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posted on July 21, 2008
By: Kelly Grant
Published: February 21, 2008, 9:23 PM
Source: National Post
"The City of Toronto, which has insisted for years it cannot escape a fiscal straightjacket created by the province, could be debt-free by 2010, according to an independent panel whose recommendations include tolling expressways, taxing parking lots, streamlining city operations, beefing up the mayor’s powers and studying the sale of assets including Toronto Hydro, the Toronto Parking Authority and Enwave. Authored by six eminent Torontonians hand-selected by the Mayor, the report identifies up to $3.5-billion that could be squeezed out of city assets — either by selling them or finding other ways to extract more money from them — and urges council to axe $50-million in spending this year and $150-million in future years. “Ultimately, if you could implement this and you had the will to implement this, you could get to a situation where Toronto is debt-free and [has] a balanced budget ... within three years,” said panelist Paul Massara, the president of Genesis Capital Corporation, in a meeting with the National Post’s editorial board. “The question is, is there the political will?”"