5 Initiatives Our Taxpayer Dollars Should Go Towards

City Hall has a tricky time deciding where our money should go. The production costs of the city’s last show “To Subway Or Not To Subway” are believed to have cost Torontonians millions. While it’s important to get a move on improving transit and infrastructure, I’ve rounded up some other important initiatives I think John Tory and company should get on. Immediately.

Eject systems for people with more than twelve items in the express lane

The only line-up express lane interlopers belong in. (Source: The Usual Suspects, 1995)

It is hard to understand this subspecies of human, but you know what they say: it takes all kinds to make the world go ’round. Super frustrating and blatantly rude, these people have no respect for the rules and regulations behind line-ups. Everybody with a kindergarten education knows that line-ups and all their derivatives are a fundamental feature of civilized society. Express lane interlopers are only a touch better than line jumpers who will collectively cause the end of the world.

What I propose is a system that enables cashiers to press a little red button conveniently located under the till. This button activates a mechanism that catapults the offending customer up and out of the store and into a room where a video of all the dirty looks from other patrons are played on repeat.

(Alternative: Stop being so passive-aggressive, and just tell the offending customer to either forego the pack of Premium Plus crackers and marble cheese, or get the hell out of the line. This would save taxpayers a lot of money, but it is decidedly less satisfying.)

Tickets for slow walkers

Slow pedestrian ahead, indeed.

This kind of city dweller is a distant relative of the express lane ne’er-do-well. Slow walkers are benevolent whereas express lane rascals are malicious, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t equally annoying. This isn’t Our Town, babe. Text your friend later because you’re holding up foot traffic, and people have got places to be. In order to put some money into the city’s coffers (and fund some of these social services) there should be a ticketing program with Pedestrian Authority every few blocks. And unlike carding, this would actually make the city a better and safer place.

Suggested punishments:

Let the big numbers scare you. They’re meant to be preventative.

  • $50 fine for slow walking
  • $125 fine for repeat offenders
  • Automatic one-day jail sentence for those who stand on the left side of escalators. Just though I’d throw that in there.

A city-funded subsidy on headphones for misunderstood youth


There you are nearly passed out on the bus, trying to get home from your double shift at whatever thankless job you work when some girl decides to bless you with her EDM playlist. And if it isn’t her, it’s the guy with the angry tracks and the aggressive dancing.

As frustrating as these people are, let’s be compassionate towards their plight. For all we know they’ve experienced some kind of trauma in their lives – rote memorization of The Odyssey in childhood, perhaps? – and must constantly listen to music as a form of therapy. Naturally, this kind of persistent audio takes a toll on headphones and with the price of bus fare going up and Toronto’s high cost of living it’s no wonder some commuters have decided “manners be damned”. If we could lower the cost of these important treatment tools, we’d be doing all of us a favour.

City-wide charging pods

Think of how much easier things would’ve been for Chris Evans in Cellular.

Call us too attached to our devices. Throw whatever anti-millennial criticism you want our way. We don’t care, because we will shout it from the rooftops (or most likely tweet it) that we love our phones. And nothing makes our heart sink like a dying phone in the middle of the day when we have no immediate plans to head home. Even if you charge your device every night before bed, if your phone has anything worth doing on it its battery-life is designed to start nosediving after the first three months to ensure you’ll definitely buy the newer model when it comes out.

Did you prepare ahead and throw your charger in your bag? Good luck finding an outlet. What I propose are cute little pods, kind of like in the Hunger Games but without the mini-parachutes, that would be located everywhere. I’m sure that’s a nightmare to organize logistically and energy-wise, but take our money and pay all those science geniuses you’ve got holed up in a basement at UofT.

Free WiFi. Everywhere.

I’m not just talking about the patchy kind you get in Pizza Pizza. I’m talking at every subway station, bus shelter, and in public bathrooms. At the dentist’s office. Your local butcher shop. My local butcher shop. Need I go on?

You’re welcome, Councillors.

Featured image from 640toronto

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