01.20.2015 08:05 AM

51 days to break his first major promise

That has to be some kind of a record. Sworn in start of December, whiplash-inducing flip flop a few weeks later.

Then: “I would freeze fares for at least the first year of my administration.” – John Tory, October 18, 2014

Now: “It was not until the transition period after the election that I was fully able to comprehend.” – John Tory, January 19, 2015

— Warren Kinsella (@kinsellawarren) January 20, 2015

Bottom line: he lied.


  1. James Bow says:

    If a politician campaigns to shoot voters in the foot and then, upon election, decides it isn’t such a good idea, should we really be so concerned that he broke his campaign promise? Instead, should we not be celebrating his sudden onset of common sense?

    And I’m also surprised how some of the same people who are getting hyped up over this said nothing when Ford broke his promise to cut taxes without raising services. To be fair, I think you called Ford on that, Warren, but others didn’t.

    • Warren says:

      Ford really didn’t have many major promise-breakers, because he really just had one promise: gravy train.

      Tory committed himself, recklessly, on a number of files. This is just the start of a strip-tease of flip-flops, methinks.

      • James Bow says:

        I believe that Ford was quite specific about not cutting services. That tends to get overlooked. Similarly, Mike Harris gets a free pass with a similar promise. Maybe it was the tone with which he issued it: “I will CUT TAXES! and not cut your health care beds.” People zero in on the first part, and focus on whether that promise is made or kept, and ignore the tag.

        Then there is the question of some commentators deciding which promises should be kept and which should be reneged on. I remember one pundit, whose name shall remain Corcoran, who lambasted Dalton McGuinty for breaking his promise to not cut taxes (with his health care premium), while lambasting him for keeping his promise to impose a development freeze on the Greenbelt, in the SAME COLUMN. That was remarkable gymnastics.

        But I think the big issue here is the focus on whether or not a promise is broken ignores the question of whether the promise was a good one in the first place. McGuinty’s health care premium was good policy. Ontario’s health care system needed the boost, and it couldn’t be done at the tax levels at the time. McGuinty was right to make the move he did. He was wrong to stand up in front of the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation and sign a ridiculous pledge not to raise taxes sight unseen.

        Similarly, in my opinion, Tory is right to add nearly $100 million to the TTC’s operating budget. The system has been woefully underfunded for years. We need more buses, more streetcars and better service. The plan put forward in August 2014 by TTC staff was a good one — and one which Olivia Chow supported. I’m glad Tory is supporting it now. What was irresponsible was Tory dissing this plan back in August, and making the irresponsible promise to not raise fares when he did not understand the true depth of the TTC’s problems.

        • doconnor says:

          “McGuinty’s health care premium was good policy.”

          He created a regressive health care premium instead of increasing income tax in a progressive way so he could claim he didn’t raise taxes, even though no one believes him.

      • Matt says:


        You could count not eliminating the Toronto land transfer tax as a broken promise for Ford.

  2. Ted Heighington says:

    All the transit stats, assessments, route studies, potential real estate corridors and operating financials for TTC/Metrolinx are generally available to the public at all times, with little or no FOI procedure required. It continually amazes me that newly-elected politicians still rely on that old shifty ‘duck and deflect’ excuse they refer to as “upon closer examination” or “now that we have more information”….

  3. sezme says:

    It’s like he ran to be a squarer Rob Ford, but in office he turns out to be a squarer Olivia Chow. I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.

    It does make one wonder, though, why it’s come to the point (at least in Toronto) where having any progressive opinions on the campaign trail means you won’t get elected. So you have to come off as a hard-line Reagonomist to win a majority of votes. Then once elected, you can flip and act like a lefty to popular acclaim.

  4. Harvey Bushell says:

    I’ll reluctantly give Tory a pass on this one. Firstly because I didn’t vote for him so I’m not personally betrayed, secondly because it’s actually the right thing to do and thirdly I’m still just a little giddy knowing that the degenerate is no longer the mayor.

  5. Wolfer says:

    No. No. No. And after I’ve proven that there’s a Marxist conspiracy in the school board. Ie) http://canadian.over-blog.com/article-dr-haider-saeed-124046855.html We need men like Tory to make it safe for Rob Ford to become PM so that we can have a Conservative conspiracy in the school board making it safe for good-looking blond men and some black football players to take over the lecture halls of computer science at the U of Waterloo.

    • sezme says:

      Nice try, but on this website, incoherent conspiracy theories must be at least 17 paragraphs long and signed by someone with one full name and one initial. I don’t know why it has to be that way; it just does.

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