An Open Letter To Rob Ford Supporters

Dear Supporters of Mayoral Candidate Rob Ford,

I’m writing to you not to mock or belittle you, or to denigrate your candidate of choice for mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford. I’ve participated in such easy activities in the past but now want to build a bridge between us. Your man just might win the election in October, so I want to understand how that could possibly happen and how you imagine a Mayor Ford administration is going to help make your lives better. Consider this a letter asking for some clarity from you.

In his column last week, the Toronto Star’s Christopher Hume suggested that Ford represents the suburban anger that has reached a boiling point more than a decade after the enforced amalgamation made us all one. Your concerns have been marginalized by downtowners such as myself, shrugged off while we’ve been busy eating our brie and sushi, sipping lattes and demanding bike lanes, increased transit in the core and conducting our War on Cars, your cars no less.

Fair enough, and undoubtedly true. None of us wanted to be part of the megacity and it seems that those of you living in the outer ring of it in places like Scarborough, North York and Rob Ford’s home turf of Etobicoke feel you got the raw end of the deal. You’ll get no arguments from us here about that. Amalgamation’s miracle of efficiency and money savings never really worked out as well as we were to told it would, especially for you folks out there on the fringes.

Interestingly, Mr. Ford, the fighter for the little guy, takes every opportunity to evoke the memory of his beloved late father, Doug Ford who, as a backbench M.P.P. in the Mike Harris government, sat on his hands during the debate over amalgamation except to raise it in favour of the motion when it came to vote it into law. In direct defiance of over 70% of his constituents, Rob Ford’s father helped usher in an era of municipal governance his son and his supporters now rail against. Nothing more than an example of irony, I guess, but I do hope his father’s anti-democratic tendencies didn’t brush off on his son.

So let’s say your man becomes mayor and is able to muster a majority of the new council to support his way of thinking. (The second scenario much less likely than the first.) A frenzy of cutting taxes and slashing spending ensues. You wind up with a little more money in your pocket and fewer services at your disposal. Now what? How is it your lives are going to be improved because of that?

Transit City – a plan put into place to deliver better service to the areas of the city you live – will be gutted. Replaced by some mystical, magical building of subways your candidate insists the private sector will do for some strange reason that they have not yet thought of. That’s as detailed as his transit plan goes. Aside from making the TTC an essential service, the matter isn’t even referred to in the Issue section of his website. How is that going to get you from point A to B any faster or lessen the traffic congestion that is now part of your life?

I’m also mystified how cutting council numbers in half is going to increase Mr. Ford’s vaunted customer service agenda. I know you love to believe that every other councillor except Rob Ford simply sits around doing nothing more than counting ways they can steal your money except for when they’re partying with Kyle Rae but that is nothing more than an ideological fantasy. Fewer elected officials at City Hall (plus their respective staff) can only deliver better customer service if there’s less services to deliver. Maybe you’re content with that. Fair enough. That’s a different vision than making people’s lives better.

And all that money the city will supposedly save? Even taking Mr. Ford’s numbers at face value which is always an iffy proposition (take a moment to read Simon McNeil’s Writing and Tutoring blog post for an analysis of candidate Ford’s questionable numbers and spotty savings), he claims that eliminating 22 councillors and their staff will save the city $9 million a year in direct savings plus another $6 million due to some sort of nebulous “reduced burden on City Hall staff”. Reduced burden? Would someone please explain that one to me? Less demand on City Hall because it’s doing less?

Even giving Ford the dubious $15 million annual savings with cutting the council in half, what’s that going to do? In terms of a $9.2 billion budget it represents less than a percent. Much, much less. How much less? Let me write it out to 18 decimal points if it helps. 0.0016304347826086956. You know what $15 million will get you in terms of subways even factoring in the lowest estimated cost to build one subway stop? Half one percent of one. So with that cost savings, Rob Ford will be able to build one subway stop every 20, 000 years.* Oh right, I forgot. In Rob Ford’s world the private sector will step right up and build subways once governments get out of their way.

His candidacy just makes no sense to me, Rob Ford supporters, and it’s not like I won’t personally benefit if he becomes mayor. My taxes will go down (although user fees will very likely gobble up much of those gains.) I don’t depend on the city services that a Mayor Ford would attempt to cut. Oh sure, I’ll probably lose a bike lane or two but mostly my life down here in the core will be unaffected if your candidate wins in October. Except that, the city will feel a little more… vindictive.

