Just Wrapping Up Loose Ends

February 27, 2013

Yesterday I decided to take a break from our perpetual mayoral sorrow and His Worship’s latest justice dust-up governanceand spend some time catching up on the actual running of the city. Drop into a Community Council meeting maybe, witness me some day-to-day governance going on in the shadows of continued misrule. Ask the question: can a chicken really still run with its head cut off?

Entering the City Hall lobby, a sign caught my attention. Chief Planner roundtable…  Our Urban Fabric: Designing and Creating Public Places. Well, look at that, would you. And off I was, my destination changed from Committee Room #1 to Committee Room #2.

I encourage everyone who wasn’t there or didn’t follow along with the live stream to take some time and watch the proceedings. Failing that, read the agenda outline. What the city may lack in political leadership currently, it is made up for by a ferocious intelligence determined to grapple with some of the major issues we’re facing.

On the particular issue of the public realm, it was quite clear from the outset that many on the chief planner’s panel held diametrically opposed views from our administration. publicrealmThat’s not entirely fair. I mean, can anyone express the mayor’s views on the public realm in fifty words or less? Here, let me try. A football field.

The public realm is no one thing, obviously. Building design. Transportation. Green space. Planning and development. Seemingly disparate items but all serving the single notion of liveability and quality of life. Very few of those things has Mayor Ford had much to say about.

Certainly some of the views expressed by some on the panel — made up of urban planners, designers, landscape architects, civil engineers, transportation consultants, market researchers, from both the private and public sectors. And Anne Golden! – would not be those you’d be hearing from Mayor Ford and his allies. According to the city’s General Manager of Transportation Services, Stephen Buckley, his department is “no longer just about moving cars…” I says, what?! Who the hell hired this guy? Denzil! Code Red! lookingthewrongwayRogue city staff! STAT!

(One of the upsides to our mayor’s obsessive focus on every single nickel and returning residents’ phone calls could well be his disengagement with the hiring of senior city staff. Whatever influence his office has on such matters, I can only imagine his involvement in anything that doesn’t directly have to do with dollars and cents is passing at best. Can picture the hiring of Jennifer Keesmaat as chief planner going something along the lines of, Hey, she’s from the private sector! Without looking up, a silent thumbs-up from the mayor as he works his phone.)

Such a disconnect between our highest elected local official and those implementing policy cannot be maintained, of course. Eventually, they have to either coalesce into some sort of coherence or heads are going to roll. Just ask Gary Webster, for instance.

But the ball may not be in the mayor’s court this time out. Not only has he essentially lost control of the agenda at council, he’s also heading into a campaign year. While that may be his strong suit, or at least, stronger than governing, as the incumbent he might not be as free to simply tout meaningless numbers and slogans as he was in 2010. He might have to talk honest-to-god policy ideas.

During yesterday’s panel discussion, the chief planner talked at some length about value. costvalueWhat it is we place value on as residents of the city. It struck me that would be a good place to start asking our politicians as we head into the next campaign. What is it that they value?

We know with almost dead certainty how Mayor Ford would respond to that question. What do you value? Customer service and respect for the taxpayer.

But what does that mean in everyday practical terms?

Returned phone calls and low taxes? What’s the value of those?

It doesn’t deliver us much needed transit. It doesn’t rebuild aging infrastructure. It doesn’t create vibrant public spaces. Outside of our own individual satisfaction there is no value in a phone call from the mayor or not paying the level of taxes necessary to properly maintain our city.

The mayor has no sense of the value of public service. stumped1His values don’t deliver, build or create anything other than divisions, resentment and antagonism.

After Mayor Ford escaped unscathed from the Compliance Audit Committee on Monday, Matt Elliott suggested it was now time for him to get back to the work of governing. “It didn’t escape my notice yesterday,” Elliott wrote, “that when Ford started to listing his mayoral accomplishments in his post-victory speech, virtually none of them came from the last six months of his term.” Sure, we can lay the blame for that on all his legal wranglings but I think the truth of the matter is that Mayor Ford has nothing else to offer because there is nothing else he really values.

Public transit is merely a nuisance to him. There’s only value in it if it’s kept underground, out of sight, out of mind. Of course he’s in favour of a casino wherever it’ll fetch the most money for city coffers and offset some of the revenue his administration has foregone in its War on Taxes.

After that, what does he value? With no values, you can’t govern. And if you can’t govern, what else is there? killingtimeCampaigning for re-election.

