Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Did Rob Ford Open the Door for 905-Bashing?:: A Modest Proposal

image :: Rob Ford, Toronto mayoral candidate

Ford responded::
"We can't even take care of our 2.5 million people. I think it's important that we take care of the people now before we start bringing in more."
The logic here is that Toronto as a "city-state" is overwhelmed and cannot take on outsiders, with the implication that such outsiders would be a drain on the city. Let's think about this line of thinking in a Swiftian fashion...

Toronto is high on labour attractiveness, but is lagging in terms of the overall economy. Some think that an underfunded GTA mass transit infrastructure and high commute times are warning signs for the city's future. In terms of cost-effectiveness, the TTC is far more efficient than the GO-Train on a per-ride basis {subsidies after fares accounted for:: TTC - 415M rides at a cost of $0.47/rider, Go Transit - 44M rides at a cost of $4.71/ride}, so bringing in outsiders with mass transit is costly. So, shouldn't the "outsiders" of the 905 who commute into the city adding to the road congestion and commute times be scrutinized as possible drains on the city? Sure, one could argue that there's human capital commuting in from the 905 that adds to the economy, but shouldn't this be empirically addressed like so much tallying of city hall free perqs and waste. Shouldn't we be more concerned about 905 outsiders adding to Toronto's problems, adding to the disposable coffee cups littering our downtown core, and clogging our freeways and mass transit. Toronto might not have a say about what the federal government does regarding Tamil immigrants, but maybe we need to examine drawing a line in the sand at suburban lifestylers commuting in from Whitby with their lower property taxes and statistically bigger carbon footprints.  I suppose some people think they're too good to gentrify large swaths of the city with their addiction to sprawl. I suggest Queen's Park commission a million dollar study to address this and I'll await the RFP.

Song:: Arcade Fire-"The Suburbs"

Twitterversion:: [blog] Rob Ford's immigration quips cause stir, but perhaps logic can be extended to sprawl-enabling commuters from 905.  @Prof_K

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