Because that’s the vibe I get from your campaign. Vindictiveness. It doesn’t feel like what’s driving you is justified anger or outrage. It’s more of a temper tantrum. Rather than fighting to secure a better place for yourselves within the amalgamated city and thereby making the entire city a better place to live and work, you simply want everyone to be as pissed off as your are, as your candidate is.

It’s purely the politics of destruction and wherever it’s been tried before has never made anyone’s life better. How will it work this time around?

earnestly (and unironically) submitted by Urban Sophisticat

* Math may not be exact but it’s no more than one decimal point off. Either way, savings are going to miniscule.

39 Responses to An Open Letter To Rob Ford Supporters

  1. paolocase says:

    Anothing this is that the only reason why Rob Ford’s popular right now is because people in the city breathe Miller’s name with such scorn. If that’s the only reason why they’re voting for someone, they should rethink it.

  2. Brian says:

    I agree wholeheartedly that Ford’s populist appeal lacks substance. I agree wholeheartedly that Councillor Ford was too antagonistic to be an effective representative in a non-partisan system as Mayor Ford, and that he’s failed to prove otherwise so far in the campaign. I agree wholeheartedly that, like Ottawa Mayor Larry O’Brien, Ford will accomplish nothing if elected because even if he had a plan, he’s already all but guaranteed that he won’t get the votes to implement it.

    But as I just noted on Twitter, nobody who’s concerned about Rob Ford is doing themselves any favors by constantly bringing up his father. Who cares whether Ford loves his father, or talks about him? So what? We don’t hold kids accountable for their father’s crimes – or their triumphs – just because they love their fathers. We certainly shouldn’t be doing the same for their voting record.

    Please, stick to the growing gap between what Ford is inferring that he can deliver, and what he’s specifically proving he’s plausibly capable of delivering. There’s more than enough ground to cover there to fill any open letters you care to write.

    -BFK

    • cityslikr says:

      Dear Brian,

      We here at All Fired Up in the Big Smoke heatedly discussed at length including any reference to Doug Ford in this post. We agree with you about the sins of the father not being visited upon the son. But here’s why we decided to leave it in.

      By publicly embracing the memory of his father and the values that he stood for, Rob Ford is at least, tacitly, agreeing with them. What were those values, politically speaking? The faux-populism of the Common Sense Revolution which not only Rob Ford echoes with his calls for spending and tax cuts but also exacerbated the financial problems the city’s now facing with their unbalanced downloading. So I guess we were trying to highlight the fact that Rob Ford’s populist appeal is as faulty and dangerous as Mike Harris’s by drawing an indirect link between the two men through Doug Ford.

      Tortured logic? Yes, probably. But you called us on it. We’re acknowledging it.

  3. jeff says:

    this is so true. It’s like the Toronto Sun and Mel Lastman had a baby and entered it into the mayoral race. Why is it that a city of such alleged sophistication seems hell bent on electing yet another buffoon as its mayor? I remember the first post-amalgamation election, Lastman’s North York fan boy supporters on tv screeching and hooting like drunken teenagers. Same voter base this time around for Blob Ford, it seems. Cement heads.

  4. Andrew says:

    Both you and Hume have it wrong. Ford voters are not mad because the megacity went too far; they are mad because it didn’t go far enough in cutting costs. Ford’s obsessive nickel-and-diming of city services is the intellectual successor of Harris’s (and Doug Ford’s) small-government rhetoric, so there is no tension or contradiction between the two viewpoints.

    For that reason, it’s also completely backward to argue to a Ford supporter that their guy will cut programs and make city services less available. That is exactly what they want! Ford supporters think government is a bother and a nuisance. They think civil servants are generally overpaid lazy bums. They don’t want to use Transit City, because they like their cars just fine. So I think you’re missing the point of his candidacy.

    • cityslikr says:

      Dear Andrew,

      We here at All Fired Up in the Big Smoke didn’t think we suggested there was any “tension or contradiction” between Rob Ford’s viewpoint and that espoused by his father, Mike Harris and their Common Sense Revolution. It is a natural successor. So we are in agreement on that.

      We also agree that Rob Ford and his supporters want to cut programs and services. But we did ask you why and how you thought that’ll make this city a better place in which to live. I guess you didn’t answer that because, in fact, you don’t care if the city is a better place to live as long as you don’t have to pay too many taxes and get to drive your car.

