The Meddling Public Sector

August 26, 2015

While governments at every level and of every political stripe spend our money like it’s theirs, threatening to send all us hardworking taxpayers to the proverbial poorhouse, it is the private sector, the merchants of free enterprise, muckingupthewordswho keep the ship of state upright, generating the wealth which floats all our boats. With a laser-like approach to finding efficiencies, customer service and competitive pricing, the profit motive greases the wheels of a functioning society, pretty much as God and Milton Friedman proclaimed. “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem,” actor-turned-politician Ronald Reagan crowed, “government is the problem.”

Allow me to introduce exhibit A.

Right now in Toronto, City Hall sits guilty of stifling not one, but two heroic businesses, trying their best to make this city a better place to live for all of us. lucyBack in 2009, city council demanded to pay Bombardier nearly a billion dollars in return for 204 new streetcars. Clearly, it was an unreasonable 10 year delivery timeline with 37 of the vehicles expected on the road by the end of 2014, 60 by the time 2016 rolled around. To date, only 8 are up and running along the streets of Toronto.

Obviously the only reasonable explanation for such a delay and overwhelming under-performance on the part of Bombardier is the intrusion of government into the sphere of the private sector. The company has also been forced to delay orders of new subway cars to New York City and Montreal. What’s the common factor in that equation? (Aside from the delays, that is.) Ethrowingmoneyaroundxactly. Cities, and government.

Where the hell are all these public pension bloated fat cats with their hands out full of money, offering to buy planes from Bombardier? Because of this stingy, public transit-oriented attitude of municipal officials, the company’s aviation arm has been hindered in its honest pursuit of an honest day’s capitalism. Reduced to near ‘penny-stock status’, according to the Globe and Mail, Bombardier sits helplessly on its stock of beautiful C-series flying technology, waiting for somebody, anybody, from the public sector to step up and perform as it was meant to do. Write big fat cheques to private companies with as few strings attached as possible.

Here’s the kicker.

Rather than sit around complaining about how Bombardier isn’t living up to its streetcar contract, Toronto city council could be channeling that negative energy into something positive. greasethewheelsSuch as, for example, bulldozing ahead with approval of the island airport expansion. This would allow another valiant private company, Porter Airlines, now obstructed by a pernicious officialdom, bureaucratically hung up on ‘proper environmental assessments’, ‘public input’, ‘people oriented waterfront development’ and other make-work, nonsensical jargon, to green light its order of Bombardier CS-100 whisper jets and expand its reach and, fingers crossed, bottom line.

In turn, flush with cash, Bombardier could ramp up its street and subway car assembly lines, delivering to the politicians what they’re really in the business of: vote getting. That’s what they call, out here in the real world, a win-win-win for everyone. Government keeps spending money in order for the private sector to make money. Wealth is then spread accordingly in the immutable law of Economics 101. lenderoflastresortAs it should be.

We elect our representatives to pay up, step back and observe the miracle of commerce. Nothing more. Until we learn to do that, and that only, we will continue to hinder the real engine of our well-being, leaving us empty-handed with fingers pointed in blame at the wrong people for delays, cost overruns, contract breaches and an underwater tunnel taking too few people to too few places.

If that comes to pass, who will be left holding the bag? In the end, somebody’s got to pay. That’s just the way of the world. Governments need to accept that responsibility, their responsibility, and fall into line, knowing it is always better to be the payer of first resort than it is the lender of last resort.

matter-of-factly submitted by Cityslikr


Whose Tune Are We Dancing To?

March 26, 2014

Set aside the back and forth debate on any and all ramifications of the island airport expansion and possibility of jets flying in and out of there. reasonablepersonThis is not about that. I have opinions for sure. But that’s not what this is about.

Trying not to invoke the language of hyperbole associated with this issue, that’s always seemed to be a part of the discussion surrounding the island airport, I’m searching for more moderate words, less combative declarations and judgments. To state it fair-mindedly and even-handedly. It seems to me… blah, blah, blah Steve Paikin not Christopher Hume sounding.

So, here goes.

It seems to me that at the heart of the island expansion and Porter desire to fly jets out of it debate is nothing less than the hijacking by a small gaggle of special interests of our entire democratic system of governance.

Hmmm….cutloose

“The clock is ticking for Porter Airlines to get a decision on jets at Toronto’s island airport,” Vanessa Lu wrote in the Toronto Star last Friday, “because the airline must soon put down non-refundable deposits on its Bombardier CSeries order.”

