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Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Edward Keenan is the latest to point out that any reasonable political decision-making process needs to include an adult conversation about taxes and why we need them: This week, when asked about the prospect of raising taxes beyond the rate of inflation in coming years, John Tory called the idea “an admission of failure.”

This is distressing to hear. Consider the context: Tory’s current budget turns out to require a lot of dipsy-doodling that edges the city perilously close to its debt ceiling while hiking TTC fares and garbage fees. Meanwhile the (Read more…)

Aaron Manton: On Last Night’s News: My thoughts on the TTC fare increase

I appeared on Global News Toronto last night on behalf of TTC Riders to offer a few comments on the TTC fare increase coming into effect this weekend. Even though they spelled my name wrong, I was happy to have some good quotes make it into the online and broadcast versions of the story: “I […]

Eh Types: Ford Fin

Rob Ford is no longer the Mayor of Toronto. Not in name, not in law, not in anything but perhaps the delusional recesses of his brother’s mind. A quiet ending is not one many city observers would have predicted as little as six months ago. Many likely saw Ford leaving his office in defeat, if […]

Things Are Good: Rob Ford No Longer Mayor of Toronto

Rob Ford has been the worst mayor of Toronto and as of today he’s officially no longer mayor. I say officially because he was stripped of his real power over a year ago. Why is this good news though?

Ford divided the city in a way no other politician was able (or willing) to do; he pitted the people who care about the city against people who only care about lower taxes. In Toronto this basically meant the “old” city of Toronto and the “new” inner suburbs of the city. Divisive politics is not a good thing and already the (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Growing the Green Roof Industry in North America

Green roofs are great! They help alleviate a lot of issues that arise in urban living while making cities more beautiful. There is growing interest in making sure that urban green roofs take off and it looks like it is working.

While other countries like Germany have been using green roofs since the 1980’s, North America has been playing catch up. Toronto, however, is a city enamoured with renewable energy and sustainability. Ryerson’s engineering building on Church St., the new Forensic Services and Coroner’s Complex and Toronto City Hall are all notable examples of green roof early adopters.

A (Read more…)

Eh Types: Warm to An Idea

I’m going to tell you about something I did yesterday that gave me an idea. It’s a simple one, nothing to change the world, but because it’s simple I hope it’s one you’ll consider. Yesterday I found a pair of gloves in a coat I haven’t worn since last winter. Like I suspect most men, […]

Alberta Diary: Business arising from the minutes: Unionized St. Albert workers sign deal; CTF Alberta director suddenly departs

Toronto’s once notorious Rochedale College, now a perfectly respectable apartment building. Below: Outgoing Canadian Taxpayers Federation Alberta Director Derek Fildebrandt and the King’s Noodle Restaurant (grabbed from TripAdvisor).

TORONTO

It was my intention, since I am away from Alberta on business, not to file an Alberta Diary post this evening. Truth be told, Friday night and Saturday are the week’s worst times for readership anyway, as those readers with a life tend to be off living it.

Still, my iPhone gonged portentously when I exited my Air Canada flight from Edmonton here in the Ford Bothers’ hometown tonight with two (Read more…)

Aaron Manton: My #TOpoli Influence

I found my modest dot on this data visualization of 2014 #TOpoli tweeters by Vox Pop Labs. It’s just about exactly where/how big you’d expect it to be: Pretty neat! You can see the whole graphic, as well as a list of the 101 most influential tweeters, here.Filed under: Toronto Politics Tagged: Toronto, Toronto Media, […]

Eh Types: You Get What You Need

Between changing more diapers and falling deeper in love than I’d have thought possible, I’ve struggled to put in to words my thoughts on Toronto’s election since the ballots were counted. Sleep deprivation is likely an accomplice to my inability to write an adequate epilogue but hardly the ringleader. More likely the feeling of having […]

Politics, Re-Spun: The Election-Eve Racist, Sexist Attack on Olivia Chow

If this cartoon were published, say, 2 weeks before the election, it would have been debated as a tool of racist, sexist propaganda and yet another blemish on corporate media. Her support would likely have grown after such a brutally immature attack.

But because politics is a dirty, disgusting, sociopathic game, it was published the day before the Ontario municipal election.

Read what Olivia Chow thinks of it below:

Chow told CP24 she thinks the cartoon is “disgusting.”

“Because I am Chinese-Canadian, I must be a communist and have slanted eyes and glasses … and since I am a (Read more…)

Eh Types: When Being Right Feels Wrong

In March of this year I had a job interview with a well known political consulting group. I must say despite not being hired I immensely enjoyed the interview. One of the questions I was asked, other than my response to a zombie apocalypse, was what I thought the main issue facing Toronto in the […]

The Ranting Canadian: John Tory, the leading Conservative Party candidate for Toronto…

John Tory, the leading Conservative Party candidate for Toronto mayor, has gotten endorsements from the Conservative Toronto Sun (after they previously promoted the Ford brothers), the Conservative Globe and Mail, Conservative Toronto city councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, a bunch of other lesser-known Conservative city councillors, federal Conservative Transport Minister Lisa Raitt, Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper and other Conservative MPs.

I haven’t seen an official endorsement from the Conservative National Post, but their coverage of Tory has certainly been in his favour.

