What Was That Again, Mr. Flaherty?

June 3, 2013

I wonder if there was a moment, even the slightest of one, where the federal finance minister, throwcoldwaterJim Flaherty, regretted wading into the Metrolinx/The Big Move/revenue tools/damned taxes debate now going on throughout the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area. Last week he fired off a letter to his counterpart at Queen’s Park, Charles Sousa, informing him that any idea the province had of raising the HST at a regional level was a no-no according to HST agreement thingie the two levels of government signed to harmonize their respective sales taxes.

“As you are well aware,” Mr. Flaherty writes in his letter, “the Comprehensive Integrated Tax Co-ordination Agreement signed by the Government of Ontario does not allow for the provincial component of the HST to vary between regions of the province.”

Flaherty then issued a Fordian sounding statement to the Globe and Mail.

“As you all know, I do not believe in tax increases. Ontarians pay too much tax as it is.”whatwasthat

Well, hello Mr. Federal Finance Minister. Glad to see you showed up for this debate. Can we have a little chat about your contributions to transit in these parts?

Which, more or less, was the provincial finance minister’s response. Mr. Sousa fired a letter back to his counterpart in Ottawa, asking for a meeting. “Let’s sit down and talk about the funding,” Sousa suggests, “and what it is the federal government is going to do to support Ontario.”

Sadly, this request is not anything new. As has been pointed out, ad nauseum, our federal government has never really been that interested in matters to do with public transit. There was that slight uptick during Paul Martin’s brief stint as Prime Minister but, generally speaking, Liberals and Conservatives (both of the progressive and less so kind) in Ottawa have pretty much kept their hands clean of the file.

There is the jurisdictional matter, of course. Not wanting to step on political toes although, Flaherty’s HST intrusion doesn’t seem overly concerned with that. Historically, the feds dealt with air travel, seaports and rail. Modes of transportation than often operated across provincial borders. The rest was left up to the provinces. giveagiftRoads and public transit basically.

But… but the gas tax! What about the gas tax? Introduced by the federal Liberals, the Conservatives have now made it a permanent transfer. We’re doing our part!

Not to sniff at the gesture or anything but $13 billion in total between 2005-2014? Spread out over the entire country? And to cover a whole host of infrastructure needs, public transit being a very small portion of that?

OK, yeah. I do sniff at it. It’s a pittance. Shameful. A disgrace.

And don’t get me started on what an infinitesimal fraction it is of the money sent up the chain to Ottawa from a region the size and containing the wealth of the GTHA in order that it trickle back down in dribs and drabs in gestures of political magnanimity by our federal politicians. What’s that line from The Sopranos again? They shit on our heads and expect us to thank them for the hat.

But here’s the thing.

After a while, your arm grows tired beating the drum for a national transit strategy, some sort of positive, significant involvement in the area of public transit from the federal government. Like almost every other developed country in the world has. We get it. You don’t want to be involved. statlerandwaldorfNot Your Job.


So just shut the fuck up then when we’re trying to get along in your absence. You can’t have it both ways. Standing on the sidelines, cracking wise and pooh-poohing efforts to deal with the situation you want no part of. We’ve got plenty of armchair quarterbacks already. In fact, Toronto elected one as mayor.

You want to express an opinion, Mr. Finance Minister? Fine. Belly up to the table and put some real skin in the game. Then we might start listening to what you have to say.

fed-uply submitted by Cityslikr

Ferris Wheel Of Fortune

September 11, 2011

(Repurposing of our Wednesday post over at Torontoist, with bad grammar and possibly poor spelling reinserted from an earlier draft.)

* * *

As the battle begins over a new vision for Toronto’s waterfront, the Fort Sumter shot fired by Councilllor Doug Ford’s commercial heavy, where’s everybody going to shop by the lake dream, what it all comes down to is a fight over the public realm. The Ford’s have no taste for such a thing, might not even understand what it means. Those who have been in on the process since Waterfront Toronto’s inception more than a decade ago believe it should be the driving force behind the development.

Invest in the public realm, and private investment is sure to follow. That’s the view of former Toronto chief planner Paul Bedford. Meanwhile, if you put the private sector before the public realm, you get Queen’s Quay. Now adjunct professor of city planning at the University of Toronto and Ryerson University, and senior associate at the Canadian Urban Institute, Bedford came to City Hall yesterday to speak before council’s Executive Committee, which was meeting to discuss the mayor’s new plan for the Port Lands.

