Yesterday, Olivia Chow, once again, unsuccessfully tried to distance herself from three decades as one of the highest spending Councillors and MPs in Canadian politics.
At her rally, Olivia Chow tried to pull a fast one on Toronto voters by claiming canceling the Scarborough subway will save Toronto taxpayers money. A project already approved and funded by all three levels of government. The reality is ripping up this agreement will not only cost Toronto taxpayers MILLIONS, it will greatly damage our relationships with both levels of government.
Olivia Chow is trying to paint herself as a fiscal conservative – cautious with our tax dollars. Yet her record as a politician living on the public purse paints a very different picture:
- In 1993, City Councillor Olivia Chow was the top spender at City Hall. (Toronto Star, February 1994) Five years later, in 1998, she was the second highest spender. When confronted with her excess, Ms. Chow responded, “These things come out and people just raise a fuss. It just diverts us from our work in some ways.” (Toronto Star, March 18, 1999)
- In 1996, when the TTC needed to increase its fares by 10%, Olivia Chow suggested an additional tax increase to protect social programs, and blamed the Provincial government for the City’s woes. (Toronto Star, November 26, 1996) Is Ms. Chow’s plan as Toronto’s Mayor to blame the Provincial government every time she needs money for a “social agenda”?
- In 1998, Toronto’s debt had reached $1 billion. But instead of finding ways to cut spending, Chow fought to borrow up to $500 million more. (Toronto Star, December 19, 1998)
- In 1999, Olivia believed the City should “borrow to the limit.” Even after the Province gave the City an additional $75 million, Olivia Chow fought to see Toronto borrow to the limit to expand social programs – which would have added an additional $100 million to the City’s debt – before interest payments. (Toronto Star, March 24, 1999)
- Later that year in 1999, Councillor Chow took the position that the City not honour the repayment of the received Provincial loans, despite having voted just months before to receive them on that basis. (National Post, April 23, 1999) When you borrow money you pay it back. Does Olivia Chow believe government should not be held to the same standard?
John Tory has demonstrated his financial acumen and deep respect for taxpayer dollars in his management of charities such as the United Way and Civic Action. He is a leader in Toronto’s business community, and internationally respected for his financial ability.
“My opponent, Olivia Chow, has made a career of spending every dollar and asking for more,” said Tory. “I have a track record of sound financial management in large organizations. I will invest in necessities and respect the taxpayer. Unlike my opponent, I have always had the restraint to say no to things we can’t afford.”
Toronto needs a mayor with experience, fiscal common sense, and restraint – not a career politician who has been living off the public purse for three decades.