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What does a bullet do to the body of a four year old child?

If it’s fired from a handgun, as many shots were this weekend at Bais Chaya Mushka Elementary School in North York, it can often be fatal. A bullet can kill them with much more efficiency.

Medical studies show that when a child under the age of six has a gun shot wound, they are much more likely to be killed or experience long term damage. Their bodies are so tiny, so frail, bullets can do far more damage than in an adult.

That’s what happened at Sandy Hook Eelemtary School in Connecticut in 2012. Twenty children between the ages of six and seven years old were killed in a massacre using a gun. After a bloodbath, an American physician told the National Library of Medicine what a bullet can do: “As [the] bullet penetrates a human body, the energy of the bullet tears and shreds through tissue and bone, resulting in fractures, ruptured livers, and swollen brains, leading to hemorrhage, shock, and death.”

The Toronto Police Service hasn’t said what caliber bullets were fired at the Jewish school attended by children as young as the age of four. But, as they sit around their kitchen tables Sunday morning, debating whether to send their child back to Bais Chaya Mushka Elementary School on Monday morning, parents won’t be weighing that so much.

They will be wondering what a bullet could have done to their little girl. They will be wondering if its time to move away. They will be wondering what happened to Canada.

Bars Chaya Mushka is a school for girls. Israeli government policy isn’t decided at Bais Chaya Mushka Elementary School, nor does the IDF conduct operations out of there. It’s a school for girls.

On the weekend, two men stepped up to the fence at the front of Bais Chaya Mushka Elementary School and fired off several  bullets. They then sauntered to a waiting car, where a third man drove them away.

No Jewish child was struck by a bullet this weekend at Bais Chaya Mushka Elementary School. The Jew-hating gunmen carried out their terrorist attack early in the morning. But that is small comfort for any parents who send their kids there. Those parents are wondering what those bullets could have done to the bodies of their daughters.

After the terrorists shot up the school, Mayor Olivia Chow and several Toronto councillors issued lots of tweets of the “thoughts and prayers” variety. But the fact is – and history will record – that, just days before the attack, they voted against creating protective security zones around faith-based institutions. Like Bais Chaya Mushka Elementary School. Like a synagogue. Like a mosque. Like a church.

Why did they vote against that? They said they did it because they believe in free speech, but that’s a lie. Speech ends when someone picks up a gun. Free speech doesn’t stop a bullet aimed at a four-year-old.

Here are the names of those who voted against providing some extra protection for places like Bais Chaya Mushka Elementary School. Remember their names.

  • Mayor Olivia Chow
  • Councillor Paul Ainslie
  • Councillor Alejandra Bravo
  • Councillor Shelley Carroll
  • Councillor Paula Fletcher
  • Councillor Kandavel
  • Councillor Ausma Malik
  • Councillor Josh Matlow
  • Councillor Chris Moise
  • Councillor Amber Morley
  • Councillor Jamaal Myers
  • Councillor Gord Perks
  • Councillor Anthony Perruzza

Those politicians didn’t just vote against protecting religious places in Toronto. They voted to send out an unsubtle message: some citizens are less equal than others. In Toronto, Jews are now less equal.

Chow and those councillors don’t seem to care so much what has been happening to Toronto Jews since October 7, when the world went mad. They had an opportunity to prevent the terrorist attack that took place at Bais Chaya Mushka Elementary School. And they didn’t. It’s fair to say that they painted a target on that school.

They’d strenuously object to that, of course. They’d say that they oppose the Jew hatred now seen all over Toronto, for many months. But, again, they’re lying.

By their actions, not their words, we will know them. And, by their actions, we now know what they think about what a bullet can do to the body of a four-year-old.

They don’t care.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.

To avoid harpooning household budgets with the biggest tax hike in Toronto history, Mayor Olivia Chow could reform Toronto’s construction procurement process. It would save hundreds-of-millions of dollars. And that would virtually wipe out the need for a property tax increase.

Toronto has been overpaying for construction projects to the tune of $350 million a year. That’s according to a report released last year by Cardus, a non-partisan think tank.

Unlike other major Ontario cities, Toronto uses a closed tendering process to award contracts for many of its most expensive construction projects. The closed process means only a select number of construction companies affiliated with a handful of major unions can bid on those jobs.

The city awarded roughly $1.65 billion in construction project contracts through the closed tendering process in 2023. Because of that, Toronto lost out on roughly $350 million due to overpayments last year.

The closed tendering process used to be a common practice in Ontario. But soon after the Ford government took office in 2018, it passed legislation releasing municipalities from the obligation of using a closed tendering process for major construction projects.

Almost every major city in Ontario opted out of the closed tendering process soon after.

Nearby Hamilton was one of the first cities to opt out and usher in a new open tender process. The Cardus report estimates Hamilton is saving 21 per cent on its total construction costs, which significantly improved the city’s budget outlook during the final years of former mayor Fred Eisenberger’s term.

