Tag Archives: Toronto

Mayor Naheed Nenshi speaking at the Canadian Club of Toronto

This is a really great speech. All Canadians, especially the Liberals, should give it a listen.

H/T Rob Silver

The Grapes of Wrath

Don Cherry’s Speech to Council

Actually I’m wearing pink for all the pinkos out there that ride bicycles and everything. I thought I’d get it in. What’d ya expect, Ron MacLean, here? To come here?

You know, I am befuddled, because I thought I was just doing a good thing, coming down with Ron—Rob—and I was gonna do this here, and it was gonna be nice and the whole deal.

I’ve been bein’ ripped to shreds by the left-wing pinko newspapers out there. It’s unbelievable. One guy called me a pink…a jerk in a pink suit, so I thought I’d wear that for him too, today.

You know, it’s funny. In those articles I was made fun of ’cause I go to church. I’m easy to do it that way. And I was called maudlin for the troops, because I honor the troops. This is the kinda, uh… You’re gonna be facin’, Rob, with these left-wing pinkos. They scrape the bottom of the barrel, but AGAIN, I was asked, why I was asked, and I asked Doug, “why?” And he said: “We need a famous, good-looking guy.” And I said, I’m your man, right? Right off the bat.

You know, I was asked: why, why, why [the] landslide. And I was in their corner right from the start. They phoned me. Doug phoned me, the morning. They’ll get a landslide! And why? Because Rob’s honest. He’s truthful. He’s like Julian Fantino. What you see is what you get. He’s no phony. And I could go on right now, all the millions and millions and thousands of dollars he’s gonna save and everything, but I’d just like to tell a little story that was in the Sun, I think it was in the back pages. It was just a little, little thing. And Fiona Crean, for eighteen months, has been trying to get something done with City Hall. And then the story—I think some of you know the story—that there was a little old lady and all of a sudden she got banged on the door and two guys were there and said: “We’re cutting your tree down.” You know that’s just a little thing, but to me that’s a big thing. “We’re cutting your tree down!”

And she’s, well: “I don’t want it. That’s my favourite tree. A hundred year-old…”

“No! It’s down. Cut it down.” And then they give her, send her a bill for five-thousand dollars, for cutting it down. And for eighteen months her son and Fiona were: “City Hall. City Hall. Please help us.” Thirty, forty calls. Unbelievable. Nothing. Laughed at. Rob’s the mayor one day, apology comes, and a five-thousand-dollar cheque.

And that’s why I say he’s gonna be the greatest mayor this city has ever, ever seen, as far as I’m concerned! And put that in your pipe, you left-wing kooks.

Thank you very much.

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Some thoughts:

  • Don Cherry did back track a little bit today.
  • Don Cherry is wealthy, and Rob Ford became wealthy at a company he inherited. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that but both men need to be called on their faux-populism.
  • The day of this speech was the first time Rob Ford and Don Cherry met in person.
  • The Cold-War ended more than a decade ago. So not only is Mr. Cherry’s use of “pinko” dated, he was so unimaginative that he has to use it two times. The fact that he didn’t have the decency to break out his “Meathead-Thesaurusis what I found most insulting.
  • It was Rob Ford’s decision to invite Don Cherry to his inauguration. Ford himself actually delivered a fairly moderate speech but he set a bad tone with his choice of speaker.
  • In the National Post Tasha Kheiriddin argues that the right-wing in Canada need more “Don Cherrys.” The Conservative Party of Canada actually has a surplus of individuals who prefer yelling to rational debate so I’m inclined to disagree.
  • Was anyone really surprised that Don Cherry was so disrespectful? I didn’t lose any respect for him in the aftermath of this speech. You can’t jump out of a basement window.

Rob Ford’s Gigantic Campaign Debt: Foreboding Irony

Today the Toronto Sun reported that Rob Ford’s mayoral campaign ended with a staggering $650,000 deficit.

This is just one more example of how Mayor Elect Ford is penny wise and pound foolish (for example: replacing streetcars with buses and hiring hundreds of new TTC employees to do so.)

In many ways the 2010 Toronto Mayoral Election was in no way unique. Rob Ford’s campaign was a class conservative campaign which pitted right-wing ideology against reality. David Miller was actually a pretty good mayor and Rob Ford was the ultimate establishment candidate as a long-time city councillor.

Rob Ford is now Toronto’s mayor after an election campaign based entirely upon what he is against (art, bike lanes, and non-existent but delicious-sounding “gravy trains.”) Let’s hope the way he ran his campaign, which may have got suburban-Torontonians riled up but certainly didn’t unite the city with a grand vision, isn’t how he governs Canada’s greatest city.

$650,000, let’s stop pretending that Rob Ford is fiscally responsible.

Bicycle Safety Is Not A One Way Street

I moved into a new place in Toronto a few weeks ago. The van we used to move my belonging wasn’t too large but was bigger than your average car. After dropping stuff off my father and I drove to Etobicoke to get my bed/dresser from a relative. During our drive around Toronto I remember about 6 times where bicyclists who were ignoring traffic rules almost nicked our vehicle or one of the vehicles near us. I remember this number with specificity because on 680 news that day it was reported that there are 3 accidents involving bicyclists/motor vehicles a day in Toronto.

Last Thursday I passed the intersection of Baldwin/Beverley Street 4 times and I counted 27 different times where at this intersection bicyclists didn’t obey the stop sign, made improper turns, didn’t signal and went from the road to the sidewalk and back again. I happened to be counting that day but I see this happen every day all over Toronto.

Bicycle safety has been in the news a lot lately and the majority of the time people discussing the subject say that people driving cars/other vehicles need to pay more attention. I disagree with this view, partially. It is self-evident that those driving motor vehicles need to be careful but they should be doing so 100% of the time. You don’t need a license to drive a bicycle and many bicyclists don’t obey the same rules that cars do even though they share the same road.

