Open Mike

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Rick C in Oakville

Was working in Calgary the last 10 days, and got to see the local excitement generated by the Stamps heading to the Grey Cup.
With unemployment over 10% here, you can see hotels are not busy, restaurants also.
The CBC has been talking about how it hasn't created any buzz back in Toronto.
From a moral booster, I hope the Stamps win.

November 25, 2016 @ 9:40 AM

Ryan G

Apparently there's some kind of chalice being contested for this weekend and it's grey. I had no idea.

November 25, 2016 @ 10:12 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Who here is going to the Grey Cup?

November 25, 2016 @ 10:14 AM

Daniel

Not me... I don't dislike the CFL but between NCAA and NFL I get all the football I can handle

Also...God damn road tolls...

November 25, 2016 @ 10:17 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Nobody wants to pay for something they currently get for free. Just ask newspapers about this... or your local podcaster. :)

But the tolls... what is the alternative? I'm all ears... at least that's a user fee that you can avoid by taking transit or (gasp!) biking.

November 25, 2016 @ 10:20 AM

Ryan G

@Daniel..i read your note as "toad trolls" and i'm not even drunk.

November 25, 2016 @ 10:30 AM

Douglas

So thick is the irony of the excitement over the Grey Cup in economically hammered Calgary in contrast to the utter apathy in the city that is hosting the event. Argos in a new (for them) stadium or not, this year's Grey Cup should not have been held in Toronto (this is the third time in the past decade) - and maybe should never be again. For a long time now and to come, Toronto has been and will be the CFL's "problem child". I think it's a no-win issue.

November 25, 2016 @ 11:06 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I assume Toronto gets more than its fair share of Grey Cups because all the corporate sponsors have HQs here.

It sure isn't because of our fervor for CFL football.

November 25, 2016 @ 11:13 AM

Douglas

Segue from the comment about road tolls:
There is not one government in Canada that has a "revenue problem" (sic). Every single damned one of them has a spending problem. Politicians know all too well that Canadians can be so easily bought with their own tax money, so they all promise spending, and who cares about how much debt gets racked up in the process. Fiscal prudence does not get one elected, at least until you hit a wall, like New Zealand in the 1980s. I was there a few years after that happened. Suffice to say, it wasn't pretty, and everyone in the country was materially affected.

Don't get me wrong. We need government, and it only makes sense that some services should not be delivered by the private sector. However, since roughly the late 1960s, spending by, for, and on "government" has gone up, up and up. The ultimate impact on taxpayers is rarely, if ever, brought up, let alone a concern. Government/bureaucracy has become a self-fulfilling, ever-expanding organism. The proportion of Canadians employed by some level of government has been steadily increasing for decades. Keep in mind that nearly all of them have gold, platinum and "unobtainium" plated pensions, many of which are not even close to 50/50 employee-employer paid, with the taxpayer on the ultimate hook should anything go wrong. Benefits packages in the public sector often parallel the calibre of pension.

Inevitably, there will be a point where the increasing proportion of working Canadians who are government employees will be unsustainable, as the decreasing proportion of private sector workers, who have to support both themselves/their families and finance through taxation the public sector, get squeezed out.

There is an factor knows as the multiplier of money spent/invested in the economy. If the multiplier is greater than 1, the money into the economy helps the economy grow. If it is less, it detracts from the economy. Government spending is far less than 1. Non-government spending is greater than 1. Therefore, if government spending's economic multiplier was greater than 1, such spending would result in superior long-term sustainability and growth in highly socialist and communist countries.

Nobody of sound mind reading this will say "I do not pay enough in taxes. I should be paying more, if not a lot more, of my income to taxes." Your taxes go up every year. Your public servants get raises. Every year. As people were struggling to keep their jobs in the 2008-2009 recession, let alone get a raise, hundreds of thousands of public sector employees were getting raises of 2-4%, The same after that. "X got raises, so (we) should, too." And the taxpayer gets the bill, no matter how difficult it is for them to pay it.

All that we should do is really think about this "entitlement" to your hard-earned money. What I saw in New Zealand was really disturbing. Ultimately, there is only "one taxpayer". You. How much more of your money do you want to give up? How much less do you want to live on? We do not work for government. They are hired by us. To represent us, not tell us what they want to do from their perch on high. Proportionately fewer and fewer private sector workers to pay for proportionately more and more public sector employees, projects and services. How long can that pattern keep going? Kick the can down the road some more? New Zealand. Greece. Who's next?

