Sunday, January 30, 2005 - Linda McQuaig says today's charade is simply about Iraq's oil

I guess it isn't a happy day for Linda McQuaig and the rest of the ranting left-wing cabal. - Linda McQuaig says today's charade is simply about Iraq's oil

Of course, one of the senior members of the cabal is not longer published in The Star. Michele Landsberg's column no longer appears. Perhaps Landsberg is still around. I wonder if she "does lunch" with the likes of McQuaig. I gander there is nothing like a company-paid lunch as the setting for left-wing types to exchange disinformation.

Alternatively, Landsberg might be in Afghanistan searching in vain for the mythical oil pipeline she claimed the US would be building in that country as soon as the Taliban regime had been removed. History has proven her wrong. The Afghanis have held an election - and there is no pipeline.

The level of bitterness Landsberg's columns evidenced always astounded me. I read the same in McQuaig's writing. One doesn't have to read between the lines particularly closely to understand McQuaig's real fear - the fear that democracy might break out. McQuaig must be kept awake by the prospect of the success of the Bush policy - a success which would help reinforce the Republican hold on the US government.

Her column demonstrates the depth of the moral abyss into which the left have fallen. They believe that it would be better for Iraqis to remain under a brutal, Hitler-like regime, rather than see a successful Republican-led initiative.

Monday, January 24, 2005

What about equality for strippers and pizza men?

Well - this is pretty sexist! MP Judy Sgro not only quits her post as Minister of Immigration, but also threatens legal action over allegation of breach of trust in the quickly baking 'l'affaire pizza'. - Sgro starts to strike back

hmmm. It's interesting that earlier allegations by a stripper of East European extraction resulted on no such response from Sgro. Obviously allegations made by men are to be taken more seriously that those by a woman.

With the Fedfibs so intent on passing the same-sex marriage law - which they claim is warranted in order to make everyone equal - it's astonishing to see how they do not yet see men and women as equal. Well - perhaps it is not astonishing, it's just politics. The Fedfibs don't have any core beliefs. They'll twist any which way they need to remain in power.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Growth is slowing in Ontario - no kidding

A large tax hike, pandering to unions and the gargantuan intellects in the McGuinty cabinet are wondering what is happening to growth. - McGuinty, cabinet focus on slowing growth

Wait until the greenbelt legislation is enacted and the development industry crashes. McGuinty & Co will think these are the good old days.

Thursday, January 13, 2005 - Council nitpicks at litter-pickers' $19.32

Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong is fighting the good fight in attempting to allow the City to hire students at reasonable rates to help pick up litter this summer. - Council nitpicks at litter-pickers' $19.32

This past summer, the City had to pay an already inflated rate of $15.00 an hour. Since then, negotiations with the union (CUPE) have even take this modicum of flexibility.

The union say it might consider allowing a lower paying role for students but not one that would "actually involve picking up litter". That great sucking sound gets louder each day as CUPE more and more brazenly exercises its hegemony over the willfully supplicant Mayor Miller and cabal.

Monday, January 10, 2005 - Will aquarium plan float?

The Star's Royson James wonders out loud whether the vision of a new aquarium on Toronto's waterfront - near the foot of Dufferin. See the following link to the story. - Will aquarium plan float?

Apparently, aquariums are all the rage - springing up in the most unlikely of places and by all accounts succeeding.

This has got me thinking. While it's refreshing that the City is looking to the the private sector to build and operate such a facility, we should really be looking to create something unique. In a few years, aquariums may be out of style and/or people will be tired of looking at big fish in captivity. (Oh dad, do we have to go to another aquarium.)

Let us instead create something unique - something that plays to Toronto's strength - so to speak. Let us create a Museum of Socialism. Why? There is so such an abundance of great material that could be easily collected - most of it for free.

Some of the key attractions could be:

The Waste Wing

This would document - along with examples from Toronto's city government:

- how Ontario Hydro managed to wipe out $21 billion in equity in its generating stations by failing to maintain them
- how $900 million in transitional funding to the Toronto District School Board evaporated as one staffer put it, the far-left board "spread the disease"

The Stupidity Section

This would document:

- Toronto's homeless problem - which continues to see money thrown at it without any attempt to quantity the number of actual homeless
- The decision to ship garbage to the supposed 'willing hosts' in Michigan - as opposed to the unwilling ones in northern Ontario

The Hall of Shame

This would detail the histories of prominent local socialists:

- Jack Layton (largely responsbile for the garbage mess)
- Bob Rae (architected the Province's economic collapse of the erly '90s)
- David Miller (our suave socialist mayor) as labelled by Sue-Ann Levy of The Sun - who stated that Police Chief Fantino was doing a great job - at the same time engineering his ouster. (Actually, this man has no shame.)

Wednesday, January 05, 2005 - Fight goes on over streetcars

It should be no surprise that the community group Save Our St. Clair is asking Ontario Environment Minister Leona Dombrowsky to reject the City's environmental assessment regarding the establishment of a streetcar right-of-way on St. Clair Avenue. See the following for the story in The Star. - Fight goes on over streetcars

Margaret Smith of SOS questions the integrity of the process - and rightly so. The EA was a complete sham. The TTC never intended to assess alternatives - and staged a disinformation/propaganda campaign to cram its preferred solution down the neighbourhoods' throats.

Here are some examples:

The lie

TTC Commissioner Howard Moscoe stated in an email to me that the St. Clair streetcars could carry 100 passengers - whereas buses could only carry 40 people.