It is great that so many people are riding their bikes instead of driving cars. I firmly believe that Toronto would be a more pleasant place if the city/province invested heavily in a bike sharing system and discouraged driving down-town. But for this to happen everyone needs to learn and follow the rules of the road/ the police need to start handing out more tickets to bicyclists who break the rules (as they do at Baldwin/Beverley.)

The onus is not on just bicyclists or just motorists to ensure that the people using Toronto’s roads are safe, that responsibility is shared by everyone.

Add “Toronto” To: The List Of Things Conservatives Hate


Things the Conservative Party of Canada Hates:
– Toronto
– Intellectuals
– The Bloc Quebecois
– People who have lived outside of Canada
– People who died of listeriosis
– The Environment
– The Theory of Evolution
– Canadians being held/tortured in other countries
– Women seeking equal pay
– The Free Press
– Cancer patients waiting for treatment
– Artists
– Research scientists
– Quebec
– The Liberal Party of Canada
– Fiscal Responsibility
– Federal funding for political parties
– The Working Poor
– Judges
– Drug Addicts
– Gays
– Liberal Leaders
– Thunder Bay, and workers in Thunder Bay
– Canadian companies that put money into R&D
– East-Coast Newspapers
– Warren Kinsella
– Central Canada
– Taxes, even ones that pay for roads

Thoughts:

- Who the fuddle duddle does John Baird think he is?

- David Miller wanted to buy $1.2 billion worth of environmentally friendly public transit vehicles from a Canadian company.

- “Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, the GTA’s federal representative.” Jim Flaherty represents the riding of Whitby-Oshawa. This riding does not and should not represent Toronto or the GTA in general. The needs of Whitby-Oshawa are drastically different from even its neighbouring ridings of Ajax-Pickering, or Oshawa, and way different from ridings that are part of the GTA like Mississauga.

- John Baird has dragged his feet on every cent of infrastructure spending. It is not surprising that he would be even more reluctant to spend money in Toronto, an area conservatives have barely any votes in. It is also not surprising that he would swear like that, he is a snarling, showboating, loud jackass in question period.
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Top Tory curses Toronto
WHISTLER, B.C. – Toronto’s only application for money under the federal government’s $4 billion infrastructure stimulus fund was met with a profane dismissal by Transport Minister John Baird yesterday.

In an unguarded moment, Baird told aides Toronto stood alone in not meeting the technical criteria for federal cash, yet was complaining about Ottawa dragging its feet.

“Twenty-seven hundred people got it right. They didn’t. That is not a partnership and they’re bitching at us,” he said.

“They should f— off.”

The federal minister overseeing the infrastructure program was overheard by a Star reporter after he mistakenly walked into a media room at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities convention at this British Columbia resort.

When his words were read back to him, he acknowledged his remarks.

Toronto made a calculated move to seek money to replace its aging streetcar fleet by submitting just one application while most municipalities submitted long lists of projects ranging from bridge repairs to sewer upgrades.

Mayor David Miller said Toronto only wants funds to buy 204 streetcars from Bombardier, to be built at a cost of $1.2 billion. The proposed deal will expire June 27 and will collapse if federal and provincial money isn’t forthcoming by then.

The city said, based on its population, its share of the stimulus announced in January’s budget would be about $312 million.

Miller said last night Toronto’s proposal fits the federal criteria.

He said his meeting with Baird at the convention was “amicable and frank” and that the minister “didn’t say that to me” when asked if Baird used the obscenity.

But Baird said Toronto’s was the only application among 2,700 submitted that wasn’t done properly.

He said Toronto’s submission is ineligible because it doesn’t focus on job creation within the next two years in the 416 area.

Later, Baird said his remarks were off-the-cuff and he presumed private because he didn’t realize he was in the media workroom.

He said he’s had frank discussions with the city about its bid and has been talking to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, the GTA’s federal representative, about projects eligible for cash.

“This project, while it fits into Toronto’s vision of what they want to do, it doesn’t fit into our vision of moving quickly. We don’t want to see Toronto left out of infrastructure stimulus,” said Baird. “What I don’t want to see is a year or two from now people say that the federal government plans aren’t creating jobs in Toronto.”

Councillor Linda Rydholm of Thunder Bay, home of the Bombardier plant, said the project needs approval. “Our workers need the contract to continue or start.”

Miller said Toronto’s bid will help the overall economy in Ontario and create immediate jobs.

At the Federation of Canadian Municipalities meeting, Baird identified the country’s most significant infrastructure project as the $4 billion to $5 billion access road to a new border crossing near Windsor and said he is making it a personal priority.

The project “has the attention at the highest level. The province and the federal government are on the same page. The time for action is now.”

Delegates at the meeting began the three-day event with a call from big city mayors for Ottawa to speed money for infrastructure projects.

The government promised money to municipalities in hopes of creating thousands of jobs, with the caveat that a major component of the projects must be completed by March 2011. Mayors said that, while announcements were made, the actual money has not materialized.

But Federation of Canadian Municipalities president Jean Perrault said Baird has since shown a commitment to co-operation and flexibility, especially with the federal commitment that one-third of any costs incurred by municipalities will be paid before April 1, 2011.

“We have an understanding now of better communication,” said Perrault.

Future Prime Minister Addresses supporters at the “Leader’s Dinner” in Toronto April 1, 2009

Favourite Quotes:

“You can’t lead without principles.”

“When the tectonic plates of our economy are shifting, we will be there for our people. We will not let any Canadian split through the cracks.”

“We will defend these people in opposition and we will rescue them in government.”

“A voice on the international stage that stands for peace, order, and good government, and backs that commitment with action.”

“The 21 century does belong to Canada, but only if we dare.”