Ontario PC leader Doug Ford said in the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder that if Ontario municipalities want to get new infrastructure money from the province, they must cut waste.
“We are going to support local communities and cities but we also have to look through the books to make sure we aren’t wasting money in any town or city. I can tell you that in the City of Toronto, we went out and saved a billion dollars.
“So if the province is going to be fiscally responsible, we expect the same from every single town and city. We are willing to help — no doubt about it — but everyone has to be responsible with taxpayers’ money.”
If Ford’s minions go through the City of Ottawa’s books, their collective minds will wobble. We know the broad strokes of the problems there. Imagine what lurks inside if a real auditor goes through Ottawa’s finances.
Mayor Jim Watson and the city are spending $3.2 billion too much on light rail and not achieving reasonable targets such as getting to Barrhaven and Kanata. If Ford is serious about plowing through Ottawa’s books, one would expect that future funding for light rail is in serious jeopardy.
Nevertheless, light rail is vital to Ottawa’s future prosperity (unless it is overtaken by technology) but the way Ottawa is doing it is disgusting. The city is building a gold-plated LRT to win obscure awards for city staffers. Doubtful Ford’s money-crunchers will like that.
And no wonder His Worship was being so nice to the provincial PC leader. Premier Kathleen Wynne is in grave trouble in the polls.
Guess what? If Watson is serious about being mayor (he’s collecting signatures at present for his nomination and some people are turning him down), then being nice to Ford is critical. Either that or he is faking another run for the mayoralty and is still looking for an appointment. Doubt that’s coming from PC Ford.
Anyway, Doug Ford as premier. Wow, will he shake up Ottawa City Hall if he sets his auditors loose.
A number of city staff should be dusting off their resumes.
Wonder how long Kitchissippi Councillor Jeff Leiper’s music policy lasts once Ford’s sharp pencils get at the city budget?