“I think a lot of people are already in that election mode,” the mayor told the media, “and just wrapping up a few loose ends and we’re going to be on the campaign trail.”

With about 20 months to go before the next election, Mayor Ford is ‘just wrapping up a few loose ends’. That’s what a politician with no values calls governing.

impatiently submitted by Cityslikr

The Other Woman

October 16, 2012

I’ve been sitting here for most of the day, trying to write something, anything about the departure of Premier Dalton McGuinty. The writer’s block on the subject is telling. Formed from a mixture of rage and indifference, coherence is difficult.

Mostly, Dalton McGuinty is the reason I never voted Liberal provincially during his tenure. (Yes, I have been known to cast a ballot that way now and again.) To me he represented everything that was wrong with Liberals these days. As it was put in the Twittershpere, his “greatest achievement was finally putting a kind face to neoliberalism”.

From the outset, his whole approach seems to have been to operate slightly less right than the Progressive Conservatives. After 9 years in office, maybe it wasn’t merely playing politics. It’s possible to look back over his record and conclude that maybe Dalton McGuinty ruled only slightly less right than the Progressive Conservatives because he himself was only slightly less right than the Progressive Conservatives.

But “Well, at least he wasn’t as bad as…” isn’t much of a legacy to leave behind.

It certainly didn’t help Toronto much.

Despite his continued promise to undo the damage inflicted on this city by the Harris government, Premier McGuinty approached it without much sense of urgency. He re-uploaded services on his own timetable, according to his own state of finances. Rather than see the process as righting a previous government’s wrongs, it came across as doing the city a favour, tossing a few coins our way when we went to him, cap in hand.

The same could be said about his handling of transit.

He promised in 2003, and continued to promise throughout his time in office to resume paying the province’s 50-50 share of the TTC’s annual operating budget as well as the 75% for state of good repair capital expenses. He never did. He even stopped handing over the occasional chunk of money that made his government look magnanimous when it needed to. So the TTC languished during his reign as ridership increased, leaving the city property taxpayers having to foot more and more of the bill.

The McGuinty government played an even bigger game of politics with Transit City. Announced to great fanfare in 2007 as part of the province’s Big Move, $12 billion+ for 7 new LRT lines would be the biggest investment in transit the city had seen in decades. But then came the economic crisis and the province cut back to $8.4 billion and 4 lines thereby establishing that transit planning in Toronto remained politically negotiable and susceptible to whatever whim blew through.

We all know the recent history.

Now McGuinty exits, the future of Metrolinx’s Big Move unfunded and up in the air. He leaves the door open for the Opposition Leader Tim Hudak to openly muse about future reversals of plans. Nearly a decade of ambivalence gives way to another period of uncertainty.

And then there was this Liberal government’s role in the G20 debacle in June 2011. No one should be surprised at the Premier’s thumbing his nose at democracy with the craven prorogation of parliament on his way out the door, putting party before province. The Public Works Protection Act was a prorogation of our civil rights. Dalton McGuinty seemed comfortable in autocratic mode. Premier Dad, indeed.

Frankly, I’m not sure which is worse. The open contempt shown Toronto by the Harris government (and one sure to be emulated by Tim Hudak if he’s ever elected premier, based on his transit views and the behaviour of his municipal brethren, the Ford brothers) or the very, very conditional love shown by the McGuinty Liberals. We at least know where we stand when we’re hated. But with McGuinty? It was like being the mistress to a guy who’s never going to leave his wife, no matter what he says. We never knew when he was going to show up, and the roses and sparkling wine were just his way of currying favours.

The Tories abuse us. The Liberals use us. I guess this is what happens when you’re considered nothing more than a creature of the province.

cuckoldly submitted by Cityslikr

Civic Disengagement

September 24, 2012

Sitting in an okonomi restaurant, talking about what most folks talk about at an okonomi restaurant, that is, what exactly is an okonomi anyway? It’s not a crepe. It’s not an omelette. It’s not a frittata. It’s..? It’s..?

It’s umai, as they might say in Japan. Or someone might say after doing a rough English-Japanese, Google driven translation search.

The couple next to our table had apparently just come from a movie. I’m not sure which one but it sounded like it might’ve been The Master. Interested in seeing it, I leaned in for a closer listen to hear an unvarnished opinion. (I wasn’t rude about it. Tables were in close proximity to each other. Tight quarters, you might even say. Technically not eavesdropping.)