      So yes, you are right. We did miss the point of Rob Ford’s candidacy. It has nothing to do with anger or vindictiveness. It is all about an I-got-mine-and-everybody-else-can-go-fuck-themselves, self-centred ethos that calls itself ‘libertarian’ in order to give itself a more reasonable, almost thought out feel.

      Thanks for the clarification.

      • cityslikr says:

        Dear Andrew,

        As we here at All Fired Up in the Big Smoke look over our response to your comment, we realize that it was written as if you were a Rob Ford supporter. Now we think you might just have been hypothesizing. Our apologies. And we will never again allow our unpaid teenage intern to answer in our stead.

      • Esn says:

        “you don’t care if the city is a better place to live as long as you don’t have to pay too many taxes and get to drive your car.”

        I believe the point is that for Rob Ford supporters, those last two things you mentioned may be the main things that would make the city a better place to live for them.

        I am not a Rob Ford supporter (I’m not a supporter of anyone, really – all of the frontrunners want to have more religion in municipal politics, which I don’t like the idea of), so anyone who is, please feel free to correct me.

        I’m actually wondering if any Rob Ford supporters read AFUitBS.

    • cityslikr says:

      Dear Andrew,

      What we here at All Fired Up in the Big Smoke should’ve said in response to your comment is, no way. That’s far too simplistic. Nobody outside of maybe a sociopathically narcissistic teenager could hold those kind of empty-headed political views.

      (See? That’s how it’s done, intern.)

  5. John Spragge says:

    As someone who doesn’t think we can afford to have the gridlocked council electing Rob Ford as mayor would undoubtedly produce, and as a campaign worker for one of his opponents, I’d like to propose we take him and his popularity seriously. I’d like to make a heretical suggestion: Rob Ford has done well in the race so far because he comes across as hard working, basically competent at what he does, and capable of actually learning. He’s even apologized for some of the worst things he’s said in the past.

    By contrast, consider the snobbish diatribe against the “suburbs” by Christopher Hume, which you linked. If I thought Christopher Hume had really considered what he wrote, I would have to believe he considers the vital multi-cultural community of Thorncliffe both irrelevant and ruinously wasteful. In fact, I believe Mr. Hume had a bad day, and wrote a bad column. I believe he does comprehend that many of the people who call suburban communities such as Thorncliffe home do the work that makes our urban lifestyle possible while raising the next generation of Toronto residents. I believe most of us understand that a truly just and socially sustainable city has an obligation to include all of its residents. I believe that when Mr. Hume thinks about it, he grasps that places like Thorncliffe has always had a much more “sustainable” urban density than Rosedale or the Annex or even Ward’s Island.

    I believe that the failure to articulate a compelling, inclusive vision for the communities that make up the old suburbs marks one of the failures of David Miller’s two terms in office. I believe that not accepting this as a mistake puts the left at a disadvantage compared to Rob Ford. Compare Rob Ford’s apology for his remark about HIV with the bluster in Mr. Hume’s column about not taking the suburbs seriously “for obvious reasons”. Who looks more able to learn and grow? Who looks more attractive? I believe that if we want to beat Mr. Ford, and beat him convincingly, we on the left have to demonstrate that we have, indeed, learned the value of a truly inclusive city.

    • Esn says:

      I agree, John. I live in the north of Toronto and I’ve been a Miller supporter generally, but it hasn’t passed my notice that Miller has focused mostly on the old Toronto city core area. His policies gradually moved outwards, but the garbage strike politically ruined him before his major suburbs initiative (Transit City) could get off the ground. His poor handling of the garbage strike allowed McGuinty enough political leverage to kill (or at least significantly handicap) the program. The result is that suburban voters have seen very few improvements reach them from the 7 years of Miller leadership; they’ve just seen their taxes go up. That’s why suburban voters are so vary of anyone connected with Miller, and why Miller was so devastated by the gutting of Transit City – that was the project that, when completed, would have done something to rehabilitate his legacy in the suburbs.

