Thursday, February 6 Commentary
By now I trust you've heard that staff at the city of Toronto and Waterfront Toronto are leaning toward recommending the 2 kilometre stretch of the Gardiner eastbound from Jarvis be torn down.
There's a third public consultation about what to do tonight at 6:30 at the Toronto Reference Library on Yonge.
Before our local politicians get their grubby hands on this issue, Torontonians should be asking some tough questions including: what are we doing and why are we doing it? That may seem obvious as concrete chunks fall from the underside but maybe that is just an excuse to turn a viable and essential traffic corridor into vast greenspace at the expense of poor motorists who would have to fight their way in and out of the city at the south end more than is the case now and it's already a nightmare most of the time.
This city has to get its priorities right. We're either going to improve traffic flow or we're are going to say to hell with you and your car. Leave it home and get on public transit. The problem is, public transit is bursting at the seems now, especially downtown but very few politicians want to even discuss a downtown transit relief line until after Scarborough is finally settled. That is putting the cart before the horse. If public transit is beefed up in Scarborough before the relief line is built, the additional load coming in from Scarborough would make the downtown runs intolerable.
There are now 24 candidates hoping to be Toronto's next mayor. Last night 5 of them took part in a debate-of-sort at the Scarborough campus of the U of T. Rob Ford and former councillor David Socknacki were the two notables on hand.
Interesting to note that Ford was the only one pushing the subway expansion into Scarborough.
Reporters were all over the mayor's comments about the fact that this year the World Pride Festival is being held in Toronto and would he be attending the Pride Parade...the one he has skipped every year. No he won't be going.
But Rob Ford made another remark you should also hear.
The handful of candidates were asked how they would support young people in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender community.
"I think we have to treat all the youth equally. I can't start separating sex, colour, race, religion -- everyone is the same, lets treat everyone the same and move in a positive direction," Ford said.
Earlier in the day our now infamous Mayor and his brother played the victim card again, saying Rob was targeted by the RCMP in Coquitlam last weekend and that's why he got a jaywalking ticket.
May I offer this, the reason you were targeted even though a bunch of other pedestrians jaywalked with you is because you are the mayor of the biggest city in Canada, a mayor known world-wide and you should be leading by example. That's why I would have given you the ticket.
I am somewhat perplexed at a CTV Toronto investigation showing that tens of thousands of dollars have bee spent on paint jobs and spruce-ups at the cash-strapped Toronto District School Board over the past two years, including a so-called "royal" paint job that cost 16-thousand dollars.
The impression left was that this was money wasted. Some of it may have been but paint jobs are paint jobs and when they're needed they're needed. In some of the cases cited, the job may have been sped up but it's not like it was wasted paint.
What do you pay to have the inside of your house painted...primer, paint, supplies, painters...what is it about 7-hundred to a thousand dollars for two rooms or so.
So is a 9-thousand dollar paint job at Millwood Junior school excessive. How about 70-thousand to do Malvern Collegiate...that's a big school....about a thousand kids go there.
Now there are some things you will surely shake your head over including a 4-thousand dollar tab to go into 1-hundred-50 schools and adjust the clocks for daylight saving time.
What year is this. Don't most clocks automatically adjust and if they don't, aren't the various clocks in each school synched.
The other is yet another expensive installation of a pencil sharpener...1-hundred-50 dollars. The chair of the board Chris Bolton told NewsTalk 1010s' John Tory that matter has been dealt with...that's management code for, the guy who approved this was fired. Bottom line on this...the TDSB maintenance budget last year was cut by 5-million dollars. Next year's budget is expected to be cut again...anywhere from 3 to 5-million.
They're on the right track.