As regular readers have probably already guessed, I've been pretty busy with other stuff. Still busy, in fact. But here are a few quick hits:
And I'll spend a bit more time on this last item: The Fraser Institute has done a study (PDF) that they claim shows the Greater Toronto Area pays $24-billion per year more to Ottawa and Queen's Park than it gets back.
This is partly as it should be. We have agreed on a system here in Canada whereby taxes flow more from people with high incomes than from people with lower incomes, and go to help pay the costs of running the country and supporting the needy. That's the social contract here. And so, since lots of high-income people live in the GTA, it is a natural consquence of our system that that money flows elsewhere.
But the problem here in Toronto lies in the changes that were made by the Harris-Eves government. By downloading social services onto municipalities, it means that people in the City get hit twice. (Because needy people have congregated in urban areas, especially our urban area.) Our high income taxes aren't helping our neighbours very much -- those dollars are being used for other things. Instead, we support Queen's Park through our income taxes and then support our needy neighbours through our property taxes.
The solution? Pay for social services through income taxes, on a province-wide or nation-wide basis.
(For more on the study, read John Barber.)