Tag Archives: Greg Sorbara

Everything is proceeding as the Liberals has foreseen


 

Everything is proceeding as Dalton McGuinty had foreseen”. John Tory was supposed to lead Ontario‘s Progressive Conservatives to certain victory over the “supposed” dark side; however he led them instead to a resounding defeat. Emperor Dalton McGuinty became the province’s first Liberal leader in 70 years to claim a second straight majority government. Albeit, one has to wonder; did John Tory simply not stand a chance against the political dark elements of deception, manipulation and down right Liberal political experience and know how? The Liberal engine is experienced; they knew what the electorate was prepared to talk about and what they did not want to hear. Elections are not for issues because in reality we only like comfort and ease. We like to know that everything is alright and under control. Only an all encompassing “Provincial Empire” can achieve this stability in Ontario and we gladly allowed it. Progressive Conservatives, and others, in Ontario thought that John Tory would have brought ‘A New Hope’ to the “integral deficit” that now exists among politicians; however the imperial forces of the Liberals got their way.

As such, the seasoned Liberals (lets give our due to the Liberals – they know how to run a campaign, like it or not) knew what to do and perhaps, over-confident conservatives thought that they had the upper hand. But with a strong economy and positive outlook, I assure you, the Liberals were quite safe. It did not take much to “scare” Ontarians into voting for the status quo. Now, on radio and media outlets, they are talking about the “real” issues, that were never brought up during the election. Unfortunately, John Tory and the PC party left Ontarians defenseless to it and our journey to the “Liberal Side” was completed! “The Progressive Conservatives and their feeble skills was just no match for the power of the Liberal side of the force! Ontarians allowed our Emperor Dalton to use their own aggressive and hostile feelings to focus on the faith-based school issue; essentially allowing fear and trepidation flow freely. Dalton and the Liberals felt that fear and knew how to use it. You would think that Ontarians would have not allowed one issue to dominate the election, but it did. Our radio and media outlets participated in the mix that focused us all on that one issue. Now that fear, along with hate, has made ‘Emperor McGuinty’ more powerful then we could ever imagine; fulfilling the destiny of a second term.

So now, Ontarians, we selected another path. One that we think is certain, stable and safer, but is it? Dalton led a smart and clean campaign; showing himself on television, always telling Ontarians what he would do. He always said “we can do better” and “there is more work to be done”. Your compassion for him led you to vote overwhelmingly for the Liberals. And those of you who hated the faith-based school funding issue, allowed yourselves to be used by simply not showing up to vote. This will be our undoing and in the end we will pay the price (that’s called taxes, if you haven’t gotten it already…) for our lack of vision!

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

NEWS FLASH: The Imperial House of Commons will no longer be of any concern to Ontarians. We have just received word that the Emperor has dissolved elections permanently. No point anyway since only half of Ontarians bother to get out of there house and vote anyway. The last remnants of the “OldRepublic” of Ontario have been swept away. The regional Mayors, (David Miller and others) now have direct control over their territories, using the template of the “City of Toronto Act”. Fear will keep the locals in line. Hasn’t it always?


The Ontario Imperial  House of Commons

P.S. OKAY! I’m having little political fun with my love for Star Wars!

Finance Minister Greg Sorbara announces he won’t stay in McGuinty cabinet


Regardless on how you feel about Greg Sorbara, he will be greatly missed from the Liberal cabinet. They have lost an extremely intelligent and expereinced person. Unfortunately, now Dalton McGuinty will have to quickly replace the Finance Minister with a new MPP. It will interesting to see who he decides to replace him with on Tuesday.

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

Read more from the Canadian Press below:

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http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5hqzB500l7TuNJjTFRfJxc7IRPqZg

Greg Sorbara, Ontario’s long-term finance minister and chairman of the Liberal Party’s successful election campaign, surprised political observers Friday by announcing that he does not want to be in the new cabinet Premier Dalton McGuinty will announce on Tuesday.

Just two weeks after the Liberal government was elected in the Ontario party’s first back-to-back majority in 70 years, the 61-year-old former lawyer and businessman said he has heard the clock ticking and that he wants to spend more time with his large family.