How soon, you might ask?

“Porter was originally scheduled to make non-refundable payments on its conditional order for 12 of Bombardier’s new CSeries jets in December,” Lu answers, “but won an extension to April.”

April, you say. Like this April? The month that starts next week with, well, wouldn’t you know it, a city council meeting where this item will figure prominently on the agenda?

Why, one might wonder, is the city working to a private company’s timetable? Supporters will point to all the new jobs and wonderful boost to the economy a jet flying, expanded island airport would bring to the city. Unfortunately, those claims are as hard to pin down as most of the others. In his interview with Metro Morning this morning, mayoral candidate John Tory manyunansweredquestions(who assured host Matt Galloway and the CBC audience that he had read the staff report) said there were 45 questions he needed to have answered before he’d give the plan the go-ahead.

45 different unanswered questions!

None more important to my mind than the design of the extended runway that would be needed to accommodate the jets. A runway extension right smack dab in the harbour. How would it affect other users of the public space? Boaters, waterfront residents and visitors. How would the new extended runway and the takeoff and landing of the jets affect the water front development further east along the donlands?

Maybe not at all. Maybe we wouldn’t even notice. But how can we decide about these things with so many open-ended questions still to be answered?

What’s the rush?

Well, we know the rush. Porter has to start putting serious cash down on the table, non-refundable cash for its order placed on 12 jets under the assumption, I guess, the airport expansion was a mere formality. Seems there might’ve been some misjudgement of the situation. rushWhy is that the city’s problem?

Under questioning from members of the Executive Committee last night, Deputy City Manager John Livey was as upfront as a bureaucrat can be expressing his view why the city should simply defer the question until next year when a whole bunch of the unanswered questions, including the new proposed runway design, might be available. Don’t do it. “It would be a very big mistake.”

“I lose leverage, I believe, in the negotiations,” the deputy city manager told the committee. “It would be a very big mistake to do a conditional approval. I think you, as council, would regret having made that decision.”

Yet those pushing hardest for the conditional approval are some of the biggest self-proclaimed fiscal conservatives on city council including Mayor Ford. Looking after every single taxpayer dime, he tells us ad nauseum, but there he was, pushing a motion calling for a conditional approval now. Let’s do this thing. Get `er done!

How exactly is putting the city in a weaker negotiating position going forward in any way fiscally prudent or deemed to be minding the store? porterairYou give a conditional approval, Porter hands over money to Bombardier it can no longer get back, come the time when a decision needs to be made and you don’t like the answers you’ve been giving and turn it down, Porter cries foul! But you said yes!

They’re then out millions and millions of dollars. Who are they looking to make reparations? The city’s been down that road before, has had to uncross that bridge, so to speak.

On top of which, as Councillor Peter Milczyn (the lone dissenter on the Executive Committee from pressing forward with the airport discussion) said on Metro Morning earlier today, there could be as much as $300 million worth of infrastructure upgrades required around the airport terminal at Bathurst and Lakeshore intersection in order to accommodate the airport expansion. bugsbunnysquaredanceThe Toronto Port Authority has already asked senior levels of government for up to $100 million of that.

$100 million that could be spent elsewhere. $100 million the city would put toward more pressing infrastructure needs. $100 million to service Porter’s needs, not Toronto’s.

Why would any city councillor put the interests of one private business ahead of those of the city they were elected to represent? That’s what this debate should be about. The rest of it is just shiny baubles and misdirection, intended to deflect from the real and, quite frankly, disturbing reason we’re having this debate at all.

curiously submitted by Cityslikr


Keep It Quiet, Kelly

November 21, 2013

I’m trying to get inside Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly’s head. beingjohnmalkovichIt’s not easy, what with all that new staff scheduling and numbers crunching going on in there, fighting for space with the massive amounts of climate change skepticism material, much of it from Russian researchers. There’s just not a lot of room.

So I remain stumped as to why it is he, in his new found position of council appointed power, would want to make the island airport expansion a priority. “I’ve always been a strong supporter of the City Centre Airport,” the deputy mayor told the National Post’s Natalie Alcoba. “So, if that comes on the agenda I will do my best to garner support [for Porter’s proposal to lengthen the runway].”

