Tag Archives: Ford

The “One City” 30-year plan possibly 20-years too late?


English: "Transit City" billboard pr...

English: “Transit City” billboard promoting proposed LRT expansion in Toronto by the TTC (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ford says “No”, and Karen says “Yes”! Most Torontonians know we need subways and better transit. We need a proper transit system in Toronto and transit is a smart investment. I was amazed to see how bad transit is in Toronto, when I attempted to make a simple trip on the roads the other day. To travel on Eglinton, from Wynford to Warden, took approximately 20-30 minutes, and I thought I was taking a short-cut. On another day I got off the 401 and got stuck on York Mills. I could not believe how many cars were on the road.  I understand why people are stressed. Drivers are upset in traffic, it makes sense. Trips that should take 10-15 minutes are now taking 45 minutes to an hour. There is not even a proper strategy for bicyclist downtown.

So what to do now? Well we have ‘another’ new 30-year transit plan. I have some news for our politicians, and I will keep it simple. We don’t have 30-years! I think we actually only have 10 years, max 15. We need shovels in the ground now and some out of the box ideas.

1. GO Transit has lines and tracks crossing through the city. Keep it simple! We need trains running on these lines in minimum 20-30 minute intervals; both ways, not in one direction downtown. Let’s utilize some of the infrastructure that exists and make it better.

2. Open up David Millers original Transit City plan and do more. Lets enhance that plan and fix what needs to be fixed. Get it done! No more long-term plans. Let’s get the maximum value out of the plans we have.

3. Let’s get a downtown “No Frills” relief line for Toronto. It does not have to be fancy. There are under-utilized CP/CN lines in the city. Put something on them and get people moving! In Ottawa they created a line on a single track, with track switching on certain portions of the line. It was not fancy, but they got it done.

4. Where are the BRT‘s and bike networks? Lets use our hydro corridors for BRT’s and a proper bike network.

5. Let’s get inventive and use Lake Ontario to move people to downtown Toronto, between Oshawa, Bowmanville, Hamilton and more.

6. Possibly re-visit Leslie as a relief to the Don Valley Parkway, maybe even using it for transit. We don’t need a massive change, but when we get to Eglinton somehow connect the road to the Bayview extension via a tunnel or via the valley in a creative fashion.

7. Merge transit across the city and lets get Presto implemented everywhere! Should Metrolinx be in charge of the entire transit system across the G.T.A?

We have to stop saying Torontonians, and G.T.A residents, cannot afford new taxes. I don’t like them either, but I don’t like to see people idling their cars. I don’t like stress. It’s pointless, if we know the solution to a better and healthier city. We do not need fancy, we just need to move! We know something must be done, so let’s get it done now; not 30 years down the road. It’s nice to have a plan, but we have had too many since the Liberal Peterson Government. We need transit in 10-15 years, not 30.

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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Boeing Successful Hydrogen Engine Test Shows Future of Aviation


Boeing has successfully completed tests for the engine that will power HALE, the extreme endurance plane that will be able to fly for seven days non-stop in the stratosphere. The wünderengine—developed by the Ford Motor Company—went for three days under a simulated 65,000-feet flight, which is definitely better than a Taurus.

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