"I believe (the late) Bob MacDonald (Estonian Central Council medal of Merit recipient and Toronto Sun columnist) is cheering me on from on high," says Sue Ann Levy.
"I am going to be just as feisty about waste and overspending in government, and there is certainly no shortage of issues to tackle at the moment starting with the harmonized sales tax, which if (Premier) Dalton McGuinty has way will be implemented next July with an extra little tax grab that he's not telling you about. That is an 8% tax grab on all the items, right now, that are PST exempt. (That is) a long list of items such as gas at the pumps to electrical hydro services, your legal services, accounting services, even the cup of coffee that you buy in one of the coffee places, any fast food under $4, a full host of services, gym services, legal any kind of maintenance services that you might not even think about. We want people to be aware of it, and we want to send a message to Dalton McGuinty. So that's my big fight right now.
It is particularly fitting in this riding because there are 10% condominium owners, 60% are renters, so there are a sizeable number of people who are going to be severely impacted by the HST. If you are a renter you are looking at an increase of $300 next year. If you are a condo owner you are looking at an increase of as much as 13% because the HST is not only going to affect the cost of the maintenance fees since all the services you hire for your condo, be they be hydro or heat or landscaping will be impacted and that’s going to raise your maintenance fees but also every condo owner, every condo has to have a reserve fund, a rainy day fund, it affects that too. Dalton McGuinty doesn't want you to know about that. He wants to slide it under the radar so we've made this a really, really huge issue during this campaign." says Levy.
"The Liberals are countering (what I am saying) by saying short term pain for long term gain. Studies have shown in other provinces that have put this in place that the economy didn't improve.
"The other thing is that Dalton McGuinty didn't negotiate a very good deal with the federal government. Other provinces are looking at bringing down the PST to give better deals to business owners. In Ontario small business owners are not going get any kind of deals for 5 years. They have to pay an extra 8% at the back end, they're going to have to pay more for heat and hydro, they’re also going to have charge they're also going have to charge their customers another 8%, they've got it coming and going. The Liberals are saying this is improving the economy but I dare say I'd like them to provide me figures just to prove that it is. They also are giving the people a one-time bribe of $300 for singles and $1,000 for families. They want to cut cheques for people to tide them through but its one time, but it will no way near cover the extra expense we're all going to have to pay out."
"You and I know the mayor has hit people in this city with so many creative new taxes it makes your head spin. Land transfer tax, vehicle ownership tax, garbage tax. One more tax, people are at their wit's end. They're overburdened; they're taxed to death in this city. So that’s my big fight," says Levy.
Levy adds, "not to mention all the scandals that are coming out every day, new revelations every day about eHealth. The Liberals have very effectively timed this by-election for the 17th because at the end of the month the Ontario auditor general is going to come out with a report on eHealth and I'm told that there will be revelations that will make headlines, front page headlines that are just shocking, of things that went on behind the scenes. You've already heard a few things. Sixteen million dollars in untendered contracts. People renting expensive apartments in Yorkville. Every time someone leaves they get huge severance packages. Everybody has been bought off to keep their mouths shut,"
"Then what about the Ontario Lottery Corporation (the CEO and entire board of directors were fired on the day of EE’s interview with Ms Levy), what is with this government. Obviously Dalton McGuinty is not on top of his agencies, his ship is rudderless," said Levy.
"There isn't a critical voice for Toronto. During the garbage strike many of the Councillors went running for cover, they wouldn't cross the picket lines, they hid in their Wards, did you hear anything from the provincial MPPs, I didn't. They also abandoned their constituents. Nobody said to Mayor Miller that this is disgraceful that you are making people wait for three hours to get into (garbage) dump sites that you have set up as a temporary solution. Nobody was speaking on behalf of the provincial government to say enough David (Miller), my constituents are feeling the pain. I think it is really crucial that we have a critical voice," said Levy.
"On the last day of the strike Progressive Conservative Tim Hudak phoned me up and asked me to run. He caught me totally by surprise," noted Levy.
NB: Levy's life partner is not a paramedic, as reported in EE #33, August 21st, but an interior designer, "the creative half," says Levy.
Sue Ann Levy, Progressive Conservative candidate in the St. Paul's by-election, speaks (5)