Mayor John Tory stands firm on low taxes in the face of massive budget shortfall, declining city services, and the threat of bankruptcy.
John Tory, the newly-minted premier of Ontario, vowed Tuesday to run government like a business, with no room for the sort of wild swings that he says are the mark of his new political life.
Tory, who as mayor of Toronto was once dubbed “The Mayor Who Turned Right” for his conservative views, now says he will slash taxes in an effort to balance the province’s books within his first year in power.
In the process, he is betting his career and his political career on the notion that Ontario won’t be a lost cause if he sticks to his guns, and avoids the sort of fiscal panics that have befallen other provinces.
“In my view, our fiscal situation is going to be resolved over time, whether it’s my first year or eight years into a mandate,” Tory told a panel of reporters at a conference call organized by the Toronto Sun.
It is the second week in a row that Tory has called for sweeping tax cuts in the Ontario budget after the Liberals released their first in-depth financial and economic analysis of his government’s 2015-16 fiscal plan.
Tory has been a fiscal conservative all his political life, so his decision to turn on his conservative ways in office should come as little surprise.
To him, this is a tough job to put on young, fresh-faced politicians who lack the experience or gravitas to run a stable government.
“We have to do it,” the 37-year-old Tory said. “This is our job. If we don’t take that job on, it’s in a serious way, that for us to get the next leader of the Ontario Liberals, we have to have the most stable government in this province.”
For now, Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals are still the odds-on favourite to win the June 7 general election, with the NDP and Green Party fighting it out in the race to join the government.
Tory was quick to defend the government’s decision to call a spring 2015 election because of the financial crisis and the looming province-wide deficit, saying the