Trashing the Gardiner Expressway is a garbage idea

Car-haters can’t stand the fact that people will forever drive private vehicles because it’s just too inconvenient to do many things on public transit

By Frank Touby –

Did Adam Vaughan get hit over the head on the Gardiner-privatization question? That’s the very possible explanation that Etobicoke Councillor & Mayoral Puppeteer Doug Ford gave for the Ward 20 councillor’s unseemly proposal to pull a Mike Harris and sell off the rights to tax drivers on the Gardiner Expressway.

Instantly after making this comment, Doug’s media handler cut in and cut off the councillor’s further remarks. Here’s what Doug said: “Maybe [Vaughan] got hit over the head over the weekend, maybe a coconut fell on his head and he realized, ‘Hey, the only way I can get things going …’” before his media guy cut off reporters’ questions.

It was a smart media-guy move to shut Doug up before he stepped on his wang and suggested there is anything intrinsically wrong and disordered in privatizing the commons for the benefit of corporate buddies.

After all, his brother, Associate-Mayor Rob Ford, has been converting the commons to his personal use almost since donning the chain of office. Whether it’s trying to convert some of a public park into an extension of his Etobicoke estate, to causing paying TTC passengers to be offloaded so their bus could be re-routed to pick up Rob’s hobby-team and ride them home safe from the rain, Rob considers our commons uncommonly his.

As for Vaughan’s dip of his foot into the pond of privatization, it is unseemly. Sure, there should be a toll for driving on the Gardiner. But to take that government responsibility and flog it off to private operators is corrupt. How about privatizing our jails? They’re the commons, too.

Why not sell off our public buildings and rent them back from the corporations that snatch them up?

One expects Tories and today’s Liberals to do that, because it’s so wrong. We don’t expect a councillor who campaigns as a progressive to offer such corrupt nonsense, even if it is in the service of funding transportation services that should, in any modern nation, be funded by senior governments.

So Adam had a brain twitch…we pray…and not a revolution of thought.

Robbie has actually held the high ground on subways. He’s right, of course: subways are the way to go and if you don’t start sometime, you’ll never get them, which is the story to this day.

Though Adam is among those who hope that if you build trains on city streets the cars will disappear, nobody really believes that. Cars are here to stay unless we’re all so impoverished that we are forced to haul heavy bundles onto public transit.

City hall and Downtown councillors under the abominable David Miller deserve turd bombs for letting the Gardiner fall into disrepair in silent hope of killing it.

There are progressive ways of dealing with it. Build a roof over it to prevent snow-clearing, which causes the most expensive damage. A garden roof is one appealing idea. Designer Peter Michno had some interesting notions about a Gardiner fix involving glass tubes around it.

Save the Gardiner. We need it. Visit and blog about it.