Daily Archives: October 29, 2007

All Online Data Lost After Internet Crash


Sorry, I could not resist. Just too funny!

Breaking News: All Online Data Lost After Internet Crash

Critical of perks? Take pay cut, councillor challenges


Fed up with fellow councillors who fulminate about their pay and perks (Michael Walker, Rob Ford, come on down), Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby made them an offer last week.

In her speech on the mayor’s tax plan (she voted with the majority to approve it), Ms. Lindsay Luby waved a form for councillors so inclined to donate a percentage of their $95,000 salary to the city or hand back their $7,785.60 pay increase for 2007.

Here’s a shocker: no takers so far.

“It’s all about councillors biting each other’s backs and trying to get a headline,” says Ms. Lindsay Luby (Ward 4, Etobicoke Centre). “It’s shameful.”

For the record, Ms. Lindsay Luby will not cut her salary. “As it is, we are the lowest-paid councillors in the GTA and beyond,” she says. “I earn my pay.”

Mr. Ford (Ward 2, Etobicoke North), who cites pay and perks as examples of profligate spending at city hall, wants nothing to do with her offer, saying he already forgoes his $53,000 office budget: “I have done my part already in saving taxpayers’ money.”

During last Monday’s tax debate, Mr. Ford again needled Mayor David Miller over council perks.

“That whole argument is offensive,” Mr. Miller shot back. “To call things like office budgets, which allows [councillors] to communicate with people, a ‘perk’ is really unworthy of a member of council. … It is an essential necessity.”

The mayor could not resist a final jab at Mr. Ford, who owns a printing firm. “Frankly, not every member can own a printing plant.”

The great debate

The daylong debate on Mr. Miller’s two controversial proposed taxes last week was an anti-climax, but it contained some great examples of the Cicero-like oratory around here.

The award for best mixed metaphor goes to Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37, Scarborough Centre), who urged his fellow councillors, in going over the city budget, to “corral all of these sacred cows and put them under the microscope.”

The honour for easiest question lobbed at the mayor goes to Councillor Bill Saundercook (Ward 13, Parkdale-High Park), who, while arguing that the city should charge tolls on the Don Valley Parkway, let slip that he had no idea where the DVP (which the city controls) ended.

“Where does the DVP start?” he asked the mayor, who responded that the expressway begins south of Highway 401. “So north of it, it’s called 404?” Mr. Saundercook continued, incredulous. He then asked: “Why wouldn’t that be called DVP right to our boundaries?” You go get him, Bill.

While Michael Del Grande (Ward 39, Scarborough-Agincourt), holding up a tea bag and invoking the Boston Tea Party, did give the judges pause, the award for most boneheaded historical reference clearly goes to Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 34, Don Valley East).

“History shows that appeasement is seldom rewarded,” he warned centrist councillors supporting the mayor’s new taxes.

He would only laugh nervously when asked afterward just what history he was referring to. But we all know. And Mr. Minnan-Wong should know better than to invoke the horrors of the Second World War in a debate about a tax on land sales.

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OSX Tiger vs. Vista vs. Ubuntu Security: a 15 Point Report Card


When shopping for a new computer, your mind is probably spinning with considerations: price, reliability, speed, software capabilities, security, and other specs. Perhaps the hardest part is choosing an operating system on which everything will run. To get a good idea of what capabilities Apple’s OSX Tiger/Leopard, Windows Vista, and Ubuntu Linux have to offer, check out our 15 point report card that compares the levels of protection you’ll get with each of them.

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What goes around comes around?


I am a fan of the Toronto Island Airport. I like the idea of flying out of the downtown Toronto area, using a convenient connection to places like Ottawa, Montreal and points beyond. I also like the Porter Airline concept, along with the use of Q400Canadian technology in the Q400 from Bombardier. I believe that as long as there is not a “quick and convenient” connection to Pearson International or a direct link to Hamilton International, then the airport must stay for the time being. I will not get into the idea of why no one has considered Buttonville Airport, with some type of direct link to downtown or finally completing the Pickering Airport first. That is a topic for another day! Porter Airlines said it has gone to court to try to break up the ties between Jazz Air and Air Canada. Porter airlines has been flying, for a year, out of Toronto Island airport. Now let’s get through the smoke-screen and look at this closely. Is something else going on? I’ve always liked the underdog story; however I think Porter has some larger issues now, not the making of their own. Or are they? Remember that Jazz was essentially “kicked out” of the Toronto Island. Now, SAS has cut 57 flights after grounding all Q400 aircraft. SAS operates on Danish and Swedish domestic routes, as well as European routes. Of course I do not think that there is anything wrong with the Q400. However, that is not a scientific assessment. One has to wonder, with all of the Q400 craft around the world, why has SAS experienced 3 landing gear problem issues in the last 3 months? This has to be investigated. However, Porter will now have arrows flying at them from all directions now. There will be groups and vested interest groups calling for the grounding of Porter. It really does not matter what we think about the Island airport. However I am curious, if the landing gear failed, on landing at Toronto Island airport, would they get out safely or get waterlogged? In addition, if this lawsuit fails, Porter’s days may be numbered in Toronto. However, with all of the backroom deals, bridge construction issues and obvious manipulation of whomever “got dibs” at the Toronto Island airport you really just have to say. “What goes around comes around, eh!”

By: Andy MJ
a.k.a. ‘The G.T.A Patriot”
Toronto, Ontario


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Toronto revitalized waterfront and its gaseous beauty!


Portlands Energy CentreIt’s amazing but little press has been given to the large natural gas power-plant being built on Toronto’s “revitalized waterfront”. It should be a sight to hold; attracting visitors from all around the world to “behold its beauty and awe”. With its large smoke stacks and geometric design, it should fit in well with Toronto’s new renaissance. There was little to no debate on its installation. We were told that “it would be there”, end of story. Not much in terms of public consultation. And if there was any, what choice did we have anyway. It will be called “The Portland Energy Centre”. It will be a shinning beckon of light and inspiration for Toronto’s waterfront! Can you sense my sarcasm?

By: Andy MJ
a.k.a “The G.T.A Patriot”
Toronto, Ontario

 

Read an article from the Toronto Star
http://www.thestar.com/News/GTA/article/270659

Weekend Lakeshore West GO Train service extended starting October 28


Starting Sunday, October 28 weekend train trips will now start and end at Aldershot GO Station, rather than Oakville GO Station. The extension offers new weekend service for Bronte and Appleby passengers. This is a big improvement and gain for G.T.A residents. On weekends one can now take trips from Oshawa to Burlington. Hopefully, this is permanent and at some point maybe all-day service to Hamilton will begin. We can only hope that further improvements start to appear on other GO transit lines around the Greater Toronto Area.


For more information, on the changes, go to the GO Transit website.