This idea, of investment in the public realm coming first, lies at the centre of the current flood control plan. (The Port Lands surround the mouth of the Don River, which like all rivers can sometimes overflow its banks. Flood protection measures must be implemented before any building on the surrounding land can occur.) Team Ford says that there’s no money in place to fund it. Ipso facto, they go on, let’s hit up the private sector– their go-to answer for almost everything. In return for a sweetheart deal on any nearby land, said private sector would, maintain the Fords, happily build the needed infrastructure. Just like they’re lining up to do for the Sheppard subway line. (Cough, cough. Cough, cough.)

Conversely, those who favour investment in the public realm before selling to developers argue that if the public sector builds the flood control infrastructure, the nearby land will increase greatly in value, and the City won’t have to unload properties at a cut rate price. This means more money flowing into government coffers to help offset infrastructure costs. (This is the exact opposite of the argument the Ford administration made about their proposed Sheppard subway line. Of course, they are now having to go to the province, cap in hand, to ask for some seed money to get things rolling. Cough, cough. Cough, cough.)

Never mind the fact that some might argue that it’s the role of government to build infrastructure and not to leave such a vital component for a healthy society to the vagaries of the market place. Some might argue. Unless, like the Fords and their neo-con herd of sheep on the Executive Committee, you believe the less a role government plays, the better. End stop.

Mayoral brother Doug Ford’s disregard of the public realm is such that he couldn’t be bothered to stick around after the entirely predictable Power Point (and not at all jaw-dropping) presentation of this new proposal and defend his vision to just one or two of the 30 or so deputants who were there to stand up for the current plan. Instead he took to the friendlier environs of a media interview/infomercial to take on “ferris wheel hypocrites.” (You heard it here first, folks.) This allowed the councillor to get out ahead of the sense of dismay and alarm that was building amongst the deputants and crowd at his half-baked, half-cocked waterfront plan in Committee Room 1.

Whatever it is going on in their noggins seems to be completely contrary to the actual facts on the ground. If Tuesday’s Executive Committee meeting showed us anything, it’s that whoever is behind this move to blow up ten years of planning and replace it with something slapped together under the cover of darkness has no idea what is actually going on on our waterfront. Or if they do, they don’t want their supporters who they’ll need to push this thing through council to know.

They tell us that nothing’s going on down there. (There is.) They claim that the whole entirety of Waterfront Toronto is the biggest boondoggle they’ve ever seen. (It isn’t. In fact, it isn’t a boondoggle at all. Don’t believe me? Ask a real life, honest to God conservative, former mayor David Crombie. Or even a less than honest to God conservative, federal finance minister, Jim Flaherty.) They say the cupboard’s bare and there’s no money anywhere to proceed any further. (Wrong, wrong, wrong.) All of it wrong.

It’s almost as if they can’t stand to see government in action actually succeed. To have to admit that a slow, deliberate, inclusive, democratic process is able to create something special that this city can truly be proud of. That the so-called public realm not only needs to be nourished but if it isn’t, everything else becomes simply a crass, sterile money grab.

Yesterday’s Executive Committee meeting did not show us two competing waterfront visions. What it revealed was two competing visions of urban planning. One, which deputant after deputant advocated for and defended, is a strong, vibrant public realm as the basis for strong, vibrant communities, neighbourhoods and cities. A fundamental belief that planning must involve engaging the wider community at every step of the process just as Waterfront Toronto has done. The dreary, time consuming aspect of public consultation that gives the appearance of `nothing being done’ to those who hold citizens’ views as little more than an afterthought. Those who see planning as nothing more than grand announcements with little substance and much ad hockery. A desiccated public realm, picked clean and sucked dry by those needing and looking for a quick buck.

It’s city building versus city exploiting. The first isn’t always pretty but the second masks its ugliness behind bright lights and shiny baubles until it’s too late for us to get a good look at it.

repeatedly submitted by Cityslikr

On The Waterfront

August 30, 2011

So it seems the quiet whispers of hope that the federal finance minister and Ford family friend, Jim Flaherty, would exert a (ahem, ahem) moderating influence on the brothers’ irrational hatred of all things Waterfront Toronto were nothing more than wishful thinking. According to the Globe and Mail, “The administration of Mayor Rob Ford is moving to seize control of development on the east side of Toronto Harbour, paving the way for ambitious building plans in the Port Lands at the mouth of the Don River and private-sector investment.” Flaherty appears ready to play ball. Rather, he seems prepared to punt it, along with common sense and years of careful consideration. “With almost $492-million of the $500-million federal investment spent, federal participation is winding down,” the minister’s press secretary told the National Post, “Waterfront Toronto will now work more closely with our provincial and municipal counterparts on the next phases of development.”