November 25, 2016 @ 11:39 AM

Dirk Dundalk

Sadly I did not get Grey Cup tickets this year.I had lunch at Burger King yesterday,should have had Pizza.

November 25, 2016 @ 11:42 AM

McNulty

@ Mike

The comment about transit and biking isn't fair to what actually exists. I drive from Danforth and Coxwell to Mississauga.
Transit takes about 2 hours. Biking is absurd and not close to feasible in the winter. I don't have a locker at work and I can't bike to work in a shirt and tie.
But the cheering of a tax from the #biketo crowd is petty.
Biking is not feasible for everyone. The transit to outside the city is terrible.
If there were real options to use then it may be a fair plan. But taxing someone and saying to use alternatives that are horrible is not reasonable.

I'm sure the #biketo crowd would be pretty pissed if they attached a user fee to bike lanes.

November 25, 2016 @ 11:52 AM

Rob J

It's not fair to bash the Grey Cup 'apathy' when the 2 teams competing are from out of town. How full would the Rogers Centre be if it hosted a Padres-Twins World Series?? (Spoiler alert: It would be a disaster)

November 25, 2016 @ 12:10 PM

Ryan G

Not to bring everyone down, but we are all merely mortal creatures and we must all become one again with the planet in one way or the other.

Certainly most of us think about these types of things occassionally, and last night after dinner I found myself pondering certain aspects of my own existence. See, I did something crazy yesterday evening..something on a whim..something I believe I may have done only once or twice before in my lifetime.

I purchased and ate a Hungry Man frozen dinner.

So, dearest friends, I can tell you all with one hundred and fifty percent certainty that in my remaining years on this planet, I will never, ever eat one of those again.

Carry on.

November 25, 2016 @ 12:20 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@McNulty

I'm completely oblivious to any cheering from the #biketo crowd.

And I'm a driver, too. In fact, my wife works at 1 Yonge Street and often jumped on the Gardiner to go to work. When her mat leave is up, I'm sure she'll be doing that again.

I just can't think of a better alternative to raise the money.

November 25, 2016 @ 1:29 PM

Rick C in Oakville

@Douglas, Kathleen Wynne has stated Austerity has ended for the next round of contract talks leading up to the next election. Looks like she is priming the pump on more government debt and vote buying through the Civil Service.
I would never bet against her getting re-elected, and I am not a Wynne supporter.

November 25, 2016 @ 1:48 PM

McNulty

@ Mike

Your tweet about the news with only "#biketo" was a form of celebrating. Why else use that hashtag? If it's great for the city then #Toronto would have been appropriate.
There were many tweets with that article that were celebratory.

I don't believe targeting one group is ever useful. I would oppose user fees for bike lanes as well.
The DVP and Gardiner are beneficial for the entire city. Bike lanes are beneficial for the entire city. We should all cover the costs.

The cost to implement and maintain this will be "higher than expected" and the money won't go to what they say. It would be easier to listen to a politician to tell me to use transit if that same person actually used transit.

Lastly the comments like "I don't use the _______ why should I pay for it?" are against everything a government and a community should believe in. It's also divisive. It puts groups against one another rather than a collective that works together.

Put out a city wide sales tax. Bring back 1% on the gst and give it to the cities. Stop hiding behind the lowest property tax increases. Cut services like snow removal on sidewalks. Most communities do that themselves.
There are other ways. They just affect everyone and Tory wants reelection. If it's for the common good then do it. Don't do it based on whose votes can I lose.

November 25, 2016 @ 2:37 PM

Cheryl

Well, I said I was going to be late. Long boring morning. Had an appoiontment, was supposed to be 8:30. The doctor doesn't get in until an hour late. He's never on time anyway. He said it was traffic, but he should have left an hour earlier and then he would be on time. Anyway, so how much are these road tolls anyway? What if it's $5.00 a kilometer or something like that, then maybe it will keep my trainer away and that would not be good. Anyway, so how much are these tolls anyway? Well, Habs won last night. That's great. They'll win tomorrow. My Cavs will win tonight and my Suns and Nets.

November 25, 2016 @ 2:43 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@McNulty

I think you read far too much into the #biketo tweet. I was mainly being funny, because biking would avoid the tolls. I sure wasn't celebrating.

November 25, 2016 @ 2:46 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Cheryl

Coincidentally, I had my annual checkup yesterday afternoon.

And my blood results are already online! What an age we live in.

