As a mayoral candidate, Rob Ford promised the people of Toronto that waste was threatening to engulf the city. But the waste that Ford reported were drowning this city in ever-increasing deficits just don't seem to exist.
The Fords understand that happy cars and happy drivers make for a happy city. And while there are any number of things that can contribute to the unhappiness of a car and its driver -- high gas prices, tree sap, bicycles -- the pedestrian is right there at the top of the list.
The fact that Toronto's mayor is fat is relevant to the debate about his competency to do his duties. Not only does his risk for heart disease and stroke call into question his ability to remain physically healthy for an entire term, I think it also speaks to a level of personal irresponsibility and short-sightedness.
The discussion around cutting library services comes from a place devoid of thought or emotion. It comes from a place where numbers on a balance sheet are expected to tell the entire story, when in fact they merely tell us how much things cost.
Who benefits from the granting system? The system supports artists, but artists come into public view only when their work is exhibited, by a museum, a commercial gallery or within the arts community itself.
September is just around the corner, and while Rob's main job will be to try to deliver Toronto to the Conservative party, maybe we can still take it back.
Cities like ours are surging with an enormous reservoir of creativity. We're soaking in it. If Toronto's mayor had the vision to seek innovation, our waterfront, parks and libraries might stand a chance. Toronto could take its place as a leader in sustainable revenue generation and urban planning.
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.