Boondoggle, you say? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

If we’ve learned nothing else from Team Ford’s previous seizing of a tripartite government agreement and making it its own, we should know this. Do not let them do it until they have a fully realized replacement plan down on paper, costed out to the last dime. Remember Transit City. Declared dead and replaced by Transportation City. All money to be used to bury the Eglinton Avenue LRT. A Sheppard subway line will be built with entirely private sector money. Except maybe not. Hey Queen’s Park. Can you front us a little dough, say, $650 mil to get things up and running?

This is the exact same nonsense. Take a project out of the public sphere – a project, by the way, with very few critics except for the mayor, his brother and those mindlessly parroting their views – with the promise of a miracle from private investment. “We’ve got to get this city booming and tell the rest of the world about it,” [Councillor Ford] said. “This will be the most spectacular development in all of Canada. Your jaw will drop when you see this.” Sounding just like the carnival barker/snake oil salesman he has turned out to be, the councillor seems shockingly oblivious to the fact the waterfront, along with other areas of the city, is already undergoing a healthy redevelopment.

Too slow for the Fords’ liking, apparently.

“[Councillor Ford] expects that with the proposed new arrangement, the revitalization can be completed in five or six years, compared to the 25-year horizon in the current plans.” Holy cow. That is indeed a jaw dropping claim. Surely the councillor has the paper work to back it up, right? He wouldn’t just be pulling numbers out of his ass again, would he? Again?

To show he’s dead serious this time, ixnay alktay about a new stadium to lure his beloved NFL north of the border. Similarly, nary a mention of a monorail. It’s all business now. “The multi-use development [Councillor Ford] envisions,” says the Globe, “would include impressive shopping malls, waterfront hotels, bike paths and possibly…” Wait for it. Wait for it. “…the world’s largest Ferris wheel.”


See, what all you artsy fartsy, fancy pants urban planners with your university edgamacations don’t get, and the likes of Rob and Doug Ford just know instinctively, deep down in their guts, is that what makes cities like London great, what makes them highly desirable for people and investment boils down to one thing, and one thing only. Great big fucking ferris wheels. Bright shiny gadgets, trinkets and gew gaws. Cities as amusement parks, where the well-to-do come down to play and everyone else ekes out a living ensuring that their stay is an enjoyable one.

This is nothing more than a money grab, pure and simple. A bull-headed expropriation of a city asset for a quick sell off in order to plug budget holes created by this administration’s refusal to govern responsibly and realize taxation is a legitimate source of revenue. What’s even more galling is that they are once again trying to float the idea of the private sector sailing in to the rescue, picking up the pace, picking up the tab including hundreds of millions of dollars for flood protection. City Manager Joe Pennachetti is playing along with the mayor’s little charade, citing Waterfront Toronto’s inability to come up with the money for the project.  “Given that the existing governance structure has been in place for ten years and has not produced a viable funding plan for the Port Lands,” Pennachetti writes, “it is timely to explore a new delivery model for this area, including the opportunity for private investment to front-end the implementation of flood protection and other infrastructure requirements thereby reducing reliance on public funds.”

Yeah. We all know how the private sector just loves to hand over cash for infrastructure development. (See paragraph 3.)

While Mayor Ford ran roughshod over Transit City by claiming to have a mandate from the voters to rid the roads of streetcars and build subways, I never heard him promise that if elected he’ll stop all the boondoggling on the waterfront and conduct a fire sale of everything not nailed down there. “We have great expectations for the waterfront,” Councillor Paula Fletcher told the Globe. “It belongs to Toronto. It doesn’t belong to one councillor.”

Or one mayor.

If there was ever a time for council to draw a line in the sand, it would’ve been last December. But it’s never too late to grow some stones and start taking a stand. This one should be easy even for those councillors still frightened of the mayor’s shadow. His plan is half-baked — as usual — based on dubious claims that have already been proven ill-considered on one proposed mega-project. There is plenty of high profile resistance from the public toward any malignant mucking with what are, in fact, slowly coalescing development ideas. The mayor looks to take something and replace it with worse than nothing.