“There just comes a time when one hears the clock ticking a little bit, and I have realized over the course of these past seven years how much of my energy, how much of my spirit, has been devoted to this enterprise,” an emotional Sorbara said, as his wife Kate stood by his side.

“I was less willing to acknowledge how the other part of my life, and in a sense the the most important part of my life, was not receiving that kind of attention.”

Sorbara, who said he will continue to represent his constituents in his Vaughan-area riding north of Toronto from the backbenches, joked that his grandchildren need to learn how to throw a baseball.

“I have six kids and each of them have partners, and their lives are so interesting and so attractive to me, and, yet, I can get little snippets of them,” Sorbara said.

read more | digg story

Merging the TTC and GO under GTTA control?


The Toronto Star, CityTV (Breakfast Television) and other media outlets are reporting that the TTC maybe “high-jacked” by the Liberal Government of Ontario, which may have been secretly planned all along. Rumors are flying high that the TTC may be taken over by the Government of Ontario and merged with GO Transit, under the umbrella of the GTTA (Greater Toronto Transit Authority). Many have believed that this would eventually happen, since the TTC has become so large and important to the welfare of the GTA that it may have become just too large for the City of Toronto to handle. Of course speculation is that this may have been their plans all along. Many have wondered, for a while now, why the province was so adamant on expanding the TTC into Vaughan, and beyond, when it seem illogical for Toronto to care on managing transit into the other regions of Toronto. Greg Sorbara, one of the proponents of the plan, tied up funds to ensurCity Halle that the expansion into Vaughan took place. If this is the case it may have simply been the master plan of the province. Now the Liberal Government has a majority and there would be no stopping them from doing this. Of course this is only rumored, however one has to wonder if this was not the plan, than why bother with the GTTA? The Metropass has passed the mythical bar of $100, now costing $109 dollars. With the TTC complaining about funding, almost every year, the province may simply believe that the TTC is just too much for the City of Toronto to handle, removing control of the Toronto symbol from David Millers hands.

Ironically, moving the control of the TTC to the province would allow Toronto to better balance their books, now that council passed the new taxes. In some ways it would seem that the province may have been waiting for the results. Or it maybe a simple choice of choosing what they feel is best. We know that the Liberal government, although they promised, has not uploaded services that were downloaded during the Mike Harris years. What would happen if the province simply decides to take control of the TTC, covering all costs and leave everything else as is? Would, removing the TTC from Toronto’s books balance the budget? It definitely would help, however how would service be affected? Would the province run the service as is, or run it like GO Transit? Would they merge services with GO Transit? Would they start Zone fares? Would you be able to jump on the “GO” and then to the TTC seamlessly? There are hosts of unanswered questions. Or, is it time for the TTC to simply grow up?

TTC StreetcarThe TTC is a Toronto icon, from the storied streetcars of yesteryear to the way the subways were originally created along Yonge Street. I will not go into a rant about the TTC not being able to innovate and change the way they do business. The TTC, unlike other transit systems across North America, receives little Federal funding for operating costs. However, at least the Federal government did kick in the needed funding for the extension of the subway to Vaughan (ill-conceived, but done nonetheless). If this really does happen then some of the moves the government made, along with their promises for Move2020, would make sense. What we should debate is whether this is a good idea or a bad one? I am not sure if this is a good or bad idea, but do not be too quick to jump on the bandwagon? Does the province understand the needs of Malvern, King Street West, Don Mills, North Etobicoke or the Beaches? What about those routes that do not make a lot of money? Will they be continued or operate like other jurisdictions? Do they think streetcars or buses are more important? Do they care to support the “Transit City” initiative or Subway expansion? What does this mean for the YRT and VIVA? How about Mississauga Transit? These are all unanswered questions, which Torontonians, and GTA residents, should think about and want answers to. What maybe good for Markham, Vaughan, Mississauga and others, may not be good for Toronto, and so visa versa. The debate on merging the TTC with GO, and surrounding systems, has been going on for years, with pros and cons on both sides. This was not on the table during the last provincial election; however loosing the TTC may be the evolution of progress or the greatest public transit “coup” ever conceived by the Province of Ontario.