Personally I’ve never been a strong supporter of the island airport, for many of the same reasons laid out early on in All Fired Up in the Big Smoke’s existence in a post by then contributor, Urban Sophisticat, I Got The TPA Porter Air Blues. The backroom influence by monied interests. The constant project creep by incremental stealth.youhavetobekiddingme

And nothing about the current expansion plans makes me feel any different.

But I’m willing to be convinced otherwise. It is a debate city council will have to have. Again. Possibly as early as the next council meeting in December.

I just don’t get why the deputy mayor thinks it’s a priority.

Surely he must be cognizant of the trauma, let’s call it, this city’s recently gone through at a political level. He’s supposed to be the steady hand bringing a calming influence in his caretaker role. Why would he squander the opportunity to display all that when Ms. Alcoba asks him, What will be your priorities, policy wise, for this year that we have left?

The deputy mayor could’ve said:

My priority, Natalie, is to continue on with Mayor Ford’s agenda of low taxes, customer service and transparent and open government.

All eye-rolling bullshit, of course, but hardly controversial or divisive at this point of time. bullfightEminently shruggable. Yeah. OK. Steady as she goes. Let’s get on with it.

Instead the deputy mayor takes a stand in front of what might be the most combustible item left on this council’s agenda and begins waving a red cape in front of it. Hey. I know what this council needs right now. A highly contentious, combative debate that’ll really goose the downtown-suburban divide that has been absent from our civic debate for at least 24 hours now.

While he’s at it, Deputy Mayor Kelly might as well revive the Sheppard subway battle too. Summon the private sector! Attention Dr. Gordon Chong!

What’s the man’s angle on this?

Is he looking for something special to mark his time as pseudo/kinda/sorta mayor of Toronto? kilroyA signature piece of infrastructure that will scream, Norm Kelly Was Here! Others said it couldn’t be done but Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly got it done. Jets Now Be Flying From Here.

Or maybe he’s just found a cause where he can thumb his nose at all those climate change extremists who haven’t taken the time the deputy mayor has in thoughtfully reading through all the literature that poos poos the work done by legitimate scientists on the subject. Surely you don’t think jet travel contributes in any way to the change in climate that may or may not be actually happening. I hear the weather’s quite pleasant in Tennessee this time of year.

A more likely explanation is that after, I don’t know, 90 years on the political scene, most of them as a city councillor, Norm Kelly doesn’t have the foggiest idea of what his priorities are in terms of governance. Nobody’s ever asked him that question before. If they had, well, maybe, hopefully, he wouldn’t still be in office. Do you think his constituents in Ward 40 Scarborough-Agincourt, about as far away from the island airport as you can get while still living in the city of Toronto, shhh1consider the runaway expansion to accommodate jet travel from the island to be some sort of priority?

The deputy mayor needs to remember that he’s found himself in this peculiar position not through any sort of merit or exemplary service in the line of duty. He was a second choice by guy running out of choices, with a track record of displaying monumental bad judgement. That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement to go out there and give `em hell.

No. Deputy Mayor Kelly needs to do nothing more than speak only when necessary, in that somnolent tone of his that usually signals bathroom break to those in the crowd looking on, and ruffle absolutely no feathers. Be that kindly grandfather we always see in Christmas commercials who, if not wise, at least understands the grandkids have just been dragged through a messy divorce, their warring parents knifing their marriage right there on the kitchen floor. milfordmanThey need nothing more than a little consoling, a little peace and quiet, still prone to startling at loud noises as they are.

Your priority, Mr. Deputy Mayor, is to restore a little sanity at City Hall. Nothing flashy. No sudden moves and certainly no picking at the scabs of recent wounds. The mark of success of your tenure at the helm will be if, come next October, nobody remembers that you were actually there.

soothingly submitted by Cityslikr


The Righteous Indignation of the Sanctimonious Small Mind

May 13, 2013

If after two and a half years you’re still trying to get a handle on what drives Ford Nation, to pop open the hood and see the grinding of the gears, to catch a glimpse into its beating black heart, allow me to introduce Exhibit A.onthecouch

I’ll set the table for you first.

It’s during Tuesday’s city council debate. The item is a request for a report from the City Manager on an exemption to the commercial jet ban at the island airport for Porter Airlines. Like everything else about the island airport, the issue is heated and contentious.

Up stands Councillor Mike Del Grande to wade in with his thoughts. Remember the topic. A report. From the City Manager. Exploring the merits (or not) of lifting the current ban on jets flying in and out of the island airport. Porter Airlines. Jets. Island Airport. Staff Report.

