By Frank Touby –
For a band of so-called socialists, David Miller and his council followers are looking an awful lot like neocons. They’re falling in bed with big business at every turn. Take a gander at this monstrous scheme to tear down the Gardiner Expressway at a cost of $1 billion.
True, they predict it will “only” cost $300 million, but going by the Sky Dome rule of thumb, any municipal cost prediction will run in reality at least triple the estimate. Ignore the fact that this pack of dreamers can’t even keep the sidewalks clean or the streets in good repair, to mention but a few of their shortfalls. And overlook the financial crisis in which the city has been kept by the McGuinty regime which fails to correct the rape of the Mike Harris years. These councilors are ever eager to hand over megabucks to huge construction corporations and their suppliers to break what should be fixed.
On top of it all, council’s leading lights then voted an extra $100 million (code word: $30 mil) to rip down the spaghetti bowl at the Yonge-Bay Gardiner exit. “A no-brainer,” declared Pam McConnell. So true.
And, of course another brainless aspect is that even if the Gardiner is pulled down, the city won’t be a single inch closer to the waterfront because Lake Shore Blvd. and the railway tracks will still be in the way. No brainer. Then look at this next gift to big business.
Ever forgetful of the maxim that if you sell something it’s never again your property, Miller gleefully applauded cityowned Toronto Hydro releasing into the claws of a band of blood-suckers—who are knighted by the CRTC to rob us blind—our newly created network of wireless hot spots around the city.
In this case it was Cogeco Cable who landed the goodie, which is not to say anything negative about Cogeco itself. It may be a fine operator. But the city’s wi-fi network is now in the hands of CRTC “regulated” corporations and Cogeco could sell it some day to another.
Telecoms, cable companies, broadcasters and the like slurp our blood off the monopolies granted by CRTC. A licence to print money. A licence to charge outrageous fees for extra “services” or “features” that often cost them nothing extra to provide.
Yet Toronto could have had wi-fi as a valuable public utility, just as it has power and water. Ideally telephones and cellphones would also become public utilities rather than cash cows for the anointed corporations. (Either that, or let’s get scores more competitors to make communications a real business rather than a monopoly.) Instead, the “socialists” at city hall swapped a public utility for a quick slap at fixing a very few Toronto Community Housing Corp. dwellings with the proceeds and congratulating themselves for their shortsightedness. That’s an expense the province, which downloaded broken apartment buildings onto the city, should be paying.
Dumber yet, Miller happily proclaimed that there will be some more city assets going to the corporations. All this for a quick burst of money our pampered councilors will almost as quickly burn. Once you sell something, it’s no longer yours. When it’s a city asset, it’s no longer ours.
To make things ever more idiotic, our “socialists” can’t wait to plump up big business in their lusts to destroy traffic. After all, who is it really benefiting when monster projects like streetcar lines and railway tracks are slapped on city streets? I wonder if there’s an entire gravel pit in the Niagara Escarpment dedicated just to gouging out aggregate for all the concrete these characters pour into our streets.
Automobiles won’t always be a polluting evil. Looming in the future, perhaps quite soon, when individual means of travel and commuting are non-polluting and energy efficient, clogging traffic with needlessly disruptive forms of public transit will be seen as short sighted. Sweating masses of commuters herded into sleek-looking cattle cars on rails will be a thing of the unenlightened past.