Read more news from the Toronto Star Article, below.
http://www.thestar.com/News/Ontario/article/269896


Andy MJ
a.k.a. “The G.T.A Patriot”

Toronto, Ontario

Time to get more use out of the Sheppard Subway line and go west?


To be honest, I love subways and I have a bit of a bias towards the Sheppard Subway line. I have always believed that if the subway was completed, or at least ½ done, than it would have never been considered as an option to close or shut down, in the Toronto tax crunch. I still blame the Harris “conservatives” for their shortsighted plan to fill in the Eglinton West Subway dig, which was already well under way. Along with the plan to offer a no frills Sheppard subway line, stopping it at Don Mills, rather than the obvious Victoria Park, or even better yet Warden Avenue in Scarborough. Regardless, what was done is done and we have a subway that needs finishing. However, there maybe a better plan, that has not been considered. The fact is that the Sheppard line exists and it needs to be completed. One of the transportation issues, I have found, in the city is the lack of an east-west line across the top of the city. Now that the Liberal Government has decided that the subway will go to Vaughan; even though I feel that it should only go to York University for now, consideration should be given to the idea of completing the Sheppard Subway westwards and then curving the Sheppard line north-west to York University and beyond. It was pointed out to me by ‘Cal’, from the Toronto LRT information blog,

“that extending the Sheppard line west to Downsview then up to York U/Steeles may be a better use of the money in terms of providing a more useful connection and making the Sheppard line more useful.”

In addition, the Sheppard Subway lines signaling system and design are based on newer technology, which would allow greater flexibility in the operation of trains (I.e. driver-less subway cars, the possibility of multiple lines, operations in different directions, etc…). It has already been stated that millions (maybe more) would have to be spent to upgrade the Yonge-University and Spadina lines. If this is the case, why not simply complete the Sheppard line westwards, along Sheppard Avenue and then northwards? Along Sheppard we would only need a stop at Bathurst, for now and since the trains are only 4 cars long, for now the platforms could be a bit smaller (in terms of the amount of people using the line). In addition, albeit maybe a bit of pie in the sky thinking, but we could also consider imploring some New York Subway style options in the northern part of Toronto. I remember at one point, before the EA (Environment Assessment) was completed for the Spadina line to York University one of the Toronto councilors wanted the line to go along Finch westwards towards Jane & Finch and beyond, due to the high-density in the area.We all know that the TTC will not send all trains north into Vaughan. I believe that it will be every third train; however I could be wrong (anyone can update me on that one to correct me on the intervals). This means that there will need to be a larger trail-track or interchange at either the Steeles or YorkUniversity stations. If this is the case, why not send one portion northwards into Vaughan and the other westwards along Finch or better yet , using a cheaper option, the Finch Hydro corridor into Etobicoke and beyond, using a Sheppard-Vaughan-Finch line instead? This is just an idea; however I would hope that Toronto officials and the provincial government would think outside the box a bit and complete the Sheppard line. It’s just an idea, but I hope that the Sheppard line put to better use.You will notice that I am not advocating going eastwards to Scarborough Town Centre. I just believe that if we can “kill two birds with one stone”, than lets use the Sheppard Line to complete Greg Sorbara’s dream of a subway to Vaughan and get a little more use out of the subway. I am a big believer in portions of the “Transit City” plan, offered by the City of Toronto. I just feel that we need to somehow finish or put Sheppard to better use. Of course I would have preferred an LRT, for Sheppard in the past, but that was said and done (no sense crying over split milk). If we have no choice, in getting a line to YorkUniversity than why not maximize what we can do for the city, now? Once the Sheppard-Vaughan-Finch line is completed, then we can end this argument and stain on Toronto’s past. We can then move onto using LRT, light-rail and other forms of technology to move people around the Greater Toronto Area. The unfortunate thing is politics, may again get in the way or progress. I can only hope that officials in charge will do the right thing.

