Posted in cars, Community, family, government, Life, politics, Toronto, ttc

Monday Musings of The Urban Daddy: Toronto Traffic SUCKS!


Happy Monday!

How was your weekend?  Have to drive anywhere in the City?  I did… It was not fun, and quite frustrating…

What the heck is going on in my City?

City Construction

This is the view from the stop light heading north from the downtown core.  The right lane, as you can see, is blocked.  The right lane has been blocked for a while, during the construction of this building, but the other northbound lane was closed so that stuff could be dropped off / picked up from the right lane.

It boggles my mind and makes me really angry that the City;

  1. Allows developers to take out an entire lane of traffic to help them with their construction for as long as they need to take.  The same annoyance is occurring at Bathurst Street, just south of St. Clair Avenue.
  2. Allow builders to build to the capacity where they cannot do so on their own space that they need to use City streets.
  3. With the addition of bike lanes, parking restrictions and general congestion, that this is even allowed to happen.

Yes, this rant is a real one, and comes from a resident of the City who pays taxes… Lots of taxes, and has to struggle to drive in the city because lanes are closed, construction is taking WAY too long, the Eglinton LRT is dragging along and the roads are AWFUL.

I’ve had 7 flat tires since the LRT construction has begun.

You want pot holes and shitty roads?

Forget the odd pothole that pops up here and there.  Try living around the LRT construction where your only access to the main streets are via roads which should have been torn up and paved over years ago.

In our area, for example, near Allen Road and Eglinton Avenue, the only ways out are Glen Cedar Road – which is an absolute disaster, or to the West, heading towards Oakwood, the roads are worse.

Where is the compensation coming from the developers for taking up our roads, so we can drive where we need to go?

Where is the compensation from the City for either picking terrible contractors, or for not doing their jobs and keeping our roads