Take it away, Councillor Del Grande…

Umm… What?

A quick reminder. A report. From the City Manager. Exploring the merits (or not) of lifting the current ban on jets flying in and out of the island airport. Porter Airlines. Jets. Island Airport. Staff Report.

I guess somewhere in there is an attempt at a logical through line that with jets, whatdidhejustsayPorter would experience an overall expansion of operations and, with that, more jobs although given the company’s labour dealings right now with its striking fuel handlers it’s tough to say that would necessarily be a good thing for the overall economy.

But frankly, I’m stretching to give those five minutes any kind of coherent narrative. It’s really nothing more than impenetrable resentment and anger directed at those who, what did the councillor say, come to City Hall, impolitely bullying councillors and “… sit there smug because you got it good and other people don’t have it good.”

Now, it always bears pointing out that, back a little while ago when this very councillor was the city’s budget chief, he derided the widows and orphans for wanting cupcakes. And somehow he now views himself as a class warrior, looking out for the have-nots? And standing up in defense of re-opening an agreement that would allow one company to buy a fleet of jets it’s already pre-ordered with delivery contingent on the city now allowing it to fly jets in and out of the airport will somehow bring prosperity to the land and spread the wealth around?

Trying to piece together such rantings is entirely beside the point.angrywhiteguy

Like the mayor and the mayor’s brother, Councillor Del Grande’s outbursts are never about making a particular point. It’s always about the anger. The entirely misplaced feeling of alienation. These guys don’t give a shit about the existence of the very real underclass in this city. If they did, they would be entirely different kinds of politicians.

They rail and fulminate against those who don’t see the world exactly like they do, don’t live their lives exactly like they do. There’s no rational sense behind it. It’s just a vituperative antagonism to anyone or anything they see as different or holding dissimilar views.

Looking out for the little guy? Hardly. It’s basic chest-beating tribalism. A noxious mix of rigid ideology and angry opposition that makes for potent noise-making but ineffectual and divisive governance.

angrywhiteguy1

lividly submitted by Cityslikr


The Company He Keeps

October 3, 2010

Before everyone breathes a collective sigh of relief, secure in the knowledge that at least a Rob Ford mayoralty is not assured at this point, we might be well served to pause and look more closely at the man who is shaping up to be the only viable alternative. George Smitherman.

Ignoring the distasteful aspect of feeling obligated to vote for a candidate in order to stop another one from winning – the ‘Do I Have To?’ factor – and the inevitable disenchantment with the political process that follows, we should be alert to the tone Smitherman’s taken on the campaign trail recently. Instead of trying to distance himself from Ford’s ultra-right platform and embracing the wide open centrist territory, Smitherman’s been mouthing increasingly conservative platitudes. He’s stepping onto his rival’s turf and attempting to engage him in a knockdown, brawling neo-con slugfest.

Tax freezes (and cuts), hiring freezes except for police, privatization and outsourcing. All of which can be found on Rob Ford’s campaign website. Yes, Smitherman’s pledged to increase things like arts funding but it’s difficult to see how those kind of ‘special interest’ targets will get much priority amidst the fiscal restraint he’s vowing to bring to City Hall.

Moreover, look at the people backing Smitherman and working in his camp. While his fellow rivals on the right, Ford and Rocco Rossi and the media organs that stand in opposition to him, namely the Toronto Sun, try pinning the tax-and-spend, Liberal label on Furious George – he was part of the Dalton McGuinty government after all – Smitheman For Mayor is actually eye deep in Tory blue. And not just the soft and squishy Progressive Conservative brand of yore, either. Jamie Watt, senior campaign strategist for Smitherman, was a communications advisor for Mike Harris in 1995 and 1999 where he helped introduce good ol’ American style neo-conservatism into these parts.

Further Harris ties gained front page news last month with an open letter of support for George Smitherman signed by some 38 conservative voices. Some prominent, others forgettable but most having had something to do with the Mike Harris government.

In amongst those names was one Ralph Lean. Lean is part of the Smitherman fundraising team and signed on early to the campaign in that capacity. Along with being a highly placed figure on the conservative scene, Lean made waves last year when he publicly broke with David Miller after having turned heads by helping Miller get re-elected in 2006. It was a public excoriation in the pages of the National Post that came out mere weeks before Miller announced he would not seek a 3rd term.

