Wednesday, February 13th Commentary
It's sounding more and more as though the public school teacher protest in Ontario is winding down now that Kathleen Wynne is in the Premier's office.
An Ottawa press report says that last week the bargaining units of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation voted to re-engage in talks with the provincial government. President Ken Coran has been saying nothing but positive things about the Premier's appointment of Liz Sandals as Education Minister. Coran seems to be trying to send a message to Sandals - gives us something, anything to save face and we'll get the teachers back doing extra-curriculars in no time.
Sam Hammond the head of the elementary school teachers union has also publicly said he's looking forward to working with Wynne and Sandals.
Now, if we could just moves this along folks so we can quit sticking it to our kids.
I think we can all agree Friday was a helluva day in this city, 26 centimetres of snow in less than 24 hours. Which begs the question, why didn't Mayor Rob Ford declare a snow emergency?
The proclamation hasn't been used since Mel Lastman called in the armed forces in 99.
This is a pretty straightforward procedure. When a snow emergency is declared the media inform residents that there is no parking on the city snow routes. Generally those snow routes are the main streets - Yonge, Jarvis, University, Bayview, Kipling and the like. For 72 hours no parking or stopping on those streets to give crews time to get rid of the snow banks.
We've heard lots of excuses about why the General Manager of the Transporation department didn't recommend the mayor take such action. The politician who chairs the public works department Denzil Minnan-Wong says on hindsight they probably should have declared an emergency. In the same breath he's leery about using the word "emergency" think it's probably too strong a word. Perhaps, he says, we should call it a "snow alert".
This is "puffery". Snow emergency. Snow alert. Who cares what it's called! What was needed was action and that was certainly absent.
My guess is that because Lastman called in the military in 99 and Canadians elsewhere heaped mountains of scorn on the city and still do, that was probably the thing that scared off our politicos and bureaucrats. To wit I say- grow up. You people have a city to run. Do it or get out.