The other worrisome strand in Chow’s positioning is that she seems to have opted to play on Ford’s fiscal field, by Ford’s rules. As we all know, he’s planted deeply corrosive notions that such projects can be funded simply by making all those lazy civil servants work harder, or that the private sector will pay, or that the money will magically appear from some pot of cash heretofore reserved for the watering of plants, etc. Chow must engage with the funding question, and this election presents an important opportunity to make a case for solving the puzzle.
Ed Miliband's biggest challenge will be to convice a fatalistic electorate that government can change things | Left Foot Forward
Forget Russell Brand and pay attention to this. H/t the indispensible Alex Himelfarb.
I’d question the use of the word “conservative” in this context (there you go again with your picky-ass pendantry … - ed.), but otherwise: hellz yeah.
(Large popcorn, please. With butter.)
Yesterday Statistics Canada published a nice counterpoint to part of the relentless drumbeat against public employees by organizations like the Fraser Institute and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). Last December the CFIB published a report noting the horrifying finding that when it came to sick, disability and personal days off, public sector workers averaged 12.9 days compared to 8.2 days in the private sector. The report suggested the difference was “pure entitlement.” The CFIB said provisions should be aligned with the private sector and that accumulation of sick days should be eliminated or limited for public sector employees. The September 19 edition of the Statistics Canada Daily, however, suggests there just might be a reason for the difference in sick leave use.
Well, then. Gentlemen! We must kneecap StatsCan and hamstring its ability to research and present inconvenient facts!
Oh, wait …
(h/t Erika Shaker and Trish Hennessy)
Toronto’s heritage preservation often extends no further than desultory facadism. Think of the old Yonge Street store-fronts that adorn the eastern edge of BCE Place, or that wafer-thin slice of architect John Lyle’s studio, which now overlooks the courtyard of One Bedford — a truly meaningless sop that celebrates little more than the tenacity of the Annex Residents Association.
The indispensable @JohnLorinc on how bad we are at thinking about heritage or historical significance, let alone preserving it.
An expert panel established by Toronto City Council also recommended the LRT solution for Scarborough. They found it superior to a subway and to a subway-LRT combination on all counts: funding and economic development; transit service and sustainability; and social impact.
In value-for-money terms, a subway shouldn’t even be on the table.
Former TTC boss Michael Warren on the stupid “Scarborough deserves a subway” bullshit that is, once again:
- screwing up sensible transit planning
- wasting money
- insulting our intelligence
- providing ammunition for those who argue that municipal politicians shouldn’t be trusted with any more power.
Antique bike event in Trinity Bellwoods Park this afternoon.
It’s easy to get distracted by the shinyshiny, but I’m reminded of a couple of recent posts by our good friend Daren. While I’m as tired as anyone of the stupid “war on the car” meme, we do need to push back against it, if only to prevent those who keep repeating it from gaining control over the discursive turf.
Two observations, therefore:
Roads were not always for cars, trucks and buses. They were around long before private automobiles, in fact; they were not merely thoroughfares, but social gathering places. They were places for conversations, interactions, business, and the everyday exchanges that happen among citizens. The idea that they’re reserved mainly or exclusively for motorists to drive their private machines is a fairly recent invention, driven in part by the automobile industry and its hunger for profit. In the historical context, it’s cars that are the interlopers.
On the matter of cars trucks and buses, and swimming with the sharks, Daren puts it better than I can:
There’s no war on the car going on. It’s the exact opposite. This is all about the over-weening sense of entitlement and primacy in the minds of those using their private vehicles as their sole source of getting around the city.
And the mere suggestion that private automobiles shouldn’t be at the top of every priority list when it comes to talking about transportation, gridlock and climate change gets mutated into “war on the car.”
We can and must do better than this.
It’s not our economic model that requires a complete overhaul. It’s our approach to civic engagement. We’ve given up the greater public good long before circumstances might dictate we would.
Daren on Detroit.
I don’t want fewer conservatives on council; balance is important. What I want are more conservatives who recognize the centrality of vigorous, fact-based policy debate; who value and practice civility in politics; and who understand both the mechanics and the role of consensus-building in local government.
Doug — allegedly the smarter brother, but not really — was absolutely tone-deaf on all three counts, and his absence, at least in this space, will not be missed.
The indispensible @JohnLorinc on the mayoral brother and the inseparability of civility and conservatism.
In the end, the greatest tragedy of the current right-wing ascendancy is that it’s reduced conservatism to this: automatic, thoughtless, reflexive rejection of anything even slightly different or unfamiliar. It’s defined by its intellectual shallowness, tribalism and lack of curiosity. It’s not even about differences over facts and reason so much as its imperviousness to them, and hostility to the very notion of employing them in rational public discourse. Conservatism is an honourable tradition. It doesn’t deserve to be debased like this.
Every now and then I like to piggyback on Daren’s traffic. I have no shame.
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- Conservatism: is it a label? Is it a brand? Or maybe just a little bit more? | #TOpoli
- Politics, decency, and finding common ground: the restoration of civility | #TOpoli #cdnpoli