It’s a hallmark of most lives to complain about taxes….there’s too many, they’re too high, our politicians are misspending. So common at the municipal level, as perhaps these levies hit closer to home, and our civic public servants are more accessible. There’s an opposing argument too, claiming we want city services……as long as we don’t have to pay for them.
No matter where our opinions fall, accountability, or the lack of it, underscores much public angst. There is at least one area impacting all three levels of government where our tax dollars get spent, and we are entitled to know almost nothing about where that money is going.
We’ll use the City of Toronto as an example. Toronto is self-insured for up to five million dollars for successful liability actions taken against it. David Miller, a former mayor of the city, at one point during his tenure called for a review of the cost of police litigation. It had been revealed that the city had spent more than $30-million on over 8,000 lawsuits against the police during one seven year period.
Keep in mind that all or almost all successful actions against the police include non-disclosure clauses. These are our tax dollars, but we cannot know who, how much, or what for. This is not only about policing, as circumstances are the same no matter which part of our city government is a target.
So, the next time you have a problem with what you’re turning over to a government, why not complain about this secret spending of your money, and ask why our politicians fear disclosure?