what you are really implying is that everyone has to go to school in the same lousy public school system and pretend everyone gets along so hunky-dory.

Sure, some schools are not all that bad--but let's face it--there is a problem in some schools. So, if people want to voluntarily create schools to address certain issues and needs--and create remedies--and make schools more comfortable for people, as a CHOICE and not FORCED, then I have no problem with there being a wide range of CHOICES.

I reject the idea that only socialist and Catholic Schools get access to money that has been taxed and intended as a benefot to all students.

And the fact that you use the Holocaust as a mechanism to argue your socialist position--is disgusting. People died in Auchwitz, because they were forced there against there will. They were forced at gun-point, and treated worse than cattle. Useing Holocaust as a mechanism to argue your socialist vision, is as bad as PETA argueing that eating chickens is Holocaust on Your Plate and an insult to the memories of those who died in hashoah.

Shame on you!

Posted by: Lady | 2007-11-21 9:50:55 PM

"People are not forced to go to different schools, on the basis of their race, religion, or creed."

Not if the Toronto Negro community gets it's way.

Not if the Muslim community has it's way.

Posted by: John | 2007-11-22 12:13:13 AM

Any surplus is an over taxation. Money should be given back to the people that they took it from...

Posted by: SW | 2007-11-22 12:47:07 AM

Funding education in Ontario is in great dispute in Ontario right now, it's a quagmire and it's all over funding of one religion above all others from the public purse.

Until someone with guts, beyond political ambition, comes along and rights this confederated antiquity, appropriate in 1867 MAYBE, but not today, we'll be seeing turmoil. Nothing is written in stone, Quebec and Newfoundland changed their systems.

Posted by: Liz J | 2007-11-22 7:00:36 AM

In Calgary, mayor Bronco is always griping about not having enough money for infrastructure.

What does he do?
He allocates over 1/4 billion $ for a new refrigerated polar bear enclosure at the Calgary Zoo and then demands money from the provincial government for a new water treatment plant.

Strangely, the cost of a new water treatment plant is almost identical to the amount Bronco is spending on the polar bears.

I've been to the Zoo once in the last 25 years but I use water every day.

I guess it's all about legacy for the politicians.
It's a lot cooler having a state-of-art polar bear enclosure with the name Bronconnier on it than a water treatment facility.

Posted by: Speller | 2007-11-22 8:09:17 AM

I sure hope Toronto doesn't segregate their schools. If so, my grandchildren will have to be bused to a Negro one.

Posted by: atric | 2007-11-22 8:50:59 AM

Ontario's next fiasco: ending African-Canadian unemployment by bringing back slavery.

Ontario is now an Apartheid state. Like the old one in South Africa and Rhodesia, it must be boycotted. No trade, no travel, no connections with the racist regime!

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2007-11-22 9:08:53 AM

No taxation without representation!

If Toronto and Mississauga need more money to run their cities, raise taxes on their citizens.

If the provinces need more money to deliver social programs, raise taxes on their own citizens.

The federal government under Harper plans to get out of spending in provincial jurisdiction completely.

Let's hope they can deliver on that promise.

Posted by: set you free | 2007-11-22 10:19:17 AM

set ~

Be sure to see my earlier post when you were discussing with Lady about the use of "fowl" and "foul". Maybe on a different thread.

Posted by: obc | 2007-11-22 10:34:20 AM


Saw it.

If a post is too long, is that considered a foul?

Or, does anybody have a right to be human sominex?

Posted by: set you free | 2007-11-22 11:05:17 AM

Speaking of fowl....
A Happy Thanksgiving to all our American friends!

Posted by: atric | 2007-11-22 11:12:59 AM

set ~


atric ~


Posted by: obc | 2007-11-22 11:39:22 AM

I'm enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday. Americans are good reason to be thankful - prosperity and freedom. Alberta does too, despite what the federals and Ontarians want to do to us.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2007-11-22 11:44:30 AM


The beauty of Alberta is we're successful despite Ottawa's best efforts.

Posted by: set you free | 2007-11-22 12:18:49 PM

All in favor of moving Thanksgiving in Alberta to the last Thursday in November, please say aye!

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2007-11-22 12:24:20 PM

The racist Jew hating slave owners in Ontario will never allow Albertans the pleasure of changing their Thanskgiving Day to match that of the Evil Americans. I have that on good authority because....well...just because.....

Posted by: atric | 2007-11-22 4:00:27 PM

Lady, let me help you.

The words you are looking for are 'the self-segregated Rhodesians', as the whites were in Rhodesia under Ian Smith.

Ironically, Ian Smith of Rhodesia just died yesterday.

Jacques Parizeau called the self-segregated Mount Royal English 'Rhodesians' to rile Quebecers against them.

Personally, I don't care what people do as long as they do not want me to pay for it.

If you teach your kids only Swahili and then want all govt services in Swahili, you can go to hell.

And that is exactly why Manitoba eliminated French in the schools back in 1890s.

The original Manitoba legislation stated that any school of 20 students of one language could be taught in that language instead of English.

With 20 or 30 new ethnic groups in the province, that was an impossible thing to do.
Ie find the qualified teachers and provide appropriate govt linguistic services, and so Manitoba made English the langauge of instruction for everybody.

French Quebecers, thousands of miles away from the reality, have held it up as an example of English discrimination ever since.
Even Brian Baloney used it when he was PM.

I do not find the social regression back into ethnocentric tribal nationalism helpful in any way, shape, or form for a country as diverse as ours.

Frankly I find it incredibly amusing that Toronto is just now going thru what Western Canada went over a hundred yrs ago.

And they think they are leading the country!

Posted by: rockyt | 2007-11-22 4:55:00 PM

It is fair to say that Toronto's self-declared, and wholly false, reputation for tolerance is at an end. Worse, the whole concept of multiculturalism, where races and ethnicities learn to live in harmony, has also come to an end.

I can see the sign now: "Welcome to Toronto: Segregated for the common good"

"This lane for whites only," heading for downtown Toronto.

Signs heading for the Jane-Finch area, "This lane for coloreds only".

How the pathetic have fallen.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2007-11-22 5:04:27 PM

"French Quebecers, thousands of miles away from the reality, have held it up as an example of English discrimination ever since."

Speaking of reality,
You're an English living in Mtl and you're not willing to let your kids to learn and live in french ?
No problem.
Pack your shit and get the fuck out.

Thank you.

Posted by: Marc | 2007-11-23 12:48:02 AM

You're right Marc. And all those French living in Ontario who are not willing to let their kids live and learn in English should do the same.
My taxes are going to support both Catholic and Public French language schools here in Ontario and I resent it.
"Pack your shit and get the fuck out," indeed!

Posted by: atric | 2007-11-23 9:55:08 AM

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