By: Andy MJ
a.k.a “The GTA Patriot”
Toronto, Ontario

Invest in transit now, not later


In reading the history of Toronto and the TTC, high investments were made in public transit, which helped the TTC become one of the top transit systems in North America. However during an episode of the Agenda with Steve Paikin, which airs on TVO, one of the panelists mentioned that we need to make investments in transit now, not later. He pointed to the fact that Toronto’s population was at the size of the Mississauga’s, Brampton’s and York Region’s of today and they were digging subway infrastructure. Fast forward to today and places like Mississauga, Brampton, Durham and York Region are bursting at the seams and there is no talk of subways or light-rail. With the Move 2020 plan, the Liberals essentially promised to build pretty much everything that was, and is, on the books. I am not sure I believe that the 17+ billion dollars will be spent (this is Dalton McGuinty); however I do hope that this plan has been carefully thought out. How do these plans help to move large amounts of people quickly and defiantly? Should we not be talking about subways and LRT’s for places like Mississauga and Brampton? We have band-aid solutions now, like the Viva bus service and ideas for BRT right-of-ways, but what about heavy investment in transit. What purpose does bringing the TTC service to Vaughan serve? YRT/VIVA should concentrate on building service for York region, not only relying on Toronto. People do not necessarily head only to downtown now. Hurontario, in Mississauga, would be perfect for an underground subway. Where are the brave politicians, like the days of the old TTC guard, who will make the investment in public transit? If we continue to move down this ‘slow’ path, the Greater Toronto Area will eventually come to a stand-still. We do not need personal political projects that ensure politicians get elected. We need some brave individuals that we put their reputation on the line and do the right thing. Let the people in the know, use their knowhow and get the transit job done for GTA residents now, not later.

By: Andy MJ
a.k.a “The GTA Patriot”
Toronto, Ontario

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty says controversial grant indicates problems


Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty conceded Friday there are problems with a government spending program that saw $200,000 shipped to a group headed by two senior Liberal party activists, including one candidate in the upcoming election.

McGuinty said his government was going to “have to take a look” at the program which, despite doling out approximately $32 million over the past two years, according to records, has neither a formal application process nor any selection criteria. In fact, the program does not even have a name.

It was under those circumstances that the Iranian-Canadian Community Centre received the $200,000 cash grant only three weeks after registering in March 2006. The charitable organization, initially categorized under “protection of animals,” was later changed to “recreation, playgrounds and vacation camps.”

The group lists its mailing address as the law office of charity director David Farmani, Liberal riding association president for Richmond Hill.

Reza Moridi, the Liberal candidate in the same riding is listed as another director. A third director, Bohran Fouladi, is a longtime acquaintance of Finance Minister Greg Sorbara.

“I think we can do a better job and I think that we have to do a better job,” McGuinty told reporters Friday. “We’re going to have to look at it.”

read more | digg story

The Sheppard subway sandwich that Mel ordered!


One of the lasting legacies for Mel Lastman is the Sheppard Subway. I actually wanted the subway to be built, however not in its present form. If it actually had been completed or better yet extended westwards, along with the completion to Scarborough Town Centre and beyond, things would have been better. Alas, a Mike Harris conservative government, without any foresight and vision killed what could have been a great cross-town subway line. My feelings are that the Sheppard Subway could have been an excellent LRT line. This was an option, back when they were deciding on cutting costs to the Sheppard Subway. I believe that Howard Moscoe was one of the councilors proposing this, but was summarily shot down. It could have been a great option. Underground stations, maybe at Leslie, Don Mills and Yonge; along with a centre right-of-way LRT would have been perfect. A cheaper option would have been to use the Finch Hydro corridor, since a majority of people were traveling from points in Scarborough. However, the real problem is interference from politicians. Until we remove them from play we will end of with projects like this. Don’t get me started on the Greg Sorbara subway to Vaughan. York University would have been good enough for now. That money could fund more then ½ of all the LRT projects on the books. Let people who know what to do, do it. Let’s get politicians out of the way of progress. We do not need another Sheppard Subway. Albeit, what is done is done, it MUST be finished. Otherwise, what was the point? Same is the dumb idea to fill up the Eglinton Line dig, when a large portion of it was already dug. But then again, that wasn’t the subway Mel built? We ordered two 12 inch subs, with everything on it. However, Mike Harris only gave us enough for the Tuesday special.

By: Andy MJ
a.k.a “The GTA Patriot”
Toronto, Ontario