Among the mistakes that Miller had made as mayor that cheesed Lean off were “… overspending, for failing to freeze councillors’ salaries, for narrowing Jarvis Street, for fighting with Porter Airlines (“I’m a big supporter of Porter”) and for refusing to examine outsourcing some city functions.” Hmmm. Sound familiar? Oh right, Smitherman’s mouthed the same complaints, all of which he’s vowing to alleviate if we elect him mayor.

None of this is at all new or groundbreaking. The dividing line between Conservative and Liberal politics is often times slippery and blurry. It’s just that as the endgame of our mayoral race is being forcibly shaped into a two man race, between the far right and the not-as-far right, progressive voices and views have been squeezed out. The accepted narrative being spun has it that Toronto is a city on the brink of financial and social ruin, its citizens over-taxed and under-serviced. Pure hyperbole mixed in with a soupçon of outright bullshit.

Not only are those of us who range on the political spectrum from centre to left being asked – nay, told – that in order to avoid a calamitous victory by Rob Ford we must vote for a candidate who is displaying no affinity for our political views. We are being instructed to cast a ballot for a candidate who is campaigning further on the right than anyone has seen here in a long, long time, if ever. We are being neo-conned by stealth.

There are other choices available to us, folks. Don’t close the book on this race yet. To give in to the two man race narrative is to hand over the keys to someone – either Rob Ford or George Smitherman — who is determined to reshape Toronto in ways that will benefit few and be harmful to many. Let’s not be a part of that.

defiantly submitted by Cityslikr


Back Room Brouhaha

February 8, 2010

What I would’ve given to be a fly on the wall in the room where John Laschinger decided to join the Adam Giambrone campaign team. One of the architects of David Miller’s two election victories, Laschinger seems to have embraced another hopeless cause in chairing Giambrone’s run this time around. The face of everything that’s wrong with Toronto these days, Giambrone sports the wrong kind of name recognition and to say his path to the mayor’s chair will be an entirely uphill one is to display a firm grasp of the obvious.

So is Laschinger simply attracted to the underdogs? Miller in `03. Belinda Stronach’s bid for the then Progressive Conservative leadership in 2004. John Tory in 2007 and his tilt at the windmills to become premier of Ontario. Laschinger seems to have made a profession of attempting to snatch victory from the gaping jaws of defeat. Now add Adam to the list.

Or maybe there’s a little something more at work on this one? Is it too much to hope that there’s a back room battle royale brewing? In the murky political shadows, dueling operatives have thrown down. Feathers have been ruffled. The dander is up. Yes, this time it’s personal.

I muddy my hands in the besotted dirt of conjecture and speculation after re-reading the National Post article from last September where jowly bagman and Bay Street big shot, Ralph Lean QC publicly split with Mayor David Miller and referred to Laschinger as “… the hired help” on Miller’s campaign team. Oh no, he di’int!! This coming from the guy who was lying low when Miller was a nobody back in 2003 and then jumped on the bandwagon when Miller was a shoo-in to win re-election in ’06, citing “It would be better if we had a voice at the table to represent our views.” Who exactly is this we and our that Ralph Lean QC is talking about?

It’s hard not to see how someone couldn’t take the “hired help” retort as a short, smart slap across the cheek with a white glove. In my mind John Laschinger read it, sat back, biding his time and waited to see what candidate Ralph Lean QC would get his hooks into. With that set – Come on down, George Smitherman! You’re now a contestant on the Price Is Right!! – Laschinger saddles up with Giambrone and prepares to slay the dragon.

The move seems almost noble in that light which is not a sentiment one normally associates with management consultants and political strategists of John Laschinger’s stripe. But compared to the dismissive arrogance and doughy sense of entitlement projected by Ralph Lean QC, chairman of Cassels Brock law firm and eerie but fitting Fox News honcho Roger Ailes look-a-like, backing Giambrone comes across as nothing short of selfless on the part of Laschinger. If you don’t count the whole personal insult angle that I’ve completely manufactured.

Roger Ailes or Ralph Lean?

And it’s a no-brainer to side with Laschinger in the made up war in my mind. Whatever else you may think about the merits of professional consultants and paid political operatives, there is clearly a skill to delivering up a viable campaign plan especially one of this duration which is pure marathon, second only to the U.S. Presidential slog. You might even call it an art form.