Gee, you think it might be because John Tory IV is a long-time, dyed-in-the-wool, (Read more…)

My journey with AIDS...and more!: Lunch

I planned dessert first today after seeing Wanda’s Pie in the Sky picture on Facebook this morning. I walked over to Kensington Market on a near-empty stomach and plopped myself down on the patio at Caplansky’s Delicatessen on College Street: I was impressed with the way the water was delivered: Either I was hungry or […]

Eh Types: The Dogs of Ford

The term “dog whistle politics” refers to politicians making a public statement, which also has a deliberate unspoken message for a targeted group of supporters. Like a real dog whistle, what they’re actually saying is something only meant for certain ears. It is a despicable tactic the Ford borthers have employed for quite some time. […]

Things Are Good: ArtsVote Toronto Mayoral Debate Monday 29th

The Toronto municipal election is happening next month and this coming Monday there will be a debate between mayoral candidates regarding support for arts and culture. Hosted by ArtsVote at the TIFF Lightbox, the candidates will answer questions from culture leaders in the city. Each candidate will be able to discuss their plan for the future of culture in the city.

The best part is that the moderator is Damian Abraham from the band Fucked Up!

Date: Monday, September 29 Time: 12:00 – 2:00 PM Location: Cinema One, TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King Street West (map) Tickets: free general admission seating. Box (Read more…)

Autonomy For All: Ranked Balloting (Toronto) Primer: This Needs to Happen

In 2013, City Council voted 25-16 in favour of a motion that (among other things) asked the province to implement legislation authorizing ranked balloting (or “instant runoff voting” – IRV) for municipal elections in Toronto.  Since then, the re-elected Liberals included a specific promise to implement such legislation for all Ontario municipalities.

What Is It?

Quite simply, instead of just picking one candidate to vote for, you rank them in order of your preference. The winner needs to get 50% + 1 of the vote. Everyone’s first choice selections are counted first, if no candidate gets over 50% of (Read more…)

Eh Types: Our City, Our Choice

Today doctors at Mt. Sinai hospital will update Toronto on the health of Rob Ford. There are reasons to think the news will not be good, perhaps even gravely so. If the diagnosis from doctors is as bad as it could be given what we do know, the question is not how the Fords will […]

Joe Fantauzzi: Post-Democratic Trend Lines in Etobicoke

Since news broke of the decision by Toronto mayor candidate Rob Ford to step away from the mayor’s race and be replaced by his brother Doug the term “feudal” has been thrown around a lot. The argument quite often associated with the use of this term generally appears to be that the Ford family is treating Etobicoke […]

Eh Types: Dangerous Games

I have called Rob Ford a coward. I have a criticized his politics, his ability to govern, and his morals or lack there of. I have made jokes about his inability to do math or tell the truth. I may have used the phrase “serial liar with ties to gangs & drugs” more times then […]

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: A Treasure Trove

A recent trip to Toronto to see family and friends – and celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary – also netted me a treasure trove of books, thanks to the proximity of a new/used BMV bookstore to our hotel. And, of course, Susan’s patience while I browsed the shelves. Several times. I managed to find a […]

Autonomy For All: The Ford Family Political Machine

The recent switch of Doug for Rob in the Mayor’s race, and Rob for Michael in the Ward 2 race is in a sense shocking, but not surprising. Speculation about this possibility had existed for some time.  I see outraged talk about “feudalism” and family dynasties.  Good.  It’s been apparent that the Fords were always about setting up a bona fide old style “Tammany Hall” political machine in Toronto.  Consider: The radio show on CFRB 1010.  This was far underestimated by digital/online types in its significance.  Ford had a multi-hour open mic to the (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Rob Ford statement on dropping out of Toronto mayoral race

The scandal-plagued mayor dropped his bid for a second term at the helm of Canada’s largest city after being hospitalized with an abdominal tumor on Wednesday.

The post Rob Ford statement on dropping out of Toronto mayoral race appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Eh Types: Our Loss, Not His

The problem when you commit to “politics in full sentences” is you find out how many people don’t read. David Soknacki’s campaign was best known for well thought out, detailed and bold policy ideas, usually on important issues most candidates failed to address. In other words you can see what went wrong. As Torontoist so […]

Progressive Proselytizing: Olivia Chow loses when the race is about Rob Ford

On paper, the Toronto Mayoral race should be a cakewalk for the NDP’s Olivia Chow. Consider, it is down to two conservatives who will split votes on the right and a single progressive on the left, from a city who has previously had the political makeup to elect NDP candidates like David Miller. Indeed, part of the failure of the left in the 2010 race was because of vote splitting on the left that not only won’t hurt the left, it now hurts the right.  But of course, it isn’t any two conservatives, it is a generic fill-in-the-blank conservative in John (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Progressive Proselytizing: Olivia Chow loses when the race is about Rob Ford

Autonomy For All: Sadly, Tying Property Taxes To Inflation Is Progress

Earlier in the Mayoral campaign, with the unsurprising exception of Ford, the other four (then) “major” candidates (Chow, Stintz, Tory, Soknacki) solidified their positions on property taxes around a general consensus that such taxes should match inflation.

A number of people whose views I respect have written some thoughtful pieces on how this is bad public policy: Matt Elliott argues that aggregate measures of inflation like the consumer price index can often be poor guides to what kinds of uncontrollable price increases city operating budgets may face, necessitating a larger-than-CPI tax increase just to maintain existing services.  Cityslikr took (Read more…)