Asked to name what she regards as the highest priority project in the city, Horwath seemed to indicate that politics — and not sound transit planning — has been the NDP’s guide: “I think it’s those neighbourhoods in the outskirts of this city that aren’t receiving the transit they need.” When a reporter asked about the Downtown Relief Line, she replied: “I think it’s a mugs game to try to divide this city in terms of who needs transit more. We have to address all of these concerns.”
Sounds to me like the NDP leader thinks the DRL is all about relieving congestion for downtowners. Maybe she needs to turn off the Ford’s radio show and realize the value of the line in Scarborough and North York.
The Liberals, bless their souls, have revealed nothing whatever about how they intend to carve the turkey. I don’t think they have a clue.
John Lorinc on the province’s, er, “prudent” approach to public transit and how to fund, plan, and build it.
Yo, Rob. Isn’t it time to think about doing something else? | #TOpoli
There’s the TTC thing, of course. (Note: I’ve seen cyclists do this too. FFS, guys, wise up.)
And then via @Goldsbie in the Grid, turns out the “cottage tradition” excuse for skipping out on Pride is also somewhat, er, flimsy. Wish I could say I was shocked.
And in other Mayor Ford news, turns out his cottage excuse for skipping Pride is just a big lie. We are ruled by a cartoon villain/buffoon— benjaminboles (@benjaminboles) June 29, 2012
Going after new revenues really must be a joint municipal-provincial project. Whether this is possible with an anti-tax Mayor in Toronto and a provincial government afraid to mention new revenues is quite another matter. Somebody has to start this discussion on a broad public scale, not just in workshops preaching to the converted.
So hard to pick just one point from this excellent and thought-provoking piece from Steve Munro. Anyone interested in transit, and not just the stale LRT vs. subway debate, really needs to read it.
I guess I settled on this paragraph because it underlines the need for us to be able to have an adult conversation about taxes. Given the extent to which public conversation’s been hijacked, that’s a lot more difficult than it should be, but, you know … hope is better than fear and all that.
City Council is Supreme | politics | via @Torontoist and @hamutaldotan
… we are optimistic. We have a government that is working. It is making decisions based on evidence, and it is defending those decisions over time. It is a government that has set a direction on the most fraught and most important policy file we have. It is a government that is doing its job even though Rob Ford isn’t doing his, and if it keeps on doing so Toronto may come out of this mayoralty in better shape than many of us had feared.
Hamutal Dotan puts the events of the last few weeks in a calm and well-reasoned perspective. What follows is, for the most part, from a comment over at the Torontoist site.
Really, it’s got nothing to do with Karen Stintz and where she falls on the left / right spectrum. The most important thing about Hamutal’s analysis is the counterpoint it provides to the narrative being pushed by more than one corporate media outlet, which is one portraying Toronto’s city government as being chaotically adrift. Any comment or suggestion that describes council as akin to a bunch of kids squabbling in a sandbox just helps to reinforce that narrative, and let’s not have any illusions about whose interests THAT serves.
Just think about who benefits from that perception. Who do you think wants everyone to dismiss government, civil servants and the public sphere in general as dysfunctional, ineffective and corrupt? Just listen to the radio on Sunday afternoon sometime as Brother Doug tells his listeners that he wouldn’t trust any of his fellow councillors to run a kid’s lemonade stand. Not hard to see where he’s going with that. Once again, if you haven’t read what J.M. McGrath and Adam Chaleff-Freudenthaler have written in this regard, take a few minutes and go through it.
So no, what we’re seeing now isn’t the ideal situation, but council is showing that for all its disparate elements and conflicting interests and personalities, it is capable of conducting the city’s business in a mature and responsible manner. Sure, it would be nice if the mayor would play ball and show leadership, but what the last few weeks have shown is that council can function, albeit untidily, even if he doesn’t. That’s a good thing.
Ultimately, what it’s demonstrating is that just because something is “political,” it isn’t inherently icky and sordid. As Shelley Carroll pointed out on Monday, governing is an inherently political process. Setting budgets, allocating resources, balancing interests, determining civic priorities … all of these are political acts, properly situated in the public realm. Pretending that they’re conducted in some rarefied space that’s only recently been soiled by politics is the height of hypocrisy. In order to believe that, you’d have to believe that the firing of Gary Webster had nothing to do with politics.
We may or may not get a rational and well-thought-out transit plan out of this. And god knows we’re nowhere near out of danger in terms of the damage that Team Ford can still do, both to the institutions and processes of governance in this city and to civil public discourse. But at least we know council can function cooperatively and democratically, with or without the mayor, and that government isn’t something to be viewed with contempt.
- @AdamCF and @JM_McGrath talk governance, institutional reform, and #TOpoli
- … the mayor and his brother are looking to replace actual governing by out-and-out campaigning some two and half years before the next election …
- From Grover Norquist to Gary Webster: putting #TeamFord’s #TTC jihad in context | #TOpoli #Toronto
THIS is what the Toronto transit fight is all about? REALLY?! #TOpoli - It’s a Remarkk-able life
As a resident of St Clair West, I really resent the presentation of the St Clair streetscape as some kind of second coming of Darfur. Yes, the construction was bungled (largely because of Hydro adding to the scope and a lawsuit by a small number of residents that held up the construction for a year) but I take it every day now and it is fantastic.
If you don’t believe me, look at the hard numbers:
Ridership = up
Wait time between vehicles = down
Trip time = down
Traffic congestion = down
What other metric do you need to prove this was a success?
See also Royson’s column in the Star yesterday.
I’m all for civil discourse and evidence-based decisionmaking and everything, but FFS. Enough is enough. Anyone who keeps flogging this #StClairDisaster meme and subway fetishism isn’t just a moron, but a lying sack of shit as well. And anyone who buys into it is a fool.
And sorry, but it’s not just politics. It’s doing genuine and substantial harm.