Strike! Strike! Strike!

Holy irony, Batman! After weeks and weeks of chatter about Toronto being taken hostage by the G20 meeting later this month, it appears that 5,500 or so unionized workers at 32 hotels have voted 94.2% in favour of a strike just as the world rolls into town if talks with management break down. Nothing like a little labour unrest fly in the ointment.

This may also present quite a conundrum for the usual suspects of anti-union opinion who’ve recently been railing against the cost and inconvenience of the gathering of international bigwigs. Who are they going to side with on this one? “Oooooo, government boondoggle but I hate unions so much! Free spending governments suck but so do unions!!” What’s a reactionary to do, propped up as they are on the horns of such a diametrically opposed dilemma?

It’s hard to imagine any of them ever siding with a union. That would be too much cognitive dissonance to cope with even for those used to high dosages of the stuff. To them, unions are the root of all things bad and evil and any display of support for them will only encourage their lazy, shiftless, socialist ways. Even if this means expressing indignation and outrage on behalf of the poor, little, put upon G20 folks who are spending northward of a billion dollars of hard earned taxpayers money to lock down this city right as tourist season ramps up. More than a billion dollars!! Are you fucking kidding me?! How is that even possi—

Wait, wait. It was the unions I was bashing. Don’t get sidetracked. Remember. The source of all your frustration is unionism. If there weren’t any unions, there wouldn’t be any problems. Everything would be fine. Governments wouldn’t have to go around spending more than a billion dollars to host a 3 day event. They’re forced to dole out that kind of money because of unions. There is no other reasonable explanation for such an outrageous raping of the public purse! I mean, really?! More than one billion dollars!? That’s like, 9 zeros or something, isn’t it?? Shouldn’t someone have to clear that kind of amount before just pissing it away on one big photo op?! You’re working for us, remember? It is not your money to do with whatever strikes your fancy at the—

Focus, focus. You’re angry at the unions right now. They’re the bad guys in all this. In everything. As much as you hate the idea of our government spending more than a billion dollars for no discernible reason whatsoever, it’s unions that really get stuck in your craw. Imagine what’ll happen if the carry through with their vicious threat to strike during the G20, when all the world is watching. We’ll become an international laughing stock. Embarrassed on the world’s stage. Remember Mel Lastman talking cannibalism before going off to Africa or being clueless about the W.H.O.? Remember all the cringing and apologizing to your non-Canadian friends?

So just imagine how bad it’ll look to have uppity low wage, probably immigrant labourers kicking dirt in the faces of the most powerful people (at least the elected ones) on this planet. People who are taking time out of their very busy schedule (oil slick and volcano eruption willing) to come and deal with the very problems that these low wage, probably immigrant labourers are facing. How about showing some gratitude, coolies! If it weren’t for the policies of those at the head of the G20, you’d all probably still be back in your own countries, toiling away in some horrific sweatshop instead of living the life of leisure you do now, cleaning our dirty sheets and serving us overpriced meals.

Know your place, unions. It ain’t the `20s anymore. The war’s over. You lost. There are bigger fish to fry.

Like governments who spend one billion dollars ($1, 000, 000, 000+) to host some ego-stroking gathering of big shots. Who do these people think they are?! The Rockefellers?? It’s about time somebody stood up to these people and told them, enough is enough!

whiplash-inducingly submitted by Cityslikr

Tory! Tory! Tory!

It’s January 4th. The gates have flung open and the fake rabbit is running for its pretend life. Nomination papers and fees are now being accepted, meaning that the October 25th municipal elections across the province of Ontario are officially underway. Let the excitement commence!!

Here in Toronto, it has been a fall and winter of intense speculation after our incumbent mayor, David Miller, announced his decision not to seek a third term. A few folks have already tossed their hats into the ring, with a few more certain to do so in the coming days and weeks. So we here at All Fired Up…begin our posting in what won’t be, hopefully, a trademark negative fashion in listing off who and what we will not be looking for in a mayoral candidate.

1) John Tory.

Fuzzy conventional wisdom has it that Tory took a spirited run at the job in 2003, losing a close race to the eventual winner, David Miller. Well, at least the last bit is true. It was close, 43% to 38%, but the fact of the matter is that it was Tory’s race to lose. And he lost. A higher profile candidate usually always translates into a win at the municipal level but Tory was simply out-thought and out-campaigned by a relatively obscure councilman.

It is a trend that continued in Tory’s subsequently brief political career as MPP and provincial Conservative leader. In the 2007 election, running against a Liberal government with soft support, he chose to run on a single issue platform of extending funding to religious schools. I mean, wh-wh-WHAT?!? That was the burning issue he felt would rally Ontario voters would rally `round the Conservative banner? After failing to secure a seat in the legislature in a by-election, Tory was chased from the party.. err… retired. This is a man who could not corral a dispirited but homogenous caucus like the provincial Conservatives. How on earth could he handle a much more fractious, divergent city council?

My advice? Stick with radio, John, where we can continue to ignore you.

2) Anyone who ever had anything whatsoever to do with the bumbling, idiotic, lamentable, bat shit crazy Mel Lastman regime. (That’s at least strike 3 against John Tory who was a certified  — certifiable? — member of Lastman’s “kitchen cabinet”.) While there’s been much empty, idle chatter about the mess left behind by Mayor Miller, just cast your mind back to 2003. City Hall was a putrid, corrupt, dysfunctional operation. Toronto was an international joke. Who the hell’s the W.H.O. anyway? The best thing Lastman ever did for this city was go over to Africa to woo delegates for Toronto’s ill-fated 2008 Olympic bid. When he started yammering on about cannibals and being boiled for soup, he secured Beijing the games, thereby getting us off the hook for the inevitable transfer of millions, if not billions, of dollars from the public purse to private hands for the honour of hosting the Olympics.

So any of you out there who hitched your political wagon to the Lastman star and are thinking of running for mayor… don’t! Nobody but your family, the insane and some guy named Yorrick M. Buntleyfomstaderam III is going to vote for you. NOOOOOO-BODY!!!

3) Candidates running on a platform against “tax & spenders” and who vow “to get city hall’s fiscal house in order”, along with every other neo-conservative bromide that is as empty as the head (or as bald) that spouts them. Toronto, like most sizeable municipalities in the province, country, and continent, see substantially more money exit their jurisdictions and into the coffers of senior levels of government than it gets back in terms of cash and services provided. No “trimming of the fat” or “belt tightening” or union busting is going to change that fact. And until this is addressed and cities given the comprehensive fiscal and governing tools necessary to function properly, there’s always going to be annual budgetary crises and threats to services that make a city livable.

So, we want to hear it.  Tell us… oh, candidates for the office of Mayor in 2010… tell us how you’re going to fix that situation. Are you going to stand up to the provincial and federal governments and demand an equal seat at the table when it comes to making decisions that affect your city? Give us your vision about repositioning our city in terms of political power sharing. How do you think the 2006 City of Toronto Act can be better utilized to secure the tools to keep this city prospering, vital, and equitable for all of its citizens, both downtown and in the fraying suburbs? Talk to us like we’re engaged citizens and not drooling infants, easily impressed with easy answers and shiny objects.

so says Cityslikr