Making programs and services more efficient and effective is welcome, and that should help in reducing costs and better serving public needs, but it would be naïve to assume that efficiency alone could solve the deficit. Therefore cuts, and maybe tax or user fee increases, will have to be made.
I got a chuckle out of the news that Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina had invited Canadian literary icon, Margaret Atwood, to pay his city a visit. I must admit, the recent shenanigans of the brothers Ford have made me somewhat grateful that I no longer call Toronto home.
After Toronto's historic executive committee marathon concluded, citizens emerged from the fluorescent glow of city hall's lights and sat down to a harsh morning sun and the reality of what a Ford administration looks like. In a word, stubborn. Painfully, so.
Recently the mayor of Toronto pulled an 'all-nighter' to hear from approximately 300 of the roughly three million people who live in Toronto. But the process for 'meaningful consultation' was fatally flawed.
Toronto's Fords, mayor and councillor, may not think much of libraries, or culture or what pride means in the 21st century, but they are theatrical in a two-four box of beer kind of way. As I recall from my youth, getting "two-four'd" often left a large hangover to cope with. Can T.O. avoid this fate?
Rob Ford danced into office promising to "stop the gravy train" at city hall. Problem is, he and his strategy are still dancing but there is no gravy. Now that we have seen each other in that committee room, and from behind a microphone, we must connect, strategize and resist.
The complexity of passing legislation through Congress with an intransigent Republican Party is something we should be worried about here in Canada, too. There is the prospect that the federal government, Canada's largest province, and Canada's largest city could all be governed by ideological conservatives.
While the mayor fessed up to talking on a cell phone while driving, he claimed giving "the bird" to a taxpayer was a "misunderstanding." So, he did it, but didn't mean it? The offended taxpayer wasn't his target, just collateral damage? Sorry Mr. Mayor, what we have here is a failure to communicate
Things indeed have to change at City Hall. No one really knows how though, because the Fords' Toronto has become reactionary, too. A reactionary public, led by a reactionary mayor and flamed by a reactionary press has led to the disappearance of any sort of intelligent discourse.
The mayor of Canada's largest city is in cost-cutting mode and a local food policy, originally passed in 2008, has just escaped the chopping block. Well almost. As many locavores will tell you, there is the price on the grocery receipt and there are the costs that we pay elsewhere -- the hospital bills, the environmental debt and the money farmers pay out of their own pockets to stay afloat.
Woody Allen once said that 80 per cent of success is 'just showing up'. Understanding that in every encounter you may actually learn something is a key to achieving better public policy. So, Mayor Ford -- you belong at Pride.
Canadian progressivism has now been sullied in the political arena, married to the electorate's fear of elitism, and exploited by class dynamics where a progressive identity is no longer essential to our Canadian sense of self.
The only banner I have seen from the Dyke March is one that said "Free Palestine". Do we really want to spend legal fees chasing this one? I suggest we'll spend at least $300,000 trying to prove that there was hate speech at this event.
Rob Ford has lost an opportunity here to show that he is the mayor of all the people. He had said on the night of his election, "To the people that didn't vote for me I will work hard to earn your trust and I will deliver the change you can be proud of." I hope he changes his mind.
For a man who declared upon his election that "Toronto is now open for business" -- Pride, with its plethora of corporate donors, is one of the few events that does just that -- opens our city's doors for businesses and tourists alike. After all -- did we not elect Rob Ford because of his supposed knowledge of fiscal responsibility?
As the attention of American political junkies turn to May 6 general election in the United Kingdom, we want to highlight the polling averages and pro...