Not that it mattered. I garnered little in the way of any valuable insight. All I learned was that the couple disagreed with whatever opinion Liam Lacey expressed about the film and it’s not like I’m going to read the Globe and Mail for a film review. What is this? 1987?

It was their next topic of conversation, however, that really caught my attention.

No wait. Not the next one. First, they talked about train travel in Europe. Like, 12 hours from Paris to Barcelona? How could that be? Don’t they have fast trains over there? Does that include any time change? Is there a time change between Paris and Barcelona…

Seriously. I wasn’t eavesdropping. The tables were just that close.

Anyway, the couple eventually got around to talking about the Metrolinx announcement earlier this week about outsourcing the design, building and operation of the Transit City LRTs. The woman (who, interestingly had chosen a chicken teriyaki dish over an okonomi) was unhappy with Metrolinx. Outrageous. What was the province thinking? The man (clearly an okonomi fan) was confident Metrolinx wouldn’t go through with their threat to contract out the process. As far as he was concerned it was just a political manoeuvre. A poke in the eye of the TTC to prod it into playing nicely with the province’s plans for a regional transit strategy. He also thought it might have been a little jab at TTC Chair Karen Stintz for stepping out of line with that whole One City business. The woman thought that Stintz was doing a very good job with the TTC. The man didn’t disagree but assured his dinner companion that Metrolinx knew what it was doing, not to panic, etc., etc.

At which point, I almost jumped in to express my opposing opinion of the high regard for Metrolinx the man held but restrained myself. I think once you impose, uninvited, into strangers’ conversation, it’s pretty much an admission that you’d been eavesdropping. Like I said. I wasn’t eavesdropping.

Besides, the important thing wasn’t my disagreement about Metorlinx with the man beside me at a table in the okonomi restaurant. It’s that here were two people discussing what to me is one of the more important changes in policy direction that Toronto has faced in a while – the contracting out to the private sector the building and operating of public transit. They’d been listening. They discussed it. They were engaged.

Mayor Ford, on the other hand, well, nary a peep. Not since the announcement on Wednesday. Barely a word yesterday during his 2 hour radio slot, a passing shrug. With 3 and a half minutes left in the show – after much talk of his business trip to Chicago (It was great!), the 1972 Canada-Russia hockey series (It was great!) and how nobody in the media writes about all the great stuff he’s done as mayor which is more than any other administration ever, dontcha know – he apparently mentioned the Metrolinx news with a weird claim of ownership to the idea. That’s it.

See you next week, folks.

Now, it’s probably safe to assume that the okonomi eating, P.T. Anderson viewing, transit talking couple aren’t certified members of the Ford Nation. An okonomi? The Master? Naunced transit discussion? Like a downtown elitist check list. If so, it’s hardly a surprise they’re on a different page than Mayor Ford, concerned about different issues affecting the city.

But how is it that they’re spending a weekend afternoon discussing the future of transit in this city while the mayor can only summon a fleeting mention of it? “The TTC is in the business of making sure their riders get from point A to point B in a rapid fashion,” Councillor Ford said during the show yesterday in reference to contracting out bus cleaning services. As simple as that. End of story.

It’s a curious turn we’re experiencing in Toronto right now. Where citizens engage with the process of governance while the mayor sits on the sidelines, commentating. Almost as if we’re doing his job for him.

helpfully submitted by Cityslikr

Be Bold

July 5, 2012

It’s the only way to counteract the lethargy of ill-governance.

Boldness is a form of action not reaction. It steps into the void created by a lockdown of thought, a failure of nerve, an acceptance of some misbegotten notion of inevitability. Boldness requires courage.

What we are currently experiencing is the exact opposite. Ours is the Age of the Great Flinching. We flinch in the face of economic uncertainty. We flinch in the face of climate upheaval. We flinch in the face of societal reconfiguration.

We flinch, retreat, retract and call it conservatism.

I do not think that word means what self-described conservatives think it means.

It’s all a regression to the meanness of a previous era. Everyone for themselves. Winner takes all, losers work retail.

There are days when I’m unsure how we as a species ever managed to climb out of the primordial goo and start to evolve. It’s just so hard. I’m good here. Think I’ll just stay put where I am.

The path of least resistance.

So I think it hardly surprising that such an outpouring of interest was sparked by the announcement of One City last week. Hey! Look at that, would you? An idea, many ideas. A forward looking plan that poses substantial questions and tough challenges. Something we can actually sink our teeth into.

