York University Debate

York University Debate

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Thanks for the opportunity to speak to you today. I am particularly obliged to the York Federation of Students for organizing this debate.

The information – technology age and its effects on people have been vastly underestimated; and this phenomenon is exacerbated by globalization. Society will advance more in the next 20 years than it has in the last two centuries.

We must adapt to these challenges to remain competitive in the workplace, as a society, and in the global markets. We can look to the example of the Neanderthals and woolly mammoths to understand what happens to those that do not adapt to their surroundings. They become extinct.

At the Municipal level, we can look at the case of Detroit to the see what happens to a Municipality that does not rise to its challenges. For some Cities it is too much; for others it is an opportunity ….to compete and be prosperous.

According to Professor Hulchanski’s work in “Three Cities”, Toronto is three cities in one; and they are segregated by economic class: The Rich, The Poor, and the Middle Class.

The Rich are getting Richer and are typically well-educated and generally locate in the downtown core around the subway system, where a misappropriate proportion of City resources tend to gravitate to.

Poverty is spreading in Pandemic proportions in Toronto; and this is creating a drag on the Middle Class. In fact, 53% of Torontonians are expected to be under the Low Income Cut Off by 2025.

The important message here is that – there are some deep structural problems in the City of Toronto; and 22 high poverty areas have manifested due to the unequal distribution of resources. Namely, Ward 8, the M3N and M3J postal codes are among the poorest postal codes in Canada.

We must face the reality that this City has not invested in critical components of its infrastructure. Our Labor Pool is undermined by a grossly inefficient transit system. The person who lives at Jane and Bloor and uses TTC to get to work in 30 minutes – has a distinct competitive advantage over the person who lives at Jane and Finch, who takes two hours to get to work.

The simplest antidote known to mankind – to remedy poverty, is improved transit.

I have supported the Ford Economic Agenda since 2010. I do so for a reason. The Ford Economic Agenda treats the root cause of Toronto’s problems rather than treat the symptoms of Toronto’s problems. The genius of the Ford Economic Agenda is its simplicity.

By keeping taxes low Torontonians will have an environment that is conducive to business; and it will keep precious dollars in your pocket. This is particularly important to the poor who pay a misappropriate portion of taxes compared to the rich. It also enables us to compete in the global markets as both human and financial capital tends to gravitate towards jurisdictions that are fairly taxed.

Improved Transit allows our labor pool to be more competitive. Subways make it interesting for developers. They bring jobs and housing. Subways make it possible to completely rejuvenate communities. Subways make it possible for communities to prosper for decades to come. I would point to an example I call the “Hulmark Model”. Look to the south east corner of Yonge and Sheppard. Having a Subway in the basement of this office condo project made it interesting to Tridel – to develop this project; and this is exactly what we need to locate one block west of Jane and Finch – to entirely rejuvenate the Jane and Finch community.

Stopping the Gravy Train at City Hall will put more money in the hands of the poor and middle class; and make Toronto a World Class City that businesses will choose to locate in.

I am Arthur Smitherman and a proud member of Ford Nation because Ford Nation means RESPECT FOR TAXPAYERS; and PROMISES MADE, PROMISES KEPT!

So please, on Election Day support FORD NATION, vote Doug Ford for Mayor, Arthur Smitherman for City Council, and Tiffany Ford for School Trustee.