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turningrite

Ford eviscerates local GTA politics

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1 hour ago, Centerpiece said:

 Some of the money that Ford has "forced" the city to save could be re-allocated. It wasn't just about saving money - it was about more efficient government.

Well, I've got some swampland to sell you in.... Other mechanisms for input and action are unlikely to resolve much, if anything. There are already community councils in Toronto that have no apparent real power to resolve constituent concerns in real time. DoFo's move won't generate more efficient government and likely was never intended to do so. The number one issue in the area in which I live is massive condo development. One of my friends calls the situation "condopalooza" and wonders if DoFo's real intent was/is to limit the ability of councillors to run interference with condo developers? There are at least half a dozen of these massively oversized projects within a 3 block radius of my apartment and probably an equal or greater number in the planning and approval stages. The problems generated by the massive pace of development in relation to issues like noise, traffic and environmental degradation are enormous. As a disabled person who requires mobility assistance, I can assure you that from a safety perspective my neighbourhood is at times unwalkable. Our only access to redress is through city hall, where the current councillor, at least in my ward, responds pretty quickly. When that access is undermined, one wonders if parts of the city will become effectively uninhabitable? 

By the way, how many councillors do you have in N.O.T.L. to serve a population that's likely less than twenty thousand? If Ford were really honest and consistent in his supposed quest to reduce he size of government he'd eliminate small municipalities like yours and entirely transfer municipal governance in such communities to more "efficient" (meaning larger, in DoFo speak) regional municipalities. How many councillors, then, would be permitted to serve the residents of the Niagara Region? Hmmm... with a population of less than half a million, with all the constituent municipalities amalgamated you guys would deserve no more than four or five councillors, and even that might be overstretching it if DoFo's solution for Toronto is the appropriate baseline. Think about it for a few minutes, at least, before commenting further.

Edited by turningrite

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3 hours ago, turningrite said:

Apparently, you don't read my posts. I'm non-ideological. I simply can't tolerate hypocrisy like that expressed by those who say they supposedly want to protect taxpayers when their own taxes, services and access to representation aren't in play. Ford had/has no mandate to chop Toronto's city council. I think it's mainly an ego-driven (i.e. 'I'm now in charge!') personal agenda on DoFo's part. As a Torontonian, I'm unconvinced of the issue of the alleged financial benefits of this. I don't think it will save much if any money. Big money isn't in play at the municipal level in comparison to the other levels of government.

But from a practical perspective, though, having a single city councillor represent every 100 thousand+ residents is ridiculous. At all levels of government in this country, I believe only the federal parliament and the Ontario legislature feature such remote representation. But this is particularly problematic at the municipal level. Imagine trying to talk to your councillor if your street doesn't get cleared after a snowstorm, your garbage isn't getting picked up or condo construction routinely disrupts your sleep by starting work an hour or more prior to stipulated bylaw provisions. These are the kinds of mundane matters municipal councillors regularly have to deal with. And taxpayers have a right to talk to the people who represent them where these things are concerned. I've contacted my MP's office once over the past decade and my MPP's office perhaps once or twice. I've had reason, however, to contact my councillor's office at least half a dozen times over the past couple years. This isn't about ideology or elitism at all. Plainly and simply, it's about access and fairness. I suspect those like Betsy who seem keen to limit access by others to their political representatives would no doubt demand quick access to their own councillors were they unable to access necessary municipal services. However, they seem unconcerned and even in some cases ecstatic that others might lose such access. It's abominable and, yes, hypocritical.

 

 

When you discuss the issue of what constitutes sufficient representation to get the job done, I appreciate what you say. You raise valid non partisan concerns. I concede to you, I am not sure what constitutes sufficient representation at any of the elected levels of government. In regards to your comments that the size of Toronto's government is not an issue for non Torontonians I again remind you taxpayer money from non Toronto voters goes to pay for their government and as long as it does your comments excluding Betsy or any other non Torontonian is necessarily exclusive ignoring their interests and is therefore elitist and illogical.

As for your partisan dislike of Ford, I respect that but that is an ideological component of your stated positions.

I myself find things about him I do not like.I also personally believe he had a vendetta on behalf of his brother. All that said, I do think provincial governments do have the right constitutionally and legally to define municipal government.

If he does not continue municipal reform elsewhere as he did in Toronto it will be questionable yes.

I agree then with some of your points but not with your dismissive as to all non Torontonians.  

I do think any politician getting rid of unneeded bureaucracy should be supported.What defines needed remains the question.

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1 hour ago, turningrite said:

Well, I've got some swampland to sell you in.... Other mechanisms for input and action are unlikely to resolve much, if anything. There are already community councils in Toronto that have no apparent real power to resolve constituent concerns in real time. DoFo's move won't generate more efficient government and likely was never intended to do so. The number one issue in the area in which I live is massive condo development. One of my friends calls the situation "condopalooza" and wonders if DoFo's real intent was/is to limit the ability of councillors to run interference with condo developers? There are at least half a dozen of these massively oversized projects within a 3 block radius of my apartment and probably an equal or greater number in the planning and approval stages. The problems generated by the massive pace of development in relation to issues like noise, traffic and environmental degradation are enormous. As a disabled person who requires mobility assistance, I can assure you that from a safety perspective my neighbourhood is at times unwalkable. Our only access to redress is through city hall, where the current councillor, at least in my ward, responds pretty quickly. When that access is undermined, one wonders if parts of the city will become effectively uninhabitable? 