  6. TorontoResident says:

    I’ll be frank and to the point. I’m a well educated Torontonian with two university degrees, including a law degree. At this point, I will be supporting Mr. Ford. Why? First of all, Rocco Rossi, who I think is the most qualified of the candidates, is running a very weak campaign so far and doesn’t seem to be gaining much traction with voters. Second, I cannot stand George Smitherman. Mr. Smitherman has no post-secondary education and his educational credentials are sorely lacking for someone wanting to be the mayor of Canada’s largest city. Furthermore, Mr. Smitherman’s atrocious record in provincial government, including being at the helm when the e-health scandal took place, demonstrates he’s a very poor manager of financial resources. That leaves me with Miller’s deputy mayor, Joe Pantalone, who I would never vote for given the Miller administration’s handling of the garbage strike, and the constant tax grabs like the vehicle registration tax and land transfer tax. Sarah Thompson’s alrite but at this point I don’t see her winning the election. Mr. Ford at least practices what he preaches. He never spends a dime of his office budget. No, that’s not going to turn around the city’s finances, but it demonstrates respect for my tax dollars. When I see councillors spending tens of thousands of dollars yet very little in the way of improvements to the city, then I get fed up very quickly. Ford has got a huge following because people like myself are fed up with the way things are run at city hall. To those who think Ford will be a disaster as mayor, well, Mayor Miller has been a disaster as the mayor. Nonstop tax increases and I haven’t seen any substantial increases in municipal services. The garbage strike was atrocious, the roads are littered with pot holes and construction crews around the city take their sweet time to fix the roads. Miller’s administration had seven entire years to get the job done and Miller failed. Furthermore, the Toronto Star’s constant attacks on Mr. Ford are really backfiring. All they can dig up is some story from nearly 10 years ago that Mr. Ford is an animated, loud football coach. Well, that’s what most football coaches are. This isn’t curling, this isn’t golf, this isn’t a softball. it’s a hardnosed physical sport and coaches will get animated. The Toronto Star, in fact, is solidifying a lot of Ford’s voting base through their constant attacks. Furthermore, on the issue of cutting city council in half, it’s a good idea. The city of Los Angeles, which has a much larger population than Toronto, only has 15 councillors. L.A.’s city council does the job just fine. Toronto only has 22 federal MP’s and 22 provincial MPP’s. I don’t need 2 councillors for my riding, nor do I want to pay their salaries. I want ONE councillor for ONE riding. It’s that simple.

    • Esn says:

      TorontoResident, out of curiosity, in which part of the city do you live? I’d like to know what you think about the theory I advanced in my post just above yours (July 16, 2010 at 12:29 am).

      P.S. I agree about Smitherman… even Ford would be preferable.

      • TorontoResident says:

        Esn, I agree with your theory. I live in North York. The roads are deteriorating like crazy (for example, Finch Avenue between Dufferin and Keele) and nothing is done to repair them. Lots of sidestreets near Mel Lastman square are in awful shape. I see City of Toronto construction crews taking absurd amounts of time to get road repairs done. I actually don’t mind paying higher taxes IF I see improved municipal services, but all I see is gradual deterioration of the city’s infrastructure and constant waste at City Hall. I would love to subway everywhere, but Toronto’s 3-line subway system is a relic of the 1960’s, and is lightyears behind the subway systems in cities like London England and Paris. I am forced to commute by car to work when I don’t want to. Then the lefties at City Council punish commuters with a vehicle registration tax, even though commuters like me cannot rely on the TTC to get to where they work. There’s also smaller things like being forced to separate all of my household waste into separate bins, but then I find out that most of the waste is mixed together and dumped at the same landfills! Bottom line is I pay through the nose in property taxes, plastic bag fees, vehicle registration taxes, and I don’t see anything improving in Toronto. Yes, the province and feds MUST step up and provide more funding to Toronto but City Hall’s spending is out of control. City Council seems focused on downtown, even though most people in Toronto don’t live downtown. And McGuinty, who I used to support but who I really don’t like anymore, knows Toronto will vote Liberal like blind sheep next election regardless of what happens to Transit City. Toronto will vote Liberal again in 2011 regardless, so McGuinty did what he wanted to do. Generally speaking, I’m not overly impressed with any of the candidates for mayor but Rob Ford has hit the nail on the head for suburban voters like me when it comes to respect for taxpayer dollars. And Ford’s support is growing.

    • cityslikr says:

      Dear Toronto Resident,

      Thank you for your honesty. We here at All Fired Up in the Smoke were hoping to hear up front and unvarnished from a Rob Ford supporter or two. Much appreciated.

