Oakville mayor puts some poetry in the toll road problem
There appears to be a growing consensus that it’s time to talk turkey on the subject of tolls.
With provincial coffers depleted and transit expansion slowing as a result, Toronto Mayor David Miller and Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion have indicated that the time has come to at least have the conversation.
Oakville Mayor Rob Burton sounded decidedly less decided on Friday, fearing that tolled roads could suffer the same fate as Highway 407, which was sold off by the province to private enterprise. The result for users is higher tolls and no access to the profits.
Conceding, however, the political problem of voters who want service but not taxes, Burton invoked the lyrics to an old song called, “Everybody wants to go to heaven.”
Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die.
Everybody wants to go first class but nobody wants to pay.
Everybody likes living tomorrow but nobody wants to live today.
A quick online search suggests there are various versions of the song, but Mayor Burton’s favourite is by Ellen McIlwaine, a 1960s slide guitar player and singer who opened for Jimmi Hendrix at the Café Au Go Go in Greenwich Village.
McIlwaine’s version is “knock-you-over fabulous – it’s that good. She was a brilliant guitarist and singer,” he gushed, before wondering aloud if his idol is still living.
Well Mayor Burton, you will be pleased to know that the American-born McIlwaine, who was raised in Japan, moved to Canada in 1987 and settled in Toronto.
The Toronto Star archives suggest she was performing here as recently as 2006. Happily there's no sign anywhere of an obituary.