The truth

In response, I pointed out that TTC planners use a capacity of 74 for streetcars and 57 for buses. In reality, this vastly overstates the difference. TTC's own numbers show:

Streetcar boardings / hour = 81
Bus boardings / hour = 76

Since the streetcar number include the articulated vehicles (ALRVs), the effective capacity of the CLRV's on St. Clair and standard buses are actually very close.

The lie

TTC is circulating a wad of PR material from the light rail lobby titled "The Streetcar Renaissance". In this document, the trumpet the success of light-rail systems such as the C-Train in Calgary in attracting passengers. This document asserts that the C-Train is a '2nd generation streetcar'.

The truth

Calling the C-Train a 2nd generation streetcar is beyond the pale. This is preying upon people's ignorance. The C-Train is much more like a subway system that a streetcar system. Very limited portions run on former streets.

The lie

The same document puports that the C-Train has been more successful than Ottawa's busway system in attracting passengers. They base this on ridership statistics from 1991-1996.

The truth

This uses statistics very selectively. In the early 90's, tens of thousands of jobs were lopped from the federal civil service. In contrast, Calgary's economy added close to 60,000 jobs. Since 1996 - when the newest phase of OC transit's busway was put in service, ridership on OC transit has grown faster that Calgary's:

Ottawa (OC Transit): + 35%
Calgary: +27%

(APTA figures from 1996 to 2002)

..and Ottawa residents use transit much more that Calgarians:

Ottawa: 113 annual rides per capita
Calgary: 84 annual rides per capita

(IBI Report for TTC - 2003)

My take is that either a system of bus lanes - or a modern LRT could work on St. Clair. The trouble with the current proposal is that the TTC will be using streetcars rather than ligh-rail vehicles. The streetcars operate like buses - only at far greater cost, and without the flexibility.

Councillor Joe Mihevc has written to me stating that his next priority project will be to have the CLRVs replaced by modern, standard ligh-rail vehicles. The problems here are that:

1. The current plan is for the TTC to rebuild the existing CLRVs - at over $1 million each - to keep them in service for an additional 10-15 years. (TTC could purchase 2 buses for the same price.)
2. It hasn't been determined if any of the LRV's currently on the market can be run on the TTC's system of surface track. At a minimum, ant LRV will have to be modified for gauge - and to use poles instead of pantographs. But what about turning radius, length of platform etc. ?

The sensible thing to do would be to wait for the study on this issue to be completed. Mihevc expects the report to be ready 'in a few months' (as of Nov 14th 2004.)

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

That great sucking sound

WOW it took The Star a whole three editions into the New Year to resume the drumbeat of its propaganda campaign to get even more money for the City of Toronto. - Editorial: Cities need to see a truly `new deal'

In recent years, the City has been granted:

- relief from paying GST on the goods and services it purchases
- repeated bailouts from Queen's Park - usually very loosely disguised as special funding for some purpose or other
- the lion's share of the Ontario governments dispersal of gas tax money to its municipalities
- roughly $1 billion in towards the TTC capital program over the next 5 years

What the editorial forgets to mention is that the City of Toronto has other fiscal advantages:
- roughly $150 million is transferred in from Toronto's neighbouring municipalities (York, Peel, Halton..) each year under the GTA Social Services Pooling arrangement
- Toronto charges a far higher mill rate on commercial and industrial than neighbouring areas (and than any other jurisdication in Canada for that matter)

Furthermore, the most built-up areas have natural advantages in raising property taxes over less built-up ones. When a merger between Brooklyn and New York (then only Manhattan) was being considered back in the 19th century - it was Manhattan that held the fiscal advantage. Pour neighbour Brooklyn felt the fiscal pressure to join - rather than the other way around.

In Toronto, the natural state has been turned on its head. Despite its natural advantages, the City is having to sponge from the less built up areas - i.e. from those 'sprawling suburbs' that are supposedly so inefficient.

The fact is that Toronto does not have a revenue problem - it has a spending problem. Its municipal spending per capita drarfs other Canadian cities - be they small, medium or large. Toronto is a monument to the inevitable failure of socialism, pandering to unions with gold-plated contracts, phony budgeting and the raiding of reserves.

Now The Star would like the rest of the country to pay for this mess. Surely step one would be for Toronto to book itself into Spendaholics Anonymous. Instead, Mayor Miller and his NDP cabal, and The Star continue to deny the problem - breaking open more and more money bottles on a regular basis.

Canadian should listen carefully for a great sucking sound. This will be your money headed here to help pay for our gold-plated union contracts.

Sunday, January 02, 2005 - Politician's comments criticized as racist

Well, I haven't been particularly productive in contributing to my blog. December is a month of many distractions! I hope all of my readers enjoyed a terrific Christmas - and I wish you all the best in the New Year.

Now it seems that one of our city councillors has already hit a spot of PR trouble. Scarborough councillor Mike Del Grande is in a spot of hot water for stating that "white people" are moving out of his ward. See the following link for the story in The Toronto Star. - Politician's comments criticized as racist

Del Grande is being taking to task by members of the NDP cabal. However, how can he be at fault promulgating information that is collected by Statistics Canada, analysed by Toronto's Urban Development Services department, and published in detail on the City of Toronto's website. For example, here are statistics for uber-socialist Janet Davis's ward:

Ward 31 Ethnocultural statistics

If Del Grande is racist, so are Statistics Canada and the City of Toronto.