      It strikes us that your support for Mr. Ford is arrived at largely by the process of elimination of the other leading candidates. That’s not so much an endorsement as it is settling. Unfortunate but very much the feeling of this campaign so far.

      Moreover, you never address what we hoped were the two main points of our piece. 1) The savings Mr. Ford has offered up so far during the campaign are really miniscule in terms of the overall budget. Combined with his vow to eliminate newer taxes like the Vehicle Registration and Land Transfer taxes, there is some question that the savings would be less than the loss of revenue coming into the city, so we would have less money in the coffers not more. 2) With all the cuts to council and staff that Mr. Ford is proposing, how are services going to be delivered more efficiently or timely?

      How exactly does having less money and few people translate into getting your potholes filled and street lights changed? The math just isn’t solid.

      As for the size of council, well, you can bring up the 15 on the Los Angeles council and I can counter with the 50 that sit on Chicago’s council. Doesn’t really point to any conclusion. Except for that you might want to pick an example of a city that’s not on the brink of bankruptcy.

      • TorontoResident says:

        In politics, people often vote for people based on the process of elimination. Dalton McGuinty sure didn’t win in 2007 based on his record, but based on most voters using a process of elimiation and rejecting the Tories and NDP.

        I wish John Tory was running, but he isn’t. He’d be my #1 choice.

        I don’t want Smitherman because of his e-health fisaco in provincial government. He also has no university education. I won’t vote for that. I’d vote for Rocco Rossi but his polling numbers are not very impressive. It’s too bad he’s not getting traction, considering Rossi’s extensive private sector experience and his Princeton University credentials.

        I never said that Ford would single handedly reign in spending, but he has some common sense ideas. The “fair wage” policy in Toronto is ridiculous and should be eliminated, for example. Why are we forcing the private sector to pay union wages? It’s absurd. Why isn’t garbage collection put up for competitive bidding by different unions (like the union that does garbage pickup in Etobicoke for much less than the rest of Toronto)? These 2 things are STEPS towards getting spending under control in Toronto. We also need more federal and provincial funding without a doubt.

        Right now, I just want a mayor who at the very least preaches respect for my tax dollars. Ford does that.

        And there are only 22 federal and provincial ridings in the 416. No need for 45 councillors, it should only be 22. My federal riding certainly doesn’t need 2 councillors.

      • John Spragge says:

        I think you underestimate the belief that many Ford supporters have in leadership and a work ethic. Right or wrong, they appear to believe that twenty-two people who think of their work as an important public trust and throw themselves into it will accomplish more than forty-four people who think they’ve lucked into a cushy job for life with perks. And, again, rightly or wrongly, I think many of the people now voting for Rob Ford see the current city council as dominated by people who work the cushy job angle. This should matter to us because people who think this way have more faith in Rob Ford’s brand of leadership than they do in your math. If we say Rob Ford’s savings don’t add up, and they say that someone with Rob Ford’s attitude to spending can find savings, we’ll both go away unconvinced. And right now, we need to convince a good number of undecided voters before any candidate ekes out a convincing win.

  7. Andrew says:

    For everyone downtown who thinks Transit City is a great idea, look up the plans for the Lakeshore LRT (Longbranch to Humber Loop). Transit City is not the great transit idea. Miller took being “green” and “transit” too far for most of us in the ‘burbs.

    It was to decrease travel time by less than ten minutes with a right of way and fewer stops. It also would have divided the community as Longbranch already is one of the most pedestrian friendly neighborhoods.

    If Rob Ford can bring transparency to city government, all the better.

  8. richard rahl says:

    i found rob ford’s personal blog, its a great read : http://www.robfordmayor.com

  9. Kris says:

    Andrew, I agree it’s kinda obvious it’s a joke site not really a blog by Mr. Ford. So no I was not fooled, hence I said earlier I was convinced it was a joke site. My only hesitation was when Richard Rahl posted to check it out and no one seemed to be saying it was a joke, but me. So I wanted to check in for some confirmation.
    And plus know where on the fake Ford site does the author fess up that it’s a way to mock Ford. Unlike say the Fake JoshMatlow on Twitter who in his name tells you he’s poking fun at the St. Paul’s council candidate who uses Twitter all the time.

    • Andrew says:

      There is a course worth taking by Human Factors International called, “How to Design for Persuasion, Emotion, and Trust”. It failed on all three levels.

      Looks like the site is dead…insert your conspiracy theory here.