How difficult is it to do what Ralph Lean QC does? He’s a guy who wants to cut government spending, freeze councilors’ wages and — follow the line on this – examine the outsourcing of some city functions. That’s gobblie-gook for privatization, folks, and Lean is nothing if not a spokesman for privatization, lobbying for a number of U.S. firms looking to get in on the outsourcing action.

Lean or Ailes?

A typical campaign fundraising pitch by Ralph Lean QC? “So my candidate is thinking of outsourcing some of the city’s functions.. I don’t know, garbage or tax collection, part of the TTC.. whatever. If you want on the ground floor of that, maybe you and a few of your friends might want to cut me a cheque.. ?”

The ironically surnamed Lean doesn’t even have to leave his desk to do that. The money comes to him. And oh yeah, the man’s a “… big supporter of Porter [Airlines].” So it’s not hard to imagine another round of voting to bring back a bridge or push for a tunnel to the island, errr, the Billy Bishop Airport if the new city council comes together in the shape of which someone like Ralph Lean QC approves.

It’s enough to make you want straight up, publicly funded elections. No money from anyone, individuals, unions, corporations. Financing doled out solely from the public purse. Candidates would still need the likes of John Laschinger to run for office but Ralph Lean QC and his ilk would be shit out of luck. And the commonweal would be all the better for that.

imaginatively submitted by Urban Sophisticat


We Don’t All Hate Rocco Rossi

February 1, 2010

I need to set the record straight before this goes on any longer.

After nearly a month on board the good ship All Fired Up in the Big Smoke, I fear that it might be listing a little too much toward left wing screed. My very first post here stated up front that I’d been a tepid John Tory supporter back in `03. Nothing that has occurred since then tells me that my instinct was incorrect. Except for, perhaps, Mr. Tory’s subsequent flaccid performance in the political arena.

Still, what the man stood for at the time made me think he’d do right by this city. Fiscal sanity, political probity, a good working relationship with the behind-the-scenes power brokers; hardly characteristics one should sneeze (into your sleeve) at. So maybe Tory didn’t know how to campaign vibrantly. Is this how we should take the measure of a man in office? He’s a good campaigner? Well, that’s what we went for and, behold, look at what’s become of us.

That is not to say that I was immune to the appeal of David Miller. He clearly had something going on or maybe it just seemed that way in the light of his predecessor. Miller possessed solid credentials. As an Ivy Leagued, one time Bay Street lawyer, he was no idiot. The problem as I saw it, which is even more glaringly apparent now with perfect hindsight, is that David Miller thought too big.

He got us to believe that we actually had any say in how things got done around here. Yes, he vowed to kill the bridge to the island airport, and did, but that made the airport somehow more viable. Now 6+ years on, it’s been renamed the Billy Bishop Airport in a brilliant sleight of hand, suggesting a twee little airfield where biplanes and crop dusters go about their quaint business rather than the incessant stream of luxury aircraft that is Porter Airline’s stock in trade. Why just this past Friday, the federally run Toronto Port Authority announced that it was going ahead with plans to dig a pedestrian tunnel to the airport. Wrapping it all up in an environmentally conscious bow, it was simply the latest flipping off of the city by a senior level of government and providing perfect imagery for how things get done.

Like it or not, Canadian cities have no constitutional standing. We are, as they say, ‘creatures of the province’ and the playthings of senior levels of government. As my colleague Acaphlegmic said in his post Saturday, “municipalities are vehicles for decentralized provincial service delivery”. Nothing more, nothing less. To think otherwise is political lunacy. David Miller never accepted this fact. That was his undoing. Perhaps someone like Rocco Rossi sees things more practically.

If the feds and/or the province want to strangle off progressive, grassroots, local movements or nip some social services in the bud, they do so indirectly. By not handing over the money owed and forcing municipalities do it for them. By confiscating land they don’t own and running it as if it exists in a bubble.

So disagree with Rocco Rossi’s politics all you want but the man appears to be a realist who knows which side his bread’s buttered on. No Don Quixote he but like the good Dr. Carrasco, he sees life as it truly is. Dream time’s over, Toronto. We need to wake up and look into the mirror and see what’s become of us. Just like fat Elvis we’re bloated, lazy and dysfunctional with a taste for fried bologna sandwiches. It is not sustainable. Rocco Rossi realizes that. He shouldn’t be mocked for saying so out loud.

realistically submitted by Urban Sophisticat