Flip-flopping mayoral candidate Jane Pitfield might switch positions at the scent of new votes in the wind, but don't be fooled by her johnny-come-lately support for populist positions. There are some dangerous policies lurking deep in that purse of hers. Here are some of the many reasons Pitfield shouldn't get your vote.
SHE WANTS TO BURN YOUR TRASH
She might refer to incineration euphemistically as "energy from waste," but can you trust a politician who gets all her info on this technology from industry advocates? Try talking to European environmentalists, Jane. They'll tell you that even low levels of dangerous emissions can make people sick. Of course, Pitfield doesn't live anywhere near likely incineration sites, so she's not worried.
SHE TRIED TO BAN PANHANDLING
Fortunately, in September councillors who were clearly familiar with the Charter Of Rights And Freedoms shot down Pitfield's motion to ban aggressive panhandling. Not one to let a bad idea die, she's still pushing this one. Did we mention she's the former chair of the city's advistory committee on homeless and socially isolated persons? Obviously, she didn't work that position to create affordable housing in her ward, where no units have been built in years and and no shelter beds are available, according to the Wellesley Institute's Blueprint To End Homelessness. This when nearly 28 per cent in her ward are living in poverty.
SHE LOVES HER SUV
She tells us she loves to bike, but Pitfield drives to work every day in an SUV. No wonder the councillor cries foul over the potential assault on car commuters every time someone mentions tearing down the Gardiner. And did we mention she's voted against budget increases for bike lanes again and again and again? As works committee chair, Pitfield chipped away at the funding, size and time frame for Car-Free Day 2005 until it finally died.
SHE'S NO FRIEND OF WORKER RIGHTS
You can't get less "of-the-people" than Pitfield. This is a woman who's clearly never worked a crappy job under an abusive boss, which is obvious from her op-ed stating, "We are past the time when unions are needed to protect workers from deplorable working conditions." Tell that to all the people in this city working under the table for four bucks an hour. Pitfield also proposed that the city dump unionized staff and contract out city services instead, then backpedalled on calls to decertify those unions.
SHE THINKS MONEY GROWS ON TREES
Pitfield's property tax freeze promise is especially loopy considering she voted for hikes in five of the last six years. Now she won't even account for small increases in line with inflation. Like, hello? Wasn't she on the city's budget committee? One inch from tax revolt territory, she's still pushing big-ticket promises like rolling out 2 kilometres of subway lines a year.
SHE LIKES HER JUSTICE VIGILANTE-STYLE
She might peg David Miller as soft on crime, but part of Pitfield's strategy for tackling last summer's shooting wave was to lay out a welcome mat for Guardian Angel imports. (She even helped them get the paperwork together for an Angels graduation ceremony.) Sorry, Jane, but do you really think a few swaggering boys in berets will lower our crime rate? Oh, wait, gun-related murders are already down 47 per cent this year, so I guess Miller's strategy ain't such a dud after all.
SHE'S A TORY IN SHEEP's CLOTHING
Pitfield swore to NOW that she's no conservative - quite a knee-slapper, because just last year she conceded that she was giving serious thought to running as a Conservative MPP. She's also endorsed PC leader John Tory.
OTHER FLIP-FLOPS AND BLUNDERS
- she voted for the St. Clair right-of-way, but now opposes it
- voted in favour of buying the Green Lane landfill but, oops, turns out that one was an accident and she wanted to switch her vote
- voted against increased childcare subsidies
- voted against an inquiry into the MFP scandal