News Release: Gomberg Burns $200 Cheque, and Promises to Freeze Taxes

Toronto – (October 27, 2000)

At 10:30 a.m. today, at the front doors of Queens Park, Mayoralty Candidate Tooker Gomberg will burn his $200 cheque from Ernie Eves, Minister of Finance of the Province of Ontario.

“Keep my $200, Mr. Eves. I don’t want it. Toronto is suffering from the most serious financial crisis in its history thanks to your policies. Every Torontonian needs to know: thanks to Mr. Eves, Mr. Harris, and the government in Queens Park. Toronto is getting burned.”

“The city is facing drastic increases in operating and capital costs as the province offloads expenses onto the city. Progressive taxation is the only fair way to raise money for society to operate. Giving taxpayers a $200 cheque while cutting out all support for the TTC, and while forcing thousands of Torontonians into life threatening desperation is not my idea of common sense. It’s nonsense.”

“As Mayor I will fight for all Torontonians, especially those most in need of an advocate. Mr. Harris has shown himself to be an enemy of Toronto. Torontonians are saying to me that they want a mayor who will speak truth to power.”

“They can keep their $200 cheque. Put it to good use. Bring back what all Ontarians want — clean water, a healthy health care system, investment in transit, affordable housing, and quality education. If I can get all that for $200 then that’s the best $200 I ever spent.”

Critical Mass on the Streets

At 6 p.m. from the corner of Temperence and Yonge (south of Richmond) Candidate Gomberg will join hundreds of Torontonians in a monthly, worldwide celebration of urban bicycling. “I’m bicycling for Mayor, and as Mayor I will work to make Toronto the Amsterdam of North America. With a bit of paint for bicycle lanes, and some bollards to protect the cyclists, we could see 10, 20% or more of the trips in Toronto by bicycle.

I’ve travelled the world, by bicycle, and I know what makes a city work. A livable city fights traffic jams and toxic smog by rolling out the red carpet for bicycles and streetcars. For 20 years I have fought for sustainable, healthy transportation choices. That commitment will grow from the vantage of the Mayor’s chair.”

A Night in Allan Gardens

At 9 p.m. Gomberg joins the homelessness protest in Allan Gardens (Sherbourne & Gerrard, South/East corner). He will bring a tent to spend the night in the Safe Park, established over a year ago in support of the homeless in Toronto.

“I have spent a few nights with homeless people at City Hall, and I am learning their story. It’s outrageous that in Toronto 60,000 people don’t have a home, and up to 2,000 sleep on the streets. To add insult to injury they are not even allowed to put up a tent. In Japan the authorities and community groups ensure that, at least, homeless people have a tent over their heads.”