The Toronto Taxpayers Coalition is answering Toronto Public Library’s “Why My Library Matters to Me” challenge, in which you can win lunch with one of several celebrated Canadian authors including Margaret Atwood, with their right-wing revision. Successful applicants can win lunch with Doug Ford with the best essay that begins with the phrase, “Lower taxes are good for Toronto because…”

Well, I like a free lunch as much as anyone, and the chance to talk literature with one of Toronto’s finest politicians is too much to pass up. So I’d thought I’d venture my own contribution (just don’t tell him I live in Vancouver):

Lower taxes are good for Toronto because what made this city great are upper-middle class boroughers who can barely afford to put gasoline in their Escalades nowadays. Their innovation and creativity are being criminally curtailed because of the disproportionate tax burden they so heavily bear. I mean, sure it’s actually disproportionate in the other direction, but who’s counting? Unless you mean the countdown on John Tesh’s show on CHFI. I always listen to Teshy when I’m stuck on the 427. And the Gardiner. And the Don Valley Parkway. Tesh doesn’t take my taxes, not like those socialist pinkos at the CBC.

And that’s why Toronto’s great, because I can listen to John Tesh (or Kim Mitchell) while I take in breathtaking landscapes littering the expanses of Etobicoke and Mississauga. Boy, that’s a big IKEA! Toronto is certainly not great because of its bloated library system — bloated by the people who use it on a daily basis across the city. Apparently it’s the busiest in the world. Now that’s gravy!

Anyway, Toronto’s certainly not great because of its tax-sucking transit system (we put a nail in that coffin, didn’t we Dougie? Woo!). And it’s certainly not great because of its theatre or music scene, its diverse array of festivals and celebrations or the dedication of its residents to combatting poverty, homelessness, racism, homophobia, sexism, climate change and injustice. Sometimes, when people ask me where I’m from, I don’t even say Toronto. I say Richmond Hill, because Richmond Hill is the reason why Toronto is great. In fact, sometimes Toronto just makes Toronto worse.

If we had lower taxes, we wouldn’t be funding grandiose funerals for showy Torontonians like Jack Layton. We wouldn’t have to hear so many people talk about things like “unity,” “equality” and “compassion.” Lower taxes mean I can worry about numero uno, job one and other helpful clichés–not friends, colleagues, and neighbours coming together in the name of the commonwealth. Knowing my friends and neighbours, they’re just as likely to ask me for a handout like all those hippies that hang out in Kensington Market. Most of my friends are bankers, after all.

In conclusion, lower taxes are good for Toronto because they will make it the world-class city™ it always wanted to be: a city made for its economy and not its people; a city based on self-interest rather than community; a city of highways, overpasses and cloverleaf interchanges rather than literacy, arts and culture; a city based on saving money rather than saving lives; a city about division rather than about coming together. 

Of course, if Toronto doesn’t lower its taxes, I can always head off to the Whitby Entertainment Centrum. Jack Astor’s or East Side Mario’s? I can never decide.

Photo from flickr under creative commons license.

Michael Stewart

Michael Stewart

Michael Stewart is the blogs coordinator at rabble.ca and a freelance writer. He is a bad editor, a PhD dropout and a union thug. He lives in Victoria, B.C. Follow him on Twitter @m_r_stewart