Now, much has been made of the plan already so I won’t add to the discussion except to say that, if nothing else, the proposal and the negative reaction to it on the part of the province and from some on council simply made them look tired and unwilling. Disinterested spouses at the tail end of a lifeless marriage. Don’t kick up a fuss. Think of the children.

But I do hope that unenthusiastic reaction does not dissuade other councillors who find themselves in similar positions of power at City Hall – not just in terms of committee chairs but with powers of persuasion – from observing what the TTC Chair and Vice-Chair and councillors Josh Colle and Joe Mihevc actually accomplished. They activated an agenda. Rather than stand pat and let the chips fall where they may, a larger discussion was initiated. If you really want to talk transit, let’s really talk about transit.

I’m looking at the most unlikely of sources to take a flyer on an issue and make a big splash. Ward 43-Scarborough East councillor and Government Management Committee chair, Paul Ainslie. [Phee-ew. I was worried you were talking about Councillor Frank Di Giorgio for a minute there—ed.] Your time is now. Carpe diem.

Councillor Ainslie, you say? I’m not even sure I know which one he is. [Almost always but never quite ever holding the mayor’s hand—ed.] Are you sure you got the right councillor?

As chair of the Government Management Committee, Councillor Ainslie has the opportunity to bring about some important voting, ballot and citizen participatory reforms. He’s been a big supporter of Dave Meslin’s 4th Wall Project which is on display in the lobby of City Hall all next week with an opening reception at 6:30 Monday night. (July 9th). Earlier this year, Councillor Ainslie introduced numerous motions – ranging from using ranked ballots to using video for deputations – for further study.

But as anyone who’s followed voting reform initiatives knows, they can die a frustrating, quiet death by neglect. Those who’ve been elected to office in the traditional manner aren’t always prone to change a system that’s worked for them. Entrenched status quo is not the friend of change in any fashion.

In fact two reform motions actually passed city council unanimously recently, one to establish a working group to study the proposals and another calling for a staff report on a ranked ballot initiative. Yet somehow even these two innocuous seeming items never made it out of the meeting intact and were sent back to staff until October. The slow grinding wheel of change.

The thing is, though, civic awareness and participation has spiked here in Toronto during Mayor Ford’s term. People not only want to be engaged, they have realized the absolute necessity of getting engaged. While it may not be in the best interest of some politicians to have an increase in voter activism, those looking beyond their own self-interest know that it would be in the best interest of our local democracy.

So now, Councillor Paul Ainslie, it’s your time to shine. Use this summer interregnum and the mayor’s disinclination to actually lead as an opportunity to make the case for voter reform. Pull a Stintz, as they say, and step outside the mayor’s circle, that ever decreasing sphere of influence. You’ll have a wide and receptive audience. People want what you have to offer.

Be bold.

It’s this season’s colour.

humidly submitted by Urban Sophisticat

N O Are The First Two Letters In Nothing

June 29, 2012

This needs to be said.

Our parents and grandparents and great grandparents mobilized and defeated Nazi Germany. So, surely to god we can build a better transit system. Is that really too much to expect?

The hand-wringing and bed wetting and patronizingly stern tsk, tsk, tsk, we’ve seen this all before m’eh reactions to Wednesday’s One City public unveiling seem a little over-the-top in their underwhelmed haughtiness. Blah, blah, blah, “…the real issue that calls the OneCity plan into question: The fact that it will never, ever happen,” sniffs the National Post’s Matt Gurney. “A Tax Attack,” screeched the Toronto Sun, followed by “Taxaholics” yesterday.

Of course, the mayor hated the plan. As did his brother. Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti warned of seniors reduced to eating cat food if the plan ever saw the light of day. Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong riffed on anything Mayor Ford and the Toronto Sun said.

Others like Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday and Councillor Michael Thompson didn’t like the fact proper procedures weren’t followed in bringing the plan public. “A political move to try and make the mayor look bad,” said the Deputy Mayor to the Toronto Sun’s Don Peat. “I’m appalled actually,” Peat quotes Thompson, “that the mayor’s office has not been consulted on this particular, very important issue.” On the CBC’s Here And Now Wednesday, Councillor Peter Milczyn suggested the architect’s of One City, TTC Chair and Vice-Chair Karen Stintz and Glenn De Baeremaeker were “up to something”.

Whatever could you mean by that insinuation, councillor?