November 25, 2016 @ 2:47 PM

Dr. Seymour Light

Here is my take on the Toronto City road toll and “revenue tool” issues. I am a 905er who visits Toronto often but does not work there.
1. Tolls should apply to people who live outside the city boundaries. If your permanent residence is in the city boundaries, you should be exempt from the toll as arguably your city taxes help subside city roads.
2. If you live outside of Toronto, but work in Toronto, you should pay a city income tax of some sort. You likely are using services subsidized by others – Water, Sewage, Garbage etc.
3. If you ride bikes or anything else on city streets, you should pay a license fee for this to pay your share of road/sidewalk/trail maintenance.
Fair?

November 25, 2016 @ 2:51 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Dr. Seymour Light

Are cyclists exempt from the license fee if they pay property tax in Toronto?

November 25, 2016 @ 2:53 PM

Anonymous

How many taxes have been imposed over the years to pay for roads, transit etc. When the Ontario government converted the PST to HST where did all the extra money go? Wynne's cap and trade will add 4.3 cents to a litre of gas. Toronto is always short of money but always "find" the money when city council comes up with one of their pet projects like the Bloor street bike lanes.

In the future we can look forward to the carbon taxes / cap and trade from both Wynne and Trudeau. Stories everyday about people having to choose between paying hydro and eating.

Government is to only group that never has to do with less

November 25, 2016 @ 3:03 PM

Dr. Seymour Light

@Mike - Seems fair to me...

November 25, 2016 @ 3:18 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Dr. Seymour Light

Remember though, this is the same council that decided ebikes don't have to be licensed.

And, the trend is to create as many incentives as possible to get people out of the car and onto bikes. The last thing they should probably do is create this bureaucratic obstacle to jumping on a bicycle and riding to work and back.

November 25, 2016 @ 3:21 PM

McNulty

I would be for giving incentives to getting people off the streets and onto transit if the infrastructure already existed. It doesn't.

If just 10% of the people driving tried to use the subways and go trains the system would be in chaos. I've taken the Go at rush hour. I've taken the subways. It's packed every morning. They don't have the room and clearly the TTC budget people can't seem to make it work.

I'm for public transit. On the weekends I only use the subways and street cars. I rarely drive. It works for short trips downtown to basketball games, dinner and shows. It doesn't work for daily commutes if you're outside the downtown core.

November 25, 2016 @ 3:55 PM

Justin

My first reaction to road tolls was positive, followed by outrage after additional thought, and now I'm not sure where I stand on the issue.

My Conservative leanings have me totally opposed to unnecessary tax increases, but the Gardiner/DVP tolls are a voluntary tax. Don't like it? Take the Bayview Extension (which is almost always faster anyways) or the Lakeshore. Lots of major cities have road tolls, it was only a matter of time before Toronto adopted them. And it's a much more preferable method of raising money for capital projects than raising property taxes or mandatory user fees.

My one caveat is the inevitable price increases year-to-year for these tolls. You see the TTC fare increases every year and it may be the same with these tolls. $4 a day isn't huge but wait until it's $4.50 a day, $5.00 a day...in a decade from now it could be $8 or even $10 a day. Don't believe me? TTC metropass fares have increased 70% over the last decade. The same perpetually-raised road tolls would have a crippling affect on many. As Mark Towhey articulated yesterday,i f you earn $50K/yr & use Gardiner daily the toll = 2.4% cut to your take-home pay. $4x5x50 =$1000/yr = 2.4% of after-tax $41,500. That's...not good. And it's only going to go up.

At the end of the day Toronto faces a serious budget shortfall due to political mismanagement for over a decade Miller was a disaster, Ford tried his best to bring down costs, and things have soared once again under Tory. However, I do believe the real problem started with amalgamation and the Harris PC government downloading tons of costs to the cities, but that's a whole other discussion...

November 25, 2016 @ 5:17 PM

twins from bolton

People living in Toronto should not complain about their property taxes.
I live in Caledon region & this year my tax was $ 4900.00 & next year 5-7% more.
Garbage pick up - 1 week garbage & next week recycling. Composter bin every week now as used to be every week both picked up.

Just don't toll HWY 427 as my only route to work.


November 25, 2016 @ 5:23 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@twins from bolton

Just so you know, that's our system in Toronto.

Green bin is picked up every week but the garbage and recycling alternates weeks. I personally have no problem with this schedule.

