Braying from Ford gallery
Regarding the firing of TTC chief general manager Gary Webster, simply for doing his job (NOW, February 23-29).
There's an old song from the 18th century, The Vicar Of Bray, about a clergyman whose religious convictions switch back and forth with each change of the monarchy - from the divine right of kings to Catholicism and back to Protestantism.
In the last verse he declares, "For in my faith and loyalty I never more will falter / And George my lawful king shall be - until the times do alter / And this is law, I will maintain / Until my dying day, sir / That whatsoever king shall reign / Still I'll be the Vicar of Bray, sir." Do we want a civil service composed entirely of Vicars of Bray?
Road tolls - accept it
Most Torontonians hate Ford. So do I, but doing the opposite of what he wants is not clear thinking.
Gary Webster should have been fired a long time ago. Ford's mistake was canning him because of politics.
The cheaper LRT way is, well, just the cheaper way. Subways are good; Ford's plan is bad. Road tolls, folks - accept it and stop whining.
They pay for good roads and subways. Most big cities around the world have tolls. Car drivers want to abuse but not pay. Toronto will never be a world-class city without subways and, yes, some LRT.
Ford toadies hypocrites, too
Regarding Ford's toadies (NOW, February 23-29).
Three of the five identified Ford toadies on the TTC who orchestrated the removal of TTC chief general manager Gary Webster - Frank DiGiorgio, Norm Kelly and Cesar Palacio - actually voted in favour of Transit City back in 2009. Denzil Minnan-Wong was absent from the vote, and Vincent Crisanti was not a councillor at the time.
A review of the September 2009 council minutes indicates that they were joined by other Ford councillors who voted in favour of a funding request for an environmental assessment on the Eglinton Crosstown.
This provides empirical proof that these councillors are not only toadies but also hypocrites.
A less democratic TTC board
Regarding Rob Ford's crass coup (NOW Daily, February 18)
Enzo DiMatteo writes of Rob Ford's plan to remake the TTC board that it "calls for the nine-member TTC board to be replaced by five politicians and four citizen representatives."
There are already citizen representatives on the TTC. They are called "councillors" and are democratically elected by the people of Toronto. How does appointing half the board make it more democratic?
Up on Adam Giambrone
Regarding Adam Giambrone's LRTs: Better By Miles (NOW, February 16-22). Very well said.
As an employee of the TTC, I can say Giambrone led the TTC to be a fantastic place to work when he was chair. He was also a fresh new set of eyes. Morale is down since Ford took over. I see it every day becoming a terrible environment. Thanks, Ford.
I spy outrageous rhetoric
I'm appalled by Public Safety Minister Vic Toews's comments in the House of Commons last week, when he accused all Canadians who oppose the government's invasive and warrantless online spying scheme, Bill C-30, of siding with child pornographers (NOW, February 16-22). This is rhetoric of the most outrageous kind.
In fact, according to a poll by the government's own Privacy Commissioner, eight out of 10 Canadians oppose legislation that would grant "authorities" warrantless access to our private information. Even members of Toews's own party are against this costly invasion of privacy!
I encourage everyone to join the 112,000-plus Canadians who have already voiced their opposition to Bill C-30 by signing the Stop Online Spying petiton at stopspying.ca.
Thanks for giving coverage to the proposed condo developments in Mimico-by-the-Lake (NOW, February 16-22).
Unfortunately, there is an inaccuracy in the text: "Noted planner Ken Greenberg has joined residents to fight the plan."
Greenberg is misrepresented here. He made a presentation to the community meeting that emphasized what good revitalization can look like and how participation by the community can make it successful for everyone. He did note in his presentation that the "motel strip" development is not good revitalization.
Despite this concern, we continue to push for revitalization that respects the community and is aligned with the best of possibilities in city of Toronto planning policies and documents.
Bahamas, oh mama
Great, great piece by Benjamin Boles on Bahamas' Afie Jurvanen (NOW, February 16-22). Afie seems like the perfect guy to shoot the breeze with.
RIP, Hank Sinatra
It was with deep sadness that I learned of the recent passing of notable Toronto personality Michael Wheeler at his home, the Siesta Nouveaux.
Wheeler was best known as Hank of the country rock band Hank Sinatra. We love you, Hank. Heaven is your new venue.