Tory launches campaign in Scarborough with promise to keep taxes low; calls opponent “smart and accomplished”

9:55 a.m. August, 1, 2018. Mayor John Tory making his first campaign announcement outside a home in Scarborough on Wednesday morning.
9:55 a.m. August, 1, 2018. Mayor John Tory making his first campaign announcement outside a home in Scarborough on Wednesday morning.

Aug 1, 2018

By Arianne Robinson

Outside a home on a tree-lined street in Scarborough, Mayor John Tory promised Torontonians that if he is elected he will keep property taxes low.

“I am announcing here today, if I am returned as mayor for a second term, I will continue what I started, which is what I said I would do during the first four years.

“I will lead in ensuring that property tax increases are kept at or below the rate of inflation for the next four years.”

The city’s latest budget increased residential property taxes at a rate of 2.1 per cent, or $82.10 on a sample Toronto home with an assessed value of $624,418 this year, according to a story on Signal Toronto published in February.

Asked by Signal Toronto if he had any comment about former chief city planner Jennifer Keesmaat running for mayor, Tory complimented her.

“I think that we’re dealing with someone who is a very smart, accomplished person, and I think that those kinds of people and everybody is welcome to the race.,” Tory said. “The debates are always very interesting and the ideas people put forward are ideas I listen very carefully to.”

Tory went on to criticize an idea that Keesmaat Tweeted about (Toronto succeeding from Ontario) the morning she registered to run for mayor.

“I thought to myself well it just sounded like kind of a ridiculous idea,” he said.

On Wednesday Keesmaat promised to announce her fiscal plan in the coming months, and tweeted, “We need a real fiscal plan, a bold vision, and strong leadership if we’re going to build this city together. As Chief City Planner, I found innovative solutions to problems that didn’t increase the burden on regular people, like getting developers to pay their fair share to invest in better planning to build a better city.”