PROVINCIAL BUDGET BLOCKER and ROB FORD and MAYORAL RACE CHANGES :
Well, despite Mayor Miller and the Transit City advocates best hopes, the provincial McGuinty government have put the brakes on expansion plans for our city. http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/785573--miller-outraged-as-budget-sideswipes-gta-transit The only "projects likely to proceed include the Union/Pearson/Georgetown GO Transit link, the Sheppard light rail transit line and the York University line government officials said."
On the plus side, this gives us as a city time to debate the merits of where to invest increasingly scarce monies while the negative is that we will continue to see traffic gridlock and lose time in city building a proper transit system. Truth is, the city should have been building a few kilometers of subway for decades now and we can only blame the lack of vision by former political regimes. Now we are in a near-crisis situation. Influencing this no doubt is this story of poor planning and implementation: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/ttc/article/785438--lawsuit-targets-st-clair-streetcar-route
* A note of the provincial budget: Plans to cut or somehow modify (how isn't clear) the "special diet" for those of social assistance is yet another attack on the poor and margianalized that is being ignored by media and candidates. Where is the fulfillment of the promise to reduce poverty in the province? The rich-poor gap grows yet again.
Rob Ford finally announced his candidacy for Mayor with some predictably wacko ideas, such as cutting in half the number of city councillors. Given that there is already a palpable and evident lack of consultation with constituents when one person represents 50,000 people, this is a further erosion of democracy. Mr. Ford may be able to represent his ward on the cheap since he has deep pockets of his own, but the value of democracy is that any councillor should be able to function in a way that he or she can be of service to constituents.
MAYOR RACE : As of today, there are 26 candidates for Mayor http://app.toronto.ca/vote2010/findByOffice.do?officeType=1&officeName=Mayor and 5 candidates for City Councillor for our ward 18. Dave Meslin, an innovative, experienced and creative political activist ponder how we can have a legitimate debate with so many candidates and is looking for ideas to be inclusive without being ridiculous (See http://meslin.wordpress.com/ ). I find it rather astonishing that of the so-called top 6 mayoral candidates, only Mammoliti and Thompson have any kind of platform or list of top issues on their websites. Don't we expect vision to be top of the list for a Mayor? So far this mayoral race is a sad one.
Friday, March 26, 2010
CHANGING POLITICAL LANDSCAPE
Posted by Ken Wood, Ward 18 Davenport at 3:32 PM