Unfortunately, Toronto politicians have thus far refused to follow the lead of Hamilton and most other major Ontario municipalities. During the 2023 mayoral by-election, Councillor Brad Bradford and Anthony Furey committed to ending the closed tendering procurement process. Toronto’s new mayor, Olivia Chow, decided to defend unions instead of taxpayers.

Chow is currently trying to push through a property tax increase of $443 million. Cardus estimates Toronto would save roughly $350 million a year from construction procurement reform. Making that change could reduce the need to raise property taxes from $443 million to $93 million, or from 10.5 per cent to 2.2 per cent. This would allow Toronto to have one of the lowest property tax hikes in southern Ontario instead of the highest.

Chow and her allies at city hall are deliberately choosing to overpay on construction contracts as a means of favouring their union pals. But at a time when Chow says the city is broke and taxpayers don’t have extra cash to send to city hall, common sense procurement reform should be a no-brainer.

It’s time for Chow to realize that she needs to prioritize protecting taxpayers, not big unions. For five years, Toronto has been free to end its closed tendering process, but politicians have made the conscious choice not to. Add up all the overpayments over the years and Toronto taxpayers have been on the hook for billions.

If Toronto really is broke, as Chow claims, there’s never been a more important time to consider substantial reform. With 400,000 Ontarians working two jobs just to pay the bills and half of Canadians $200 away from not being able to make ends meet, asking taxpayers to pay more should be an act of last resort, not first resort.

Chow has until Feb. 1 to present the final draft of her budget to council. She still has plenty of time to lower costs and lower the property tax tab for struggling Torontonians. It’s time for Chow to do the right thing, take on big unions and protect hardworking taxpayers.

Jay Goldberg is the Ontario Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation

The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.

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The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.

Toronto politicians have been on a spending binge for years. Instead of forcing them to reckon with the massive debt load they’ve racked up, Ontario Premier Doug Ford caved and bailed them out like a parent paying down a reckless teenager’s credit card bill.

The so-called “new deal” announced by Ford and Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow includes $1.2 billion over three years to help the city tackle its budget deficit.

Ford’s Toronto bailout won’t solve all of the city’s problems. Before Kris Kringle from Queen’s Park came along, Toronto was facing a deficit of $1.5 billion. Thanks to Ford’s bailout, that deficit should fall to about $1 billion.

But Chow still has to come up with $1 billion. The city plans to spend much more than it brings in this year, but cities in Ontario aren’t allowed to run operating deficits. They can borrow money, but only for capital projects.

Step two in Chow’s bailout plan appears to be making a pilgrimage to Ottawa to beg for more cash.

But here’s the cold hard truth: neither Queen’s Park nor Ottawa should be bailing Toronto out of this mess. The city created it and the city should have to deal with it.

Both the province and the federal government are currently running budget deficits. They should be getting their own fiscal houses in order and encourage Toronto to do the same.

It’s worth exploring how Toronto actually got itself into this mess.

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane.

In the last budget passed under former mayor Rob Ford in 2014, the city of Toronto had a spending budget of $9.6 billion.

Then along came John Tory.

During Tory’s nine years as mayor, Toronto’s budget increased by $6.5 billion.

If Tory and his allies on city council had simply kept spending growth in line with inflation, Toronto’s budget this year would be $4 billion less than it is.

Instead of facing a deficit of more than $1 billion, Toronto would have a massive surplus.

Even when population growth is added to the mix, Toronto is overspending by billions of dollars this year.

The numbers are clear: Toronto is in this mess because city hall spent away every last dollar it had. No money was ever set aside for a rainy day.

Toronto doesn’t have a revenue problem. It has a spending problem.

That’s why Chow needs to immediately do a top-to-bottom review of every line item in the city’s budget and reduce government spending.

It’s also worth remembering the money Ford is handing over to Chow didn’t just fall from the sky. It comes out of the pockets of taxpayers all across the province.

Ford isn’t giving Windsor a special cash infusion. London isn’t getting an early Christmas present. Sudbury isn’t getting Ford bucks.

Why should taxpayers from everywhere else in Ontario have to bail Toronto out from a mess of its own making?

During his press conference with Chow, Ford tried to justify his bailout by claiming Toronto plays a special role as the economic engine of the province.

That may be true. But Toronto has been the economic engine of the province for decades. It hasn’t needed a special billion-dollar bailout package until now.

Ford is helping Toronto city hall avoid reckoning with its own mistakes.

Every parent eventually learns the lesson Ford will surely face down the line: if you pay down your kid’s credit card bill without any consequences, the situation is bound to occur again.

Chow wants to spend billions of dollars more than the city is spending today. Most of city council seems willing to do just that.

Ford shouldn’t be surprised if he finds himself back in this very same situation a few years down the road.

Bailouts without consequences are sure to bear repeating.

Jay Goldberg is the Ontario Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation


The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.

This content is restricted to subscribers

The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.