Thursday 15 September 2011

Working in Ottawa Today then Montréal --Fight City Hall

Good morning friends, colleagues, countrymen,
Today I will be working in Ottawa followed by tomorrow in Montréal.
The love affair with Toronto's mayor may be over as quick as it began, such as it is with infatuations.
When Rob Ford was running for office he ran on a campaign of getting rid of the gravy, that "Toronto's budget was thick with wasteful gravy" (?) -- I don't know, perhaps it was "Toronto's plate had too much gravy"..  "The gravy boat needs to be bailed"?
What ever it was, Ford was the guy to trim the fat.  damn.  Let's start again.  Ford was the guy to get the Gravy Boat's sails running trim?  But after months of study, it turned out there wasn't any, you see, the previous administrations had actually done their jobs, they too looked to their staff to see where tax dollars might be wasted.
The several month study performed by KPMG commissioned by Ford confirmed exactly that.
So Ford has turned to a different tack (see, we knew this was about boats) and wants to lay off 300 firefighters, effectively taking 22 fire trucks off the street, despite the fact that response times are already 24% longer than council targets.  He also wants to sell off the city zoo, Casablanca Loma, and the Port Lands.  Oh yes, and also sell off Green P parking, despite that Green P makes money for the city, it's profitable.
The Port Land sell off is being characterized as a "revitalization" of the lands near the mouth of the Don River.  Ford's vision is to sell off the land to foreign investors that promise to build a shopping mall, to presumably take the retail business away from the existing city malls and place all of the traffic down to lake shore where we already have large traffic problems.
And my favorite part of his plan?  A monorail and a ferris wheel.  Really, a ferris wheel?
Did he miss the Simpsons episode where Springfield has some 'extra' money and builds a monorail?  Does he just pretend to not be aware that there exists already a multi-jurisdictional Port Lands planning and development board that has just recently concluded a 5 year study involving actual wetlands and municipal planning professionals?
Their study confirms the requirement of additional flood control wetlands, a project already started by previous administrations, additional green space and multiple use parkland.  Bet you have already guessed that their study did not show that we needed a ferris wheel.
Have a good day, fight city hall.