Is One City a perfect transit plan? Of course not. Many reasonable voices have pointed that out and elaborated on their concerns. John Lorinc. Steve Munro. Edward Keenan. David Hains (here at this site yesterday). Matt Elliott.

It’s just a kick start to the conversation the city needs to have before it falls into the inevitable post-subway-versus-LRT debate torpor that could set in with the belief that our transit situation has been settled for good. No, it hasn’t, folks. We’ve only just begun…

One complaint about One City that I’ve seen repeatedly so far bemoans the fact that it’s just another talky talky plan, some variation of something everyone’s heard before, and that has inevitably landed in the dustbin. We’ve discussed ourselves into substandard public transit. Enough, already! As if, like mushrooms, all the words sown under a damp shadow of neglect will suddenly, magically sprout up into a working, joyful 21st-century transit system.

I’m only guessing here but isn’t it this type of miserly, parochial foot-dragging that’s got us into our current mess? I’d love a DRL but we simply can’t afford it. Why do they get a subway and we don’t?! All we ever do is talk! Just stop talking and do something! Like what? I don’t know. We can’t afford it anyway.

Ad infinitum and here we are in 2012 discussing another big idea transit plan. *yawn*

“Wow! Those Germans really cut a swath through France, didn’t they,” points out the rest of the unoccupied world. “They look like a real tough nut to crack. Maybe we should just lie low for a bit. Keep quiet. Let them tire themselves out a bit.”

Wouldn’t it be great to be a part of something that contributed positively to the future instead of yet another generation dissuaded by indifference and big scary numbers? Pick one. $30 billion? $50 billion? $500 billion? Half a trillion dollars to build a world class transit system from Hamilton to Oshawa, from Lake Ontario to Lake Simcoe. Daunting. Yes. Absolutely necessary. Yes. Achievable. Well.. errr, ahhh, geez… that’s a lot of money. I mean, how are we going to—

[Annoying game show buzzing noise.] Wrong answer.

Cost is just half the equation. The half fiscal hawks only ever focus their sights on. The price of not doing it slowly but relentlessly, exponentially tally up. Lost productivity. Decreased liveability. A gridlocked future our children and grandchildren will simply move away from in search of a better, more prosperous life.

For the want of a nail, the kingdom was lost and all that.

Nothing is easier than saying no. Isn’t that how a two year-old takes a first stab at independence? Isn’t that how we’ve found ourselves in the transit mess we’re in now?

No one, and I mean no one, has suggested One City will be the answer to our transit troubles. Let’s embrace the spirit of its intentions. An agreement that the status quo is no longer tenable, and hasn’t been for about two decades now. We can do better. We have to do better. And there’s going to be sacrifices involved. The rainy day’s here and we need to, as the currency of the day seems to be, put some skin into the game.

After all, in the scheme of things, it’s only building transit we’re talking about here not defending the world from a totalitarian scourge.

cheerleadingly submitted by Cityslikr

The Truth Is Easier

June 3, 2012

(This is an earlier version of a post first seen at Torontoist this week. It was recently discovered in a bottle found floating somewhere near Union Station.

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.

— Mark Twain

Since the municipal campaign heated up in 2010, Toronto has been existing in a fiscal alternative reality. City Hall was a painted as a place full of tax-and-spend, corrupt politicians, held captives by unions with rivers of debt turning our streets blood red. Businesses were fleeing. Graffiti blighted the skyline as far as the eye could see.

But fear not, good citizens taxpayers. A fix would be easy. A nip here, a tuck there. A round of some good ol’ fashioned belt tightening. All done with no service cuts…guaranteed. We’d be good as new in no time.

That virtually none of that nonsense rhetoric held any water was hardly the point.

Our credit rating was just fine, thank you very much. Corporate and condo towers were rising up at a record rate. Toronto continually found itself with high rankings on international lists of liveability and business friendliness.

But one time fringe councillor Rob Ford and his small band of right wing ideologues convinced enough voters to get himself elected mayor that his version of reality was true. Stop the Gravy Train! And the assault on fact, veracity and just basic high school economics has been ongoing ever since.

One of the first signs that we’d been had came when the Ford administration filled the holes in its inaugural budget using a more than $300 million surplus left behind by the previous mayor, David Miller. Wait, what? David Miller? That profligate David Miller? A surplus? But…but…?

Not so fast, folks, Team Ford told us. It wasn’t a surplus. It was a ‘one time savings’. Those are two entirely different things.