  10. fuc.k you says:

    You’re a downtowner?
    Burn in hell asshole.

    Fuc.k you.
    Ford’s getting my vote.

    All I EVER HEARD FROM MILLER WAS:

    Waterfront, Island Airport, Downtown,
    More waterfront, rooftop garden for the DVP, destroy the DVP,
    downtown,

    waterfront economy,
    downtown

    raise taxes,
    personal vehicle tax (kill asshole who choose to live in the suburbs, they’re evil scum right?)
    property transfer tax
    garbage strike,

    more downtown

    GO FUCK YOURSELF

  11. DT says:

    I don’t want to debate the mayoral race with suburbanites, not out of scorn, but because I don’t think a consensus can be reached in the megacity (especially not when the unsavory attitude outlined by Mr. F is probably more prevalent than many in the core would like to believe). Amalgamation was a bad idea poorly implemented. I’d rather the urban and suburban populations have their own representation, for both our sakes. I’d prefer to not be subject to the tyranny of a small-minded majority.

    @TorontoResident: The idea of never voting for anyone without post-secondary education is a great example of this small-mindedness. Is it unimaginable that plenty of intelligent people find the modern Degree Factory financially prohibitive and intellectually stultifying? By indicating that you have two degrees yourself and following that with an intellectually lazy generalization (“He also has no university education. I won’t vote for that.”), you make my point for me (and, by the way, I’m not a Smitherman supporter). There is one good supporting argument for your stance, though. Municipal governments need big, constructive, inclusive ideas (which a liberal arts education should, in a perfect world, encourage) to create dynamic and sustainable revenue streams. “Slash, slash, slash” is a destructive, lazy, appeal-to-naivety ideology–one put forward by your man Ford, who didn’t graduate from university.

    I assume we can both agree on the fact that, with no prospect of the provincial or federal governments dramatically or permanently stepping up municipal funding in the foreseeable future, Toronto must become self-sufficient. I have to ask: do you think that process will be cheap? Or without missteps? Porky politics are never going to disappear. That they can be combated is a conservative myth. Blaming the mayor (sitting on council with one measly vote) for construction workers being lazy is outrageous; believing the mayor can control the spending of councillors, likewise. Actual vision, on the other hand, is hard to find. Toronto, at the end of Miller’s stint, has been christened by Huffington Post as “the hot new destination for all things crazy, sexy, cool.” That’s a status worth its weight in gold. Dismantle the policies that have encouraged it, and you dismantle our future.

    • Andrew says:

      A few new bars in the downtown core all of a sudden makes Toronto “hip and cool” is pathetic and simply supports the disconnect of the old Toronto downtown core from the suburbs.

      And your opening sentence, “I don’t want to debate the mayoral race with suburbanite” smacks of elitism and academic snobbery.

      The downtown core had its turn with Miller now it is the suburbs turn…

  12. Al Teahaus says:

    We are angry with the current Government, but being typical GTAers, we are not angry with ourselves for putting them in power.

    We vote someone in who tells us what we want to hear and then when they do not deliver we vote them in again. I think Ford will fit that mold as does our current Mayor and Premier. Having someone from the private sector as Mayor would be a welcome change. We did not vote for John Tory and many of us regretted it.

    Although not perfect, I may consider Sarah Thomson as she is a business person who understands that revenues have to exceed expenses. Business people actually understand that a deficit is suicidal and that a debt should used to invest in projects that increase future revenue and the quality of life. Much of our Government debt was not used to invest in the future. Much of our infrastructure is severely outdated, underfunded, and not attractive to those who can really make this a top class city. I plan to vote for someone who has done something real and actually succeeded at it! Her position on building a real transit system instead of a temporary one is also sound. Suburbs vs downtown revenge does not seem like a good platform for the region – we are all one now.

  13. […] read Simon McNeil’s Profiles in Profanity, and please read All Fired Up In The Big Smoke. Educate […]

  14. Al; says:

    In 2003 SARS broke out at Scarborough Grace Hospital. I was the only volunteer there. Where were you (Minister of Health) George? Five years ago my cousin in Windsor, had a Heart Attack. They had to ship him across to Detroit for a relatively simple operation to save his life. Seems none of the Windsor hospitals have the the budget for such procedures; where were you George? Four years ago I took my wife into the Emergency at Scarborough Grace Hospital. They couldn’t take her blood pressure because all the cuffs were worn out. They had to borrow a Glucose meter from the Ambulance to get a bloodsugar reading, because there wasn’t a working one available. They couldn’t do an ECG, because none of the machines were working (20 years old). Where were you George? A year and a half ago she passed away. Misdiagnosed, mistreated and given the wrong medicine. Where were you George? Oh that’s right, you bailed out before then.
    Just today October 22, 2010; I found out that OHIP doesn’t cover the cost of a prostrate examination. Being on disability, I can’t afford it. 1.3 Billion for E-health but nothing for the needy.

