A Slam Drunk

I remain firm in my conviction that in bigger cities like Toronto, cities with a highly diverse population, with a diversity of needs, a diversity of competing interests, diversity of perspectives, elected local representatives are the hardest working, most put upon of all our politicians. (With exceptions, of course. Stephen Holyday could not secure a position in the public or private sector that would pay him to be as terrible at his job as he is as city councillor.) In Toronto specifically, the pressure’s even more intense, I’d argue, in the face of an openly hostile provincial government at Queen’s Park since 2018 that has cut the number of city council in half, doubling the workload and number of residents to serve, undermining local-decision making with ill-thought housing plans and transit and other major infrastructure initiatives with very little collaboration and a whole lot of because it can. Combined with the fallout from a global pandemic, the additional burdens of governance ultimately pushed well-intentioned and dedicated councillors out from public service long before their prime. Continue reading

Subwayers Will Be The Death Of Public Transit

Once upon a time there was Transit City.

It was a plan to build public transit (‘Moving Toronto Into the Future’), modest in the sense of seeming achievable in a reasonable time frame and at a feasible cost. Both levels of government, municipal and provincial, were on board and, despite a scaling back of projects by the province in the face of the 2008 recession (brewing bad blood between Queen’s Park and City Hall that would open the door to bad faith actors intent on killing the proceedings), work was begun in 2009. Continue reading

Neglect As Official Policy

It started with an old man forgetting his wallet.

The old man being me, the wallet being mine, and a Monday morning crosstown appointment to get the snow tires changed.

A twenty-two minute estimated journey, clocking in at roughly 25. So far. So good. No complaints about that. A bustling metropolis & etc. It isn’t an outing I take very often. So, no matter. Continue reading