Sincerely,
Guy who paid double land transfer tax a few years ago

November 25, 2016 @ 5:26 PM

GUNTer

was half-listening to Q-107 on the drive home. Maureen Halloway's last day is today. Missed the first part of the announcement so don't know if she is retiring, leaving for greener pastures, got the boot, etc.

November 25, 2016 @ 5:53 PM

Brian Cook

Heard a rumor Mo is headed to CHFI to replace Erin Davis

November 25, 2016 @ 6:42 PM

Javed Jafri

It is on her twitter. True

November 25, 2016 @ 6:45 PM

Javed Jafri

The part about her leaving q is on her twitter. Not the CHFI but sounds plausible.

November 25, 2016 @ 6:50 PM

chris

Perfect fit Mo replacing Erin.
Mo wasn't a fit at Q107.

November 25, 2016 @ 7:14 PM

Rob J

I know there was some chatter on an earlier TM blog post, but further to the AM 640 morning show: I usually fall asleep to the conspiratorial tones of 'Coast to Coast AM' with George Noory on 640 and during the ads (when it's not Brian from 1-800-Got-Junk) they play clips of morning show 'highlights'. If they're hanging their hat on topics such as "do millennials know who Paul Newman is", heaven help Corus.

November 25, 2016 @ 7:32 PM

Jason from Sudbury

Who's replacing Mo?

November 26, 2016 @ 12:15 AM

Cheryl

Well, that's good if you get your blood results on line. I don't. If there is something wrong that is abnormal, I will get a phone call telling me to go back to his office a few days later. I hope that doesn't happen. Anyway, how about those Cavs. That game was so awesome. It was a laugher which is a great thing. Kevin Love does it again. Lebron does it again. Kyrie Irving does it again. Awesome game. Unfortunately my Suns and Nets both lost again, that's nothing really new. My Coyotes won in a shootout. That's good as they were almost losing. Anyway, my Habs will win tonight. Of course they will as they will win the cup. I sure hopw these road tolls won't make my trainer quit, but who knows.

November 26, 2016 @ 5:47 AM

Tim

I refuse to pay tolls to sit on the dvp. i will just go to the city less and spend my money elsewhere. They should expand the north /south go train service to run 24/7. Safe, efficient and right downtown. Every major city in the world has all day train service why in the world can't Toronto. BTW I live by Lake Simcoe and Toronto people use the lake and the parks and other amenities. They should pay an extra user fee for the added cost of cleaning up after them.

November 26, 2016 @ 3:50 PM

collingwood dave

The Vanier cup was played today, It was Calgary vs. Laval. It was a great game played inside an empty Tim Hortons stadium in HAMILTON....WTF... High School football in the States. draws more fans.And this is our equivalent to the NCAA.. WoW...by the way Laval won......

November 26, 2016 @ 8:23 PM

Rick C in Oakville

@ Collingwood Dave> I suspect most of the fans were the parents on my Westjet Flight from Calgary last night. Many Stamps and Dino fans hooting it up. It was actually fun to watch as these people were truly enjoying the moment, no matter how small town it seemed.

I hope Mo is heading to CHFI, I think Mo and Darren B could make it work,
I think CHUM FM is afraid to lose Roger Ashby, as he is like the old Wally Crouter of CFRB, a familiar voice when you tune in.

November 26, 2016 @ 10:16 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Maureen Holloway is definitely replacing Erin Davis on CHFI.

November 26, 2016 @ 10:37 PM

Cheryl

Well, how about those Habs. It was an overtime win. No scoring in the first two periods. Wings opened up the scoring in the third, but Habs scored in the third later on and in OT. Habs win again. Yes, the Habs will win the cup. No doubt about it. today is football and basketball. I sure hope it's a good pool day. Ravens especially need to win and Cardinals need to win and also Browns need to win because they are killing me in my pool. Basketball today as well, lots of it. My Cavs, Suns and Nets will hopefully win. Suns and Nets aren't doing that well though which is too bad, but I think Cavs will repeat the NBA championship. So Habs win the cup and Cavs win the NBA for a repeat. Awesome. So the more you are on these roads, the more toll you have to pay? That's not good if that is the case. I don't want my trainer to quit. I really like him.

November 27, 2016 @ 6:18 AM

Daniel

@Douglas I agree 100% with your comments and been arguing this for years. Though much less elegantly than you.

The government has slowly become this arrogant entitled bloated entity who thinks the only solution to their spending is to tax the people they represent.

