Morning Brew: Toronto Sales Tax, TTC Fare Hike, Pro Athlete H1N1 Vaccinations, Gun Registry on Thin Ice, Housing Market Spike
What's happening in the GTA (and sometimes beyond):
Given our dire financial state, should Toronto introduce a municipal sales tax? Other large cities in North America do it, so perhaps we should consider it. The idea of paying more taxes for goods and services when we're already taxed to the extent we are really hurts, but it could be a solution to some of our biggest problems (like our grossly underfunded transit system).
We expected a TTC fare hike to be proposed, but I don't think anyone thought that the monthly Metropass would go from $109 to $126 (an almost 16% hike). Doing the math reveals that Metropass holders would have to ride the rocket a minimum of twice daily on 6 days of the week, in order to make the per ride fare less than the cost of tokens. Where's the savings for the most frequent transit users?
Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors players got H1N! flu vaccinations from their team doctors. But are they in high risk groups? (I know they're high risk for not making the playoffs again, but that doesn't count.) Should they have had to wait like the rest of us, especially given the inevitable shortage of vaccine supply?
It looks like the controversial and expensive gun registry program may get axed. Is killing it the answer, given all the resources that have already gone into it? I'm not sure. But I am quite certain that many police officers in Toronto and beyond won't be happy if it ends like this.
The housing market in the Greater Toronto Area saw a huge spike in October, with sales up 64%, and prices up 20%. Many signs are pointing to overall economic recovery, and many for sale signs are pointing to sold properties.
And on the money front, the Ontario government is looking into better teaching our youngsters about personal finance before the credit card companies given them a literal run for their money. Education on financial matters may be introduced into the public school curriculum as early (or as late) as in 2011.
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