Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Almost three years ago, the people of Toronto elected a mayor who projected himself as the saviour for communities who suffered under the Federal Liberal, Provincial Conservatives and Mel Lastman crooks. Not only were we promised an end to corruption, but also social housing, improved transit and more. Three years later, with another Municipal election looming at the end of the year, what exactly did Mayor Miller do for us?

Let’s look at the track record.

Organizations such as the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) have pointed out that while having been elected as the ‘people’s mayor’, the one who would focus attention to improvement of services and programs for communities, Miller has instead cozied-up to the very people he was supposed to be against. While drop-ins such as the one at 60 Richmond have closed, no new social housing units have been built in the City at all. On the contrary, the shelter by-laws that limit the amount of beds in shelter within given communities as well as gentrification projects such as the Regent Park re-development will ensure that Miller’s legacy will leave Toronto with less housing and shelter for poor and working class people.

Over the last couple of years, there have not only been significant Police scandals involving corruption and abuse, but also extreme cases of police brutality. In some of these cases, the Police have even murdered. Such was the case for example of Jeffrey Reodica, a Filipino youth who was shot in the back by undercover police. Despite this, Miller’s City Hall has rewarded these unprecendented abuses with the largest ever increase in Police funding for the City of Toronto.

Miller campaigned hard on affordable Public Transit. Over the last couple of years, TTC fares have increased dramatically and are facing another hike in April. We are told that despite the City’s $8 Billion budget, there is no money and so this is necessary. The reality is that the Mayor and his City Hall have chosen to increase their revenue on the backs of the poor and working class through property tax increases, fares and other user fees. With these revenues, they have chosen to prioritize massive increases in dollars to a repressive and increasingly corrupt Police force, instead of social services and community programs that act as preventatives to crime.

Some say that he can deliver on those social promises with another term.
This is highly doubtful if we look at who will be running his re-election campaign.
Among those who will be organizing to get David Miller re-elected are former Conservative cabinet Minister David Crombie, former Ontario Liberal Premier David Peterson and John Laschinger, Belinda Stronach’s Conservative Leadership race organizer as campaign director.

Miller has made it evident that the interest of working people are not his priority.
With almost 10 months until the election and no alternative candidate who even pretends to care about working people and the poor, people have to build to show that they want substance, not empty promises.