@torontomike my solution would be... well I have a scorched earth solution. but my more realistic solution would be no new gov hires for 10 years, negotiate to scrap or trim down DB pensions 26 sick days and all the other ancillary benefits gov workers get

and in your response to biking. i would love to bike to work but I sweat and my work does not have shower. I can't attend a meeting pooled in sweat and smelling like a locker room. I suspect most people don't bike for the same reason.

also bikes should be licensed and should pay fees to ride them on the city. you get your own lane which costs money to create and maintain. you should pay for it, like cars

November 27, 2016 @ 2:00 PM

anon

Might at well just call Toronto another American city. Tolls, Black Friday, Argo tail-gating....etc. Is there any original thought?

Like to know the actual breakdown of the TTC. U have ridership (product demand) yet continue to need $$$$. ?????

Miller had the $60 fee. If that money went only to road maintenance what the hell is a measly 60 bucks.

& the Bloor bike lanes are crap & dangerous. If any driver wants to turn Left, because the cars are now parked 3M from the curb, in order to see the oncoming traffic, they have to block the bike lane to make their turn which is so dangerous. & now u have to be aware of passengers exiting the car. & its hard to pass slow cyclists too.

November 27, 2016 @ 3:13 PM

Rick C in Oakville

@anon, also what has the city of Toronto done with the additional taxes collected from the multitudes of Condos built and being built? There must be a big bump just from this alone. Vacant parking lots and old low rise dwellings converted to multi storey condos have to be a windfall.

November 27, 2016 @ 3:24 PM

twins from bolton

Taxes for those who live in Toronto. Be fortunate. Go ahead & have tolls for DVP & Gardiner. I'm all for it.
Bikes should also be licensed yearly also.
I pay over 5M a year now for less garbage pickup & now 5% increase for 2017.
And your are complaining?


November 27, 2016 @ 4:59 PM

Rick C in Oakville

@Twins, similar tax situation here in Oakville, $4400 for 1700 sq ft. Detached. Luckily the tax base gets a good chunk from the, Lakeshore homes. They play with the mill rates to match the assessment, just so the tax rates don't sky rocket.

November 27, 2016 @ 5:41 PM

Sid_V

A bit late to the discussion on the DVP tax, but it is probably time for the city to find a way to pass the costs of the roads and infrastructure on to the users - the commuters who drive in every day. Congestion taxes have been used in other large cities (Stockholm was one of the first) and have reduced congestion and changed public attitudes towards driving into the heart of the city. A variable rate targeting the peak weekday times only would mean the difference between a policy tool and a Wynne-style blatant tax grab.

November 27, 2016 @ 11:34 PM

Cheryl

Well, how about those Cavs. They were losing throughout most of the game, but had a really good second half and won the game. My Suns and Nets did not do very well though. Both lost. Football was okay. My Ravens won. The Browns lost again. Cleveland has two good teams, the Cavs and Indians, but the Browns suck and I picked them for my pool. Anyway, Seahawks lost which is bad. Chiefs won, Titans won, Dolphins won which is all good. There was a bit of hockey. My Coyotes won so that's great. They beat Edmonton twice.

November 28, 2016 @ 6:42 AM

Cheryl

Not a lot happened in sports last night. Today there is hockey. Hopefully both my Coyotes and Habs will win and basketball with a Cavs win tonight. Cavs can be 14 and 2. Amazing. Cavs will repeat the champion this year. Habs are winning the Stanley cup.

November 29, 2016 @ 6:40 AM

Anonymous

Personally I think it is the corporate tax rate reductions being offloaded on individuals. But I know that is complicated. Locally, I also like the idea of eliminating sidewalk snow removal (when I lived in the Annex we were fined if we didn't do it ourselves). I would also like to see some adjustments to fees for city programming. I'm ok with tolls. We have no issue paying for that to use the 407 although the rates are a bit crazy.

November 29, 2016 @ 10:04 AM

Cheryl

Awful night. My Habs and Coyotes both lost. That's not good. My Cavs lost. That was no good. I mean that they played sloppy ball kept missing shots and free throws. It's horrible. I hope the Cavs won't go into a big long slump. My Nets did win though. That's great. I got one win and a bunch of losses. My trainer says the tolls won't really bother him much which is good.

November 30, 2016 @ 8:03 AM

Cheryl

Well, my Suns won. It's about time they won, winning by two points. Anyway, My Habs and Coyotes will win today and my Cavs and Nets will win today. There will be no baseball lockout as apparently the playhers and owners have an agreement. That's good there will be baseball this year.

December 1, 2016 @ 6:26 AM

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