Crunch time. As in two and a half weeks till E day. Lots to talk and double-talk about where the mayoral candidates really stand - and fall - on the issues. We take a good hard look. You should, too.
Budget plan Privatize this, sell that - including 47 per cent sale of city's stake in Enwave and "underused" surplus city lands.
Transportation Transit City lite, with a few subway lines thrown in to cover interests of development friends. No new bike lanes, just separate a few existing ones.
City services "Managed attrition" à la Ford - plans to cut 1,304 staff positions by the end of 2011 - which means parks and other services since fire, police and ambulance will remain untouched.
Environment Lots of sparks from the former energy minister about a "refocused" Toronto Hydro creating renewable energy, 500 megawatts' worth, through good-old public/private partnerships. It all adds up to small potatoes.
Arts Raise funding for the arts to $25 per capita from the current $18. The devil in the details: $3 million in new spending for the arts (the same amount allotted to fighting bedbugs). A little too thin to be described as "bold" and "creative."
City-building Set the nasty tone of this campaign by tearing down the Miller regime's accomplishments and then declaring the race was between him and that other bully, Ford.
Bottom line Covers all the bases but doesn't deliver where it counts - on the city livability index.
Budget plan Believes in taxes, without breaking the bank. They're the price we have to pay for a great city. Debt is okay as long as there's a future payoff. Did we mention T.O. has the lowest residential property taxes in the GTA?
Transportation Trying to head off province's plan to short-turn Transit City, the European-style light rail transit system that's the lifeline of Toronto's future.
City services Believes in investing in them. Has Labour Council's endorsement. He's the only candidate talking about the pressure demographic shift among aging baby boomers will put on city services.
Environment Green roofs; complete streets; Ex wind turbine; tree advocate; plan for food prosperity and security. Enough said.
Arts Likes Vivaldi. Says he'll raise the per capita contribution for the arts, boost film industry jobs and implement Cultural Access Pass program.
City-building Hard to quarrel with a 30-year record: Exhibition Place, BMO Field; work on the waterfront reference group. Unlike competitors trying to tear the city down, Pantalone has actually uttered the words "civic values."
Bottom line Has the vision thing, the practical kind. He's been second in command of a regime that's led Toronto through a transformative period in its evolution.
Budget plan Who's he trying to kid? The numbers just don't add up. Says he can find (slash?) $1.7 billion over four years from operating budget that's $9.2 billion in 2010 by cutting "waste" in the system. Like city services?
Transportation Loopy. In a nutshell: kill Transit City, replace streetcars with buses. Oh yeah, and cyclists deserve to die.
City services All-out war with the unions to privatize garbage. Wants to revive the ghost of amalgamation by cutting the size of council in half to 22 members. There goes the neighbourhood.
Environment There's a war on the car; walked out of the Toronto Environmental Alliance debate. Do we need to go on?
Arts Comedic performance. Has proudly voted against every community arts and culture grant request to come before council. See outrageous arts debate at the AGO last week.
City-building A luxury, not a duty. All people want is their garbage picked up, don't you know? Lays claim, somewhat suspiciously, to the biggest development project in the city's history Woodbine Live. Ask residents in Dixon how they feel about that. (See our story).
Bottom line Nothing runs at the mouth like a Ford. Lots of splainin' to do.
Budget plan Long on managerial-speak, plus one big sell-off of Toronto Hydro. Think he can "reinvent service levels" once collective bargaining agreements with city unions have expired. Read: privatize.
Transportation Guy with big ideas, thinking small: 2 kilometres of track and a new subway station each year and a tunnel to nowhere.
City services Get out the cleaver. More "managed attrition" than either Ford or Smitherman; "competition" for non-essential services.
Environment Recycling - other people's right-wing ideas.
Arts Says he likes' em. Guy who first promised to raise per capita funding to $25; tougher approach to graffiti and tagging.
City-building So keen on privatization and budget-cutting that its's hard to believe he has a long-term sense of building a city of the future.
Bottom line A businessman's model for city governance, complete with firing power - voter recall and term limits. The cash gap: he thinks he can pull this off without TTC subsidy from the province.