Sunday, January 29, 2006 - Toronto needs plan to keep city lights on

Well - we still have power - as I'm able to sit down at my computer and type this. However, we may have a problem in a couple of years - as Toronto will need either more local generation, or increased power transmission into the city from outside: - Toronto needs plan to keep city lights on

The Star's editorial is right: there is no coherent plan to decide how to make up the shortfall. This despite an the city's Official Plan (still pending approval) that anticipates that a milion or so new residents will call Toronto home over the next number of decades.

Perhaps this issue should be the first test of a 'New Deal for Toronto'. In other words, the City should get to decide which of a number of alternative plans should be adopted. It's surely proper that the first order of business for a newly 'powered' city government should be to address electrical power.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Informal Beaches Poll and a a surprise

I just returned from a stroll around my neighbourhood - including a very pleasant stretch along the Boardwalk. It was one of those days during which I managed to avoid the temptation of a Lick's hamburger. I will instead be preparing grill salmon and asparagus - well as soon as I've completed this post.

Now speaking of Licks, their informal burger poll has the Tory's in the lead - with 37% of Beaches burger eaters. The Febfibs are at 30%, and the NDP back at about 23% if memory serves. Of course, the burger poll is likely not representative of the riding as a whole.

In terms of lawn signs, I'd have to give the edge to the NDP candidate Churley. Then again, in the last election, the prevalence of NDP signage was deceiving, as the Liberal incumbent Minna won handily. As of this evening, the Conservative Peter Conroy appears comfortably in second place in the sign count. In as far as I can tell from my walking route, support for Maria Minna is slim.

The surprise of the evening has been the very recent (and obviously well-organized) leaflet campaign by a group called 'Liberals for Conroy'. It seems that the Liberals history of parachuting in candidates may come back to haunt them - as disaffected liberals from way back appear to have put this together.

Friday, January 20, 2006

The Finch Saga

No - this isn't another post about the birds who avail themselves of the nuts and seeds I place in my birdfeeder. Instead, this is about the ongoing saga of the Finch Ave washout - more to the point, the time it has taken (and will take) to repoen the roadway: - 5 months later, Finch reopens ... sort of

Well - it's already been five months - and there are now two lanes open. Per city staff projections, the full reopening will not happen until May - making for a total of ten months.

As usual, there are excuses (e.g. "it was raining".)

Is ten months a long time? You bet. When multiple sections of the Santa Monica Freeway in LA collapsed in the 1994 Northridge earthquake, the highway was back in service within 85 days. The work to rebuild the freeway was put out for competitive bids - and began 19 days after the quake. In Toronto, it took almost 85 days to award the contract. This is David Miller's great (and continually growing) bureaucracy in action (or not as the case may be.)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Painting the town red, orange and yes blue!

The polling on the upcoming federal election certainly hasn't converged on a concensus - well other than that the Tories are leading at the moment.

Here in Hogtown - at least in the Beaches - there has certainly been a shift towards the blue. There are more signs in general - but the blue is quite in evidence. There are likely more Tory supporters than can be measured by lawn signs. The ultra-shrillness of many lefties in Toronto leads many prefer to keep sensible views to themselves. However, I doubt that we'll see a Conservative representing Beaches-East York. I'll be voting Conservative - with the hope that the weakling Liberal Minna and the ultra-Trotskyite Curley will split the loonie-left vote down the middle.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Happy New Year

Please don't mistake the recent inactivity here for an abandonment. I've been busy with Christmas, my birthday, New Year's, and an escape to sunny California this past week. I hope everyone managed to enjoy the season.

The year closed without the provincial Fiberals managing to pass a new City of Toronto Act. Quite frankly, there's no hurry - from what I've heard this will only make things worse. City council's drunken sailor act has grown to Titanic proportions - and allowing them to raise more taxes and fees will just fuel the fire. There's no justification for the operarting budget to be growing at about $0.5 billion a year - which works out to 8-9%.

I'm pretty sure the Fiberals understand this - but they lack the courage to put the city's finances under provincial supervision.

Well, it's going to be an interesting year:

1. We'll see some resolution on the St. Clair front
2. Perhaps some type of legislation on Toronto will be forthcoming from Queen's Park
3. and or course, we'll be voting in municipal elections come November

I'll be supporting Jane Pitfield.