Then we had another surplus—errr, one time savings. And another. And just this past week, another surplus—errr, one time savings was announced for the first quarter of 2012.

So, I have to ask: How many one time savings does it take to make a surplus?

In the real world of municipal government financing here in this province, cities are prohibited from running an operating budget deficit. So they tend to over-estimate their projected costs and downplay possible revenue. Surpluses are not at all unusual or one time. In fact, they are a sign of sound fiscal management.

Now, it can be argued that sometimes city staff is a little too conservative with their estimations and present a more dire situation than is really the case. This prompts an over-reaction from some politicians who demand unnecessary cuts and reductions in order to meet the bottom line. It’s a problem that has been exacerbated (in this writer’s opinion) here in Toronto by council’s decision to get a budget done as close to a calendar year as possible while the actual wheels of finance and commerce operate on an April-to-April fiscal season. A time lag is created, with more uncertainty, more guesswork and more conservative estimates.

In the face of these continued occurrences of one time savings (annually, like clockwork), Mayor Ford has been forced to make some tough decisions. Like cutting services. Oops. Yeah, about that guarantee…

Well, first of all, the mayor would appreciate it if you stopped calling them cuts because they’re not cuts. They’re efficiencies, and he never guaranteed not to find efficiencies. In fact, he guaranteed he’d find efficiencies.

Besides, to the mayor’s way of thinking, you can’t have a surplus if you owe money, and while municipalities aren’t allowed to run operating budget deficits, they can rack up a whack of capital debt. Cities have to build and maintain things like roads and a public transit system and it turns out that shit is expensive. How else are you going to pay for it other than using any and all operating budget surplus—errr, one time savings? The bigger this one time savings, the more capital debt you can pay down. In order to increase a one time savings, you need to trim here and there on the operating side of things.

So, you see the dilemma Mayor Ford’s facing. The only other alternative to using operating surpluses to offset capital costs is debt financing. And as Councillor Doug Ford suggested at Tuesday’s budget committee meeting, debt is the first step toward bankruptcy as anyone who’s ever taken out a mortgage knows.

Imagine all the things we could have if we weren’t paying interest for the things we need. Our budget chief pointed out that the city saved $20 million on interest charges last year. That’s almost a third of the amount we lost by repealing the detested vehicle registration tax a couple years ago. It’s also a drop in the bucket of cash we gave away by freezing property taxes in 2011 and not making up the difference in 2012.

The trouble with debt, in the eyes of Team Ford members, is that you need to generate revenue to pay it off. Generating revenue is just another term for taxation, and a civil society cannot function properly under the burden of taxation. Government should not be in the business of generating revenue because generating revenue is the business of business.

This is the worldview we’ve allowed to permeate throughout City Hall.

No debt. No revenue. No expenditures except for in the service of those first two rules. That this is inherently contradictory and mathematically impossible seems utterly lost on the people pursuing and advocating these policies. But the one lie—errr, piece of campaign hyperbole – that this city was going to hell in a hand basket and our fiscal foundations were crumbling – served as the little piece of thread that, once pulled, unravelled the entire outfit. One invention led to another two being needed to prop the first up, and so on and so on.

The truth is much more economical. If we’d had an honest and straight-forward discussion from the beginning, that the city was facing some challenges, some very serious challenges, but was in a strong position to deal with them, we wouldn’t be wasting our time and energy, digging through the mounds of falsehoods and illogical that now makes up the debate at City Hall.  We wouldn’t be constantly reminding the mayor and his supporters that what they said then is miles away from what they’re saying now. The target we’re shooting for wouldn’t constantly be in motion.

cross my heartedly submitted by Cityslikr

Sheppard Subway Zombie Still Undead

March 22, 2012

Procedural  manoeuvring, long-winded oration and a mayor largely lurking in the shadows while the fate of perhaps his biggest political file hung in the balance, yesterday’s Sheppard subway debate had it all. So much so, it lapped over into a day 2.

It still appears as if Mayor Ford won’t seal the deal. If I was reading the signs correctly, what they are realistically angling for is to maybe, hopefully, fingers crossed, just swing one or two votes back their way in order to lose a close vote and thereby declare another irrelevancy and continue beating the anti-LRT drum.

So, off we go again, the city’s immediate transit future unsettled, the mayor’s subway dream/nightmare not yet dead.

to be continuedly submitted by Cityslikr