Now, I’m no brain doctor or mind scientist but it seems to me that a disturbing number of people – a majority of whom write for or read newspapers like the Toronto Sun* – lack what you might call an important neural bridge, an inability to make a synaptic leap from a point to its logical conclusion.
Here’s the second paragraph from the Sun’s Saturday editorial, Time to come clean on ‘Big Move’:
We’re skeptical because the people promising to fix the problem of traffic gridlock in the GTA — provincial and municipal politicians — are the people who created it in the first place.
Politicians! Refusing to build transit! We ask and we ask for more transit, and what do we get? Congestion! That’s what we get!
I’m stuck behind the wheel in this traffic jam and it’s all the politicians’ fault.
The idea that somehow, left to their own devices, politicians have failed to deliver, or rather, that politicians have delivered us into this transit mess is staggeringly simple minded. I know, I know. It’s the Sun we’re talking about. Still…
I’m not letting our politicians off the hook here. For the past two decades or so, our elected officials have sat on their collective hands, unwilling to tell the hard truths about the absolute necessity for transit expansion throughout the GTHA and the only way possible to get it done. That’s a major abdication of leadership, no argument.
But why would they be like that, one might venture to ask if one weren’t writing an editorial for the Toronto Sun. Why would politicians jeopardize the economic and social well-being of a region, a city, a ward, a neighbourhood by neglectfully refusing to build transit in a timely manner? Spite? Laziness?
Try, out of sheer political pandering.
We have the transit system and traffic congestion that we deserve. That we’ve paid for. The only ones we have to blame for the mess we’re currently in is ourselves.
And maybe, the Toronto Sun.
For its 40+ years of existence, it has championed the cause of small government and low taxes, touting any like-minded politician and vilifying those who weren’t. There was no major public expenditure it couldn’t see as a boondoggle or tax increase that didn’t pick the taxpayers’ pockets. I’ll go out on a limb here and bet my bottom dollar that back in 1995, the Toronto Sun endorsed Mike Harris and the Progressive Conservatives to be the new government of Ontario. The very gang that, when in power, filled the hole being dug for an Eglinton subway spur. A hole being dug back out, some 18 years later.
This cesspool of suspicion and tightwadedness has tended to make politicians a little gun shy in terms of transit building. You want what? Well, it’s going to cost about x m(b)illions of dollars. Too much? Right. Well, let’s just ignore this conversation then, shall we?
Worse still, there’s this phantasmagorical alternate reality out there, where politicians claim they can build whatever transit the folks want wherever the folks want it and it won’t cost anybody a thing. Just say the word. Clap your hands twice and click your heels three times [h/t to @christ for that image].
The Sun itself is out there promoting utter nonsense in terms of transit funding. Misinforming Torontonians for over 4 decades now.™©® You want new transit, Toronto? Easy peasy.
We believe much of the money can be raised by charging developers for the increased benefits to them of an integrated transit system, by eliminating waste in government, and by dedicating to public transit the new tax base generated by a proposed Toronto casino-resort.
And I believe much of the money can be raised by eating quarters and shitting out five dollar bills.
Once again, the Toronto Sun is spouting rubbish and muddying the debate about transit funding. According to Feeling Congested, the Sun’s preference for using Development Charges to pay for new transit will amount to about $90 million annually. In the spirit of increased benefits from new transit, I’ll throw in the $20 million Value Capture Levy from increased property values. So that totals $110 million a year which means that we’ll only need the additional one billion, eight hundred and ninety million dollars from a new ‘casino-resort’ and more government efficiencies.
Done, and done.
It’s beyond laughable that these people think they’re contributing constructively to the transit debate. This is the same kind of shirking of responsibility and refusing to make tough choices that have got us into this mess. They are not being honest brokers with their readers.
The fact is, the two billion dollar number being given for the Big Move is a very, very conservative number. It’s going to cost us a lot more than that, and I’m just considering operational costs right now. Never mind, the additional transit that really should be built to noticeably improve transit matters in the GTHA. Don’t believe me? Ask Oakville mayor Rob Burton. Or read some Steve Munro.
There are no easy fixes to this, folks. This is the high cost of procrastination, selfishness and negligence. Everything the likes of the Toronto Sun has been encouraging since its inception. It’s never been serious about investment in the public sphere. Don’t start thinking it’s suddenly changed that tune.
* except for Reporter Don Peat
— dismissively submitted by Cityslikr