War Zone

Toronto, Ontario, Canada is not generally considered a war zone, and our politics are not nearly as amusing / appalling as the Republican Primaries. However, to paraphrase Leonard Cohen, we do have our comforts in Toronto.

Our mayor stormed into office with the announcement that “the war on the car is over”. Flummoxed councillors and civil servants believed him. Great transit plans were shelved. Unfundable (Sheppard extension) subways were deemed funded, from mysterious private sources that failed to materialize. Large penalties for contract cancellations were invoked.

Then our mayor set out to find, and remove, all that gravy he claimed was in the city system. No luck. Consultants were hired who also could not find much. One letter to the editor of the Star claimed that the gravy was in fact in the tiers of civil servant management. This was ignored. However Mayor Ford’s surreal grasp of civic finances finally led his Transit commissioner to, in effect, try to revert to the original plans for Toronto transit – Transit City, et cetera.

The results were predictable. Rather than back down on cuts, our mayor Ford went to a vote and lost it in council. He will probably lose on transit as well. A legal opinion has been obtained that says he can’t actually cancel Transit City; he needs council to do that. Council has become recalcitrant.

Today, Toronto Council is effectively at war. It could be named,

The war on the Fords. {8;^>}

addendum, February 1, 2012. Apparently council blindsided the TTC chair. It is unclear who has power and control. It is possible that the half-cocked, absurdly expensive, all-subway and not-all funded Ford vision might prevail. It that happens,

the war on the Fords is over. {8;^<}

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