By the way, how many councillors do you have in N.O.T.L. to serve a population that's likely less than twenty thousand? If Ford were really honest and consistent in his supposed quest to reduce he size of government he'd eliminate small municipalities like yours and entirely transfer municipal governance in such communities to more "efficient" (meaning larger, in DoFo speak) regional municipalities. How many councillors, then, would be permitted to serve the residents of the Niagara Region? Hmmm... with a population of less than half a million, with all the constituent municipalities amalgamated you guys would deserve no more than four or five councillors, and even that might be overstretching it if DoFo's solution for Toronto is the appropriate baseline. Think about it for a few minutes, at least, before commenting further.

So you liked things the way they were? Maybe even MORE councilors? Then we'll just agree to disagree. I lived in Toronto most of my life before coming here last year. It was painful to watch Council "in action" over the past 20 years. So much time wasted on "progressive" pet projects instead of concentrating on providing the best roads, transit, water, sewage - and yes - disability access. Those are the things that people expect and can appreciate  It's not about small town Ontario - it's about Toronto. If Ontario is ever going to get its economy rolling again, it has to be led by Toronto. Things need to get done. You complain about Condos - your councilor was one of 45 who considered the approvals. Maybe you'll have more clout with one of 25. 

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43 minutes ago, Centerpiece said:

So you liked things the way they were? Maybe even MORE councilors? Then we'll just agree to disagree. I lived in Toronto most of my life before coming here last year. It was painful to watch Council "in action" over the past 20 years. So much time wasted on "progressive" pet projects instead of concentrating on providing the best roads, transit, water, sewage - and yes - disability access. Those are the things that people expect and can appreciate  It's not about small town Ontario - it's about Toronto. If Ontario is ever going to get its economy rolling again, it has to be led by Toronto. Things need to get done. You complain about Condos - your councilor was one of 45 who considered the approvals. Maybe you'll have more clout with one of 25. 

I don't pay a lot of attention to council debates. It's my understanding that council meets in full session about once a week and given that a lot of business has to be handled in a short period of time the situation can be very chaotic. I do pay a lot of attention, though, to whether I get a quick response when I raise a concern or issue with my councillor. Council debates will likely be as dysfunctional under the new regime as was previously the case because the old left-right and downtown-suburban splits will persist. But this is one level of government where access to one's representative in real time is of vital importance, particularly where local bylaw enforcement is concerned. With councillors in Toronto now expected to serve wards of roughly 120 thousand it's difficult to imagine that reasonable access to remedy (i.e. bylaw enforcement) won't suffer. Our taxes won't decline and we'll get less service for the money we pay.

As for Toronto council's control over condo projects, the city has little jurisdiction but to manage the development industry's impacts after-the-fact as condo approvals are largely pro forma and developers generally get their way, even after the Wynne government's largely cosmetic reform of the dreaded OMB. As Christopher Hume noted in a column this week in the Toronto Star, the developers remain in charge: "Toronto’s cacophonous approach to planning and lack of vision combined with the Ontario Municipal Board and its successor, the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, have, in effect, privatized the future and handed it over to developers. They are the city’s de facto planners, its regulators of growth and arbiters of design. The box-tickers at city hall can rarely do more than watch and submit another report."

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/star-columnists/2018/09/25/why-toronto-should-seek-greatness-like-paris-does.html

Edited by turningrite

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5 hours ago, Centerpiece said:

So much time wasted on "progressive" pet projects instead of concentrating on providing the best roads, transit, water, sewage - and yes - disability access. Those are the things that people expect and can appreciate  It's not about small town Ontario - it's about Toronto. If Ontario is ever going to get its economy rolling again, it has to be led by Toronto. Things need to get done. You complain about Condos - your councilor was one of 45 who considered the approvals. Maybe you'll have more clout with one of 25. 

This makes no sense.  Toronto is booming, and condos are a  big part of that.  Progressive politics did nothing to stop the boom. Cutting or increase council would have no impact on that either.   What are you even talking about ?

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On 9/26/2018 at 9:20 PM, Michael Hardner said:

This makes no sense.  Toronto is booming, and condos are a  big part of that.  Progressive politics did nothing to stop the boom. Cutting or increase council would have no impact on that either.   What are you even talking about ?

It was somewhat tongue in cheek as a response to Turningrite's "Number One Complaint" about massive condo development. Good or bad, that's a city planning issue and the number of councilors is irrelevant.  That said, if Turningrite DID think councilors could impact condo decisions in his Ward, he'd have a better chance being one of 25 instead of one in 45. That chance of course, would still be just about zero. That's what I'm talking about.

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On 9/20/2018 at 8:19 PM, turningrite said:

Why, then, are and were Ford and his supporters so obstreperously agitated about judicial overreach if they truly believe/d the law would ultimately vindicate their position on Bill 5? Lawyers often disagree with one another as do judges. It's actually a feature of our legal system. Ultimately, the legality of Bill 5 may well be decided by the Supreme Court. There are non-Charter arguments, rooted in long-established British parliamentary conventions and practices, that could serve to overturn Bill 5. Will that happen? Who knows, but at this point I think it too soon to pop champagne corks at Queen's Park. The whole fiasco has impinged the credibility of Ford and many of his ministers, including Caroline Mulroney. That Ford was willing to expend so much political capital - both personally as well as on the part of his government - on this rather picayune ego-driven crusade suggests that he lacks both seriousness and rational perspective.

Why would the supreme court get involved in this? Why does everything a conservative puts forward has to end up in the supreme court? We all should know by now that if anything involving conservatism goes to any court it tends to get shot down by what appears to be appointed leftist liberal judges who are pretty much all of the leftist liberal kind. 

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