Toronto Mayor John Tory thinks it's OK

Ken Westcar March 20 2019

Relative to other municipalities Torontonians pay some of the lowest property taxes in Ontario. A $450,000 home in Oxford County can pay similar property taxes to a $1.5m home in Toronto. Mayor John Tory has committed to keep Toronto property taxes low and increase them only according the rate of inflation. But crumbling Toronto infrastructure presents a huge challenge to the city budget so it's much easier to skimp on services such as garbage disposal to help pay for it. This means not tackling Toronto's garbage problem with a local solution but trucking it out to other municipalities including Beachville in Oxford County because it's "cheaper" to dump it there.

"Cheaper" for whom? There's this obscure thing called "externalities" that politicians and businesses like to ignore, especially when it suits their purpose. The externalities of shipping up to 17.4m tonnes of Toronto garbage to Beachville are increased air and water pollution, greater demand on emergency services and Highway 401 traffic congestion. These costs are borne by all Ontario taxpayers and the environment instead of those who create the garbage in the first place. If you live in Oxford County, you would be more affected than anyone else. If you believe this to be morally and ethically reprehensible think of that 17.4m tonnes sitting on a vulnerable aquifer in Oxford County. There are many reasons to believe this poorly conceived, but highly profitable for Walker Environmental Group, dump poses an extreme environmental risk over the longer term.

But neither Toronto, nor Walker Environmental Group really care about this. They only care about the money they can save or make by externalising costs to someone else. In this case the residents of Oxford County and those living on the Thames River watershed. So, next time you hear about the great job Mayor John Tory and Premier Doug Ford are doing keeping Toronto property taxes low remember that it's at your expense. Tell Toronto and provincial politicians that asking you to pay for Toronto's garbage disposal is unfair, immoral and unethical. Join OPAL in saying "no".

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OPAL Alliance acts to protect our community and to ensure that Oxford County remains a great place to live and grow. As concerned citizens, we are engaged in the fight to stop locally unwarranted land uses. Our mission is to stop the dump Walker Industries would impose.