Island Airport and fixed link
John Tory: • Supports increasing the number of flights to 110 a day from approximately nine and the fixed link, but declares himself "lukewarm" on it." If the airport weren't viable I wouldn't spend one dime on it," he says.
Barbara Hall: • Argues for the fixed link as a way to take ill patients from the Island Airport to hospitals, but in a 2002 press release, clearly tied the bridge to Island Airport expansion, saying the airport represented a tremendous untapped resource for our city, and a fixed link was the only way to realize this potential safely and efficiently.
The upshot: Hall's on the defensive in recent weeks and has sharpened her position, saying she's opposed to jets and expanding the number of runways. But she holds to her support for increased flights. So it's the same-old. A port authority honcho was recently quoted in one engineering mag saying the link will lead to a multi-million-dollar expansion of the airport. Hall's running scared.
Union Station/Pearson Airport link
John Tory: • Supports the concept.
Barbara Hall: • Raises concerns about the line being needed at all, arguing that most people who use Pearson don't live in the core. What?
The upshot: The question has to be asked – is her opposition rooted in the fact that the rail line may diminish the economic viability of the Island Airport she supports?
John Tory: • Promises a freeze on both commercial and residential property taxes and to limit any hike to rate of inflation.
Barbara Hall: • Promises a freeze for both commercial and residential properties. "I'm proud of my record as mayor," she says. "And one of the things I am very proud of is that I never raised taxes."
The upshot: Identical horror show.Where exactly is the cash going to come for the social programs we care so much about?
Police and crime
John Tory: • Pledges 400 more police, 300 to be paid for by province.
• Proposes to allow police easier access to DNA samples.
• Zero tolerance for sexual predators.
• Wants a bylaw banning panhandling in the downtown core for people "not in genuine need."
• Wants to hire students to eliminate graffiti.
Barbara Hall: • Vows "More police on our streets," but ambiguous about whether this means more hires or community policing.
• Wants special SWAT team to deal with "trouble spots."
• Drawn into the moral panic when former sex offender Gary Jacobson was released to a halfway house in Holly Jones's neighbourhood.
• Believes that laws against "aggressive" panhandling should be enforced.
• Pumping plan to "get tough" on graffiti, including setting up a graffiti vandalism hotline.
The upshot: Hall takes way too much care to ensure Tory doesn't own the law-and-order stuff.With crime down,why does she bother? To press the right-wing hot buttons, of course.
John Tory: • Supports "waste to energy" technologies like those of Sweden and Germany." It's clean, it's green, it produces cheap power," he says.
Barbara Hall: • Says any trash burner is a "cancer creator," but also promises to appoint a science adviser to "explore any new and safe technologies" to deal with garbage.
The upshot: Environmentalists are very wary of this new "green" tech. Residues are residues. It's not good positioning to have a tech fix in the back pocket when you're pushing reduce, recycle, reuse.
Selling off City Halls
John Tory: • Supports saving pre-amalgamation City Halls "to preserve public access to these buildings."
Barbara Hall: • Leaves door open to the sale of at least a few of them when she says she'll set up a task force to "assess all land holding assets and investigate sale or long-term lease to private developers or other public sector entities."
The upshot: Residents outside the city's core are very deeply attached to the services they still get from their old municipal buildings. She's playing fast and loose with citizens' relationships to their local governments.Wasn't she opposed to amalgamation?