  15. James Bow says:

    “In 2003 SARS broke out at Scarborough Grace Hospital. I was the only volunteer there. Where were you (Minister of Health) George”

    If he was anywhere, he was in opposition. In 2003, until October, the government of the day was Ernie Eves’ Conservatives. Smitherman wouldn’t become minister of health until later.

  16. Sanwin says:

    I take it that you guys somehow believe that the person who :

    Saw 1 Billion$ go up in smoke (Ehealth 1)
    Was responsible for another 300 million wasted (Ehealth 2)
    Was responsible for over 500 Cfiddile deaths
    Brouight in the largest tax (health) in Ontario history
    Cut eye exams and chiro. coverage from OHOP
    Brought in sex change ops into OHIP
    Spoke derisively about seniors being left in their diapers
    Gave sole sourced untendered contracts to his buddies
    Gave a 8 billion sole sourced deal to Samsung
    Has sent out energy bills thu the roof
    Was head when the OLG spending scandal took place

    is somehow better for Toronto than the guy who talks about looking out for taxpayer dollars.

    Give your head a shake.

  17. Anna Sophia says:

    I hope they get rid of the fluoride because there are no proven benefits, only ill side effects. Naturalnews.com has a shocking doc called the “The Fluoride Deception”. The stuff they use is not natural calcium fluoride, it’s chemicals and you won’t believe where they get it from and what it does. EPA band these chemicals to dump… ya it’s against the law but for some reason it’s safe in our drinking water and in us! It’s said to cause bone cancer and brain damage. We have to pay over a million per year too! I think that some cuts, especially to water fluoridation, are needed. However, the real problem stems from the Fractional Reserve System – borrowing money from private banks with compounded interest instead of our usually interest free Bank of Canada. No matter how many cuts we make the debt and the interest will probably require more. I think we should borrow the money from BOC, if it’s possible, and pay off the sucker entirely and never borrow from private banks again! No more compounded interest that way! This money scam is featured in the doc “Oh Canada Our Bought & Sold Out Land”. Both films stream free with the filmmakers permission. Google them and I’m sure you will find it.

  18. Bob Frezno says:

    People, those of you who support downtown agendas or think the public should spend money on arts and culture, please take one moment and consider history. Every great civilization of the past has fallen from within due to certain forms of overspending on cities, their culture and buildings therein. Every great civilization that has spanned a continent has failed due to over-taxation of the working class and farmers. Don’t take my word for it read some global history, I would recommend for starters, Chris Harman, A peoples history of the world. I know it’s nice to have opera houses, bike lanes and arts endowments but the truth is that none of that keeps us going economically, what does keep us going is cheap and abundant food and plenty of gainful employment. Thanks Rob Ford for getting started with this work, I would invite you to read the book as well, if we don’t know our history we will most certainly repeat it, lets try to repeat the good parts only.

    • cityslikr says:

      Dear Mr. Frezno,

      We here at All Fired Up in the Big Smoke are not versed in Chris Harman’s A People’s History of the World. Thank you for the recommendation.

      But we are a little dubious of your/Mr. Harman’s claim that great civilizations fell due to over spending on cities, culture and buildings. There were all those matters of continual war, imperial overreach, lack of a vital middle class. And your/Mr. Harman’s suggestion that there is only costs associated with things like opera/culture lacks a certain rigour, failing to take into account the revenue generated by such investment. Or are the estimates of $7 returned on every $1 invested in the arts merely numbers made up by those with a downtown agenda?

      Moreover, please fill us in on how the mayor is setting about creating an atmosphere for cheap and abundant food (aside from his brother’s constant plugging of Tim Horton’s) and plenty of gainful employment? Reducing city staff by 17 000? Outsourcing jobs at lower wages?

  19. atorontocitizen says:

    Please see http://dearrobford.wordpress.com

    @dearrobford_TO

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