Which seems to be the dominant motif of his administration to date. The question is, how long are we going to let him go on razing things before we encourage the adults to step back in and assume control? The city’s future well-being depends on it happening sooner rather than later.

soggily submitted by Cityslikr

The Mammoliti Meter

June 2, 2011

I’ve written Rob Ford off before. Often and with a great deal of certainty. Gleefully, I’ll admit. As a mayoral candidate. As a newly installed mayor. He’ll never get elected. He’ll never command a majority of city council.

And I’ve been wrong. Each and every time. So I am hardly in a position to pass any sort of judgment at this juncture, at least not accurately or in a manner that would be deemed noteworthy, worthwhile even.

But I do think it safe to say that May was not the kindest month to Mayor Ford.

Now, that shouldn’t be all that surprising. Politicians have their ups and downs. None are capable of burning as hotly popular over the long haul as this mayor has seen himself since his election last fall. There will be dips, valleys. It’s inevitable. Only an idiot would stand up, just half a year into the mayor’s mandate and declare the man finished, done like dinner, fork sticking in time.

Still, I can’t turn down the opportunity to idiotically divine the near future just a little.

Suddenly last month, Mayor Ford started to lose the occasional vote at council. Nothing monumental or game changing. But the iron grip with which he pushed through the repeal of the vehicle registration tax, have the province declare the TTC an essential service and squeeze out the 2011 budget has clearly loosened a little. Councillors occupying the so-called ‘mushy middle’ weren’t falling in line as pliably and even some right of centre allies were not marching in lockstep.

When the mayor tried to by-pass council in his push to outsource garbage collection, he met some resistance in the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee and was forced to bring the idea before city council. Once there, it squeaked through but not without significant amendments. Getting the matter passed is now no longer the slam dunk Mayor Ford and his people might’ve thought it was a month or so ago.

His head-scratcher of a bid to eliminate all citizens advisory committees hit a bump in the road while in Executive Committee and was further delayed pending a staff report when it went to council. Good buddy Jim Flaherty came to town and essentially thumbed his nose at the Brothers Ford’s dim view of Toronto’s waterfront development. Appointee Gordon Chong openly mused about road tolls and congestion charges as ways of financing the mayor’s Sheppard subway line which the mayor seems to think only needs the power of positive thinking and the private sector to make happen. City Clerk Ulli Watkiss defied the mayor’s wishes to proceed with a by-election in Ward 9, choosing instead to appeal the ruling. Police Services vice-chair Councillor Michael Thompson asked Chief Blair to look at the implications of laying off 400-500 of his people, directly opposite Mayor Ford’s campaign promise of 100 new police officers.

And Transit City, long since pronounced dead and buried, is back, zombie-like to hound the mayor. As Matt Elliott reported a couple days back, in response to inquiries from Councillor Janet Davis, City Manager Joe Pennachetti raised the spectre of multiple votes that might have to go through council before the stake can be officially driven through the heart of Transit City and the mayor’s Transportation City (I still laugh when writing out that lacklustre name) plan anointed its true successor. With the viability of the Sheppard subway coming under closer scrutiny, Mayor Ford might just find that simply clapping his hands and chanting Make It So no longer constitutes a sound method of implementing his agenda.

Let’s not forget the order from the Compliance Audit Committee to examine Mayor Ford’s unorthodox financing of his mayoral campaign last year. All, hey, I’m an open book with nothing to hide, audit away last week, the mayor and his lawyer filed a last minute appeal to have the audit quashed in court. Even if successful, the real outcome may be tarnishing his common guy, I’m just one of you, folksy image that has served him well in the past.

Reality may well be crashing in on the mayor. It had to happen sometime because that’s just the nature of reality. Only the misguided and deluded believe otherwise.

How Mayor Ford deals with this altered landscape will ultimately determine the fate of his term in office. Edward Keenan over at The Grid last week saw the possibility of a softening toward consensus building not in the mayor himself but in his right hand man and older brother, Councillor Doug. Seen as more politically astute, Doug Ford may accept the fact that the winds are a-changing, and trampling over foes and striking fear into the hearts and minds of possible friends may no longer be the best course of action. The far-right territory Team Ford has staked out may not be comfortable enough for a workable majority of councillors, so the mayor is going to have to settle on a more moderate course.

Mayor Ford moderate, you say? Does not compute. C’est impossible. Leopard’s changing their spots and all that.

The thing is, if the mayor wants to avoid being reduced to little more than a sideshow freak as the city governance circus goes about its business around him, he might not have a choice but to reach out to at least some of those he has no natural political affinity toward. Failure to do so could put him into a position of ineffectual isolation many of us stupidly and ignorantly predicted he’d assume from the get-go. It’s adapt or die time.

As an outlying rogue figure of little consequence during his time at council, no doubt adaptation is foreign soil for Mayor Ford. He hasn’t had to play nicely with others before because, well, no one cared what he thought or how he voted. He’s the mayor now, so keeping at least 22 councillors on side matters. That’s been possible so far by power of his perceived popularity and ability to wield it threateningly. Do this or face the wrath of Ford Nation! Those councillors who don’t adhere strictly to his right wing doctrinaire will begin to wander once they feel there will be no consequences in doing so. Moreover, if supporting him starts to adversely affect their popularity, his fair-weather friends will make a point of publicly abandoning him.

Enter the Mammoliti Meter. Perhaps the most nakedly opportunistic member of the current city council, after his failed mayoral bid last fall Giorgio Mammoliti casually tossed aside a career of heated enmity toward Rob Ford and threw his lot in whole-heartedly with his one-time adversary. Seated to the right of the mayor, Councillor Mammoliti now proudly dubs himself Team Ford’s quarterback, helping to whip votes and giving a big thumbs up or down to signal which way his team mates should vote. He basks in the mayor’s status.

But it’s hard to imagine he’d be willing to go down with the ship if it starts taking on water. No, I won’t follow that analogy to speak of rats. As a measure of the tenuous nature of the alliance Mayor Ford has forged through division and intimidation, I’m willing to suggest that as goes Giorgio Mammoliti, so goes the Ford administration. It is a nation built on dodgy landfill.

prognosticatingly submitted by Cityslikr

If We’re Not Going To Take Ourselves Seriously

June 1, 2011

Friends and family often question my obsession with municipal politics. While recognizing its importance in the operation of our city, they express serious reservations about the cast of characters involved.

“Municipal politicians are clowns,” I’ve heard said. “Buffoons. Bush League. The B-Team.”

In part, I think such a dismissive view just comes with the territory. Municipal politicians oversee mundane but vital matters. Sewage, snow plowing, parking, pot hole filling. It all lacks a little nobility. Like sending off soldiers to die in faraway lands.

There’s also a degree of over-abundance, let’s call it. A problem of perception. Here in Toronto, for every 1 MPP or MP, there are 2 city councillors. So there are double the chances of experiencing clownish behaviour and buffoonery.

That said, it’s very difficult to ignore the fact that Toronto, especially since amalgamation, has flirted, courted and indulged in some very heavy petting with political folly. If Mayor Ford actually serves out one term (pending campaign financing audit), 10 of our first 17 years as a mighty megacity could, and very likely will be, deemed as an abject failure to take ourselves seriously. We’re all adults. How could we not foresee the consequences of our actions and realize that no good would come from the mayoralties of Mel Lastman and Rob Ford?

So yes. There are times, too — too many times it feels like — when following the municipal politics scene can only be viewed as a mug’s game. Rubber-neckin’ at a car wreck. Assistant coaching your kid’s t-ball team and your kid is the worst player on the team.

Why bother? Just step aside and let the big boys use the field.

Such a Bad News Bears moment played out last week when federal Finance Minister and Ford family friend Jim Flaherty came to town to last week to take part in the groundbreaking or another piece in the Waterfront Toronto development, Underpass Park. “This is transformative,” Flaherty pronounced. “It’s important not just for Toronto, but for Canada.”

Not just for Toronto. But for Canada.

Or as the mayor’s brother, Councillor Doug, has said, ‘a boondoggle.’ In fact, he wrote off all of Waterfront Toronto as “… the biggest boondoggle the feds, the province and the city has ever done.

The Fords seem unable to toss up anything besides lifeless hanging curve balls about belt high for other politicians with even a modicum of ability with the stick to go yard with. It’s not even fun to watch. Switching sports analogies, remember the teachers-students rugby match in Monty Python’s ‘The Meaning of Life’? Just like that.

Even with his fresh majority win in last month’s election and a minor Conservative breakthrough in Toronto itself, it’s hard to imagine the Finance Minister taking his late friend’s sons out to the woodshed on this. But maybe there was a bull session over son beers and nachos at the family compound. “A boondoggle?!” Flaherty exclaims. “A boondoggle!? I’ll give you a boondoggle. How about a cool $35 billion for engineless fighter jets? I know my boondoggles, boys. Waterfront Toronto ain’t one of them.”

The Finance Minster along with the local MPP and city councillor then head off to witness the start of this transformative piece of waterfront real estate. The mayor and his brother are AWOL. Like the mayor has been for every Waterfront Toronto meeting he has supposed to attend as a sitting member of the board. As a councillor, he wasn’t a big fan either of the city’s involvement with the waterfront, voting against approval for private investment near the Sherbourne Common late last year. (h/t to Ford For Toronto for all the links. We swim in the beneficence of your knowledge pool.)

It takes some doing for someone to make this Conservative government seem like city builders or deep urban thinkers. Yet somehow we’ve elected that very person and his equally blinkered and terminally short-sighted brother as our dynamic duo mayors. What does that say about us, as citizens, taxpayers, residents of Toronto? That we don’t care about how this city grows and develops as long as it doesn’t cost us too much? Or are we just cognizant of the fact that it hardly matters who we elect municipally? Ultimate power doesn’t lie with us or our locally elected officials. So why not just go for the entertainment value and send in the clowns. There’s only so much damage they can inflict before the adults step in and sort the mess out.

Such a condescending view, with correspondingly low expectations for municipal politicians, invariably leads to candidates seeking only to limbo under the low bar and nothing more. High fliers and over-achievers need not apply. As Homer Simpson once said, ‘trying is the first step to failing.’ Municipal politics is only for those who dare not to dream big or are merely content to take marching orders from their betters.It may be fun to watch for a little while but like any Punch and Judy show, the spectacle grows dismal and dreary. Humour is replaced by cruelty, and you’re left wondering why the hell you continue to watch.

clownishly submitted by Urban Sophisticat

Why Are You Asking Me?

March 28, 2011

Three days into our federal election campaign and we’re all still breathlessly awaiting word from the Oracle of Etobicoke. As mayor of the country’s biggest city, just what issues does he want to see addressed by the politicians out on the hustings? How can Ottawa best contribute to the well-being of the nation’s cities? A national transit strategy? A national housing strategy? A more even split of tax revenues like the gas tax?

What? What? What? Oh, great silent One. Use this time when your leverage is strongest to put forth an urban vision. And no, a quick email missive repeating one of your campaign chants will not suffice.

The sad joke of our mayor’s failure to lead (hell, make an appearance even) as the federal election begins to take shape is that he had 7 months or so during last year’s municipal race to put forth some sort of vision for the city and failed miserably to do so. It was all about what shouldn’t be happening as opposed to what should be. Negative rather than positive. City diminishing not city building. So expectations for him to suddenly emerge with a concrete, Wish List of items that federal politicians need to check off to gain his approval shouldn’t be any higher than practically nil.

Besides, what kind of asks can Mayor Ford make of either senior level of government? Toronto doesn’t have a revenue problem, remember? It has a spending problem and while the mayor and his team are grudgingly realizing that the situation just may not be as straightforward as all that, how do you reframe such an important plank in your popularity? It’s like trying to reconfigure your very political DNA.

On top of which, this is an administration that’s proving unable to make requests or to seek any sort of consensus with anyone it sees as not being completely simpatico with its way of thinking. It demands, instead. Makes threats. Give us this or else. Or else what? The wrath of Ford Nation.

Or at least, that’s how it rolls with those who don’t share the same political colours like the current premier of Ontario, Liberal Dalton McGuinty. Premier McGuinty better play ball or else the mayor’s all in with the like-minded conservative, Tim Hudak. I want my ill-advised subway or else.

But what to do when a Conservative is already in power? Not to mention that one of the bigwigs, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, is also a family friend? To make requests or demands of them in return for your support would be to suggest that they’re already not doing enough. Almost like a criticism. Criticizing is what you do to opponents not brothers-in-arms.

So personally, I expect to hear very little from our mayor during the federal campaign. He’ll lie low, maybe even use the 5 weeks or so as a distraction, to pull off some stuff that might draw more attention if eyes weren’t otherwise focused elsewhere. And hope for a Conservative majority win. Once that’s in place, then it’s on to Queen’s Park to install a Conservative government there this fall.

With those ducks all in a row, a trifecta, city, province, country, then the real work can begin and our city will grow and prosper as cities always do under the beneficent and enlightened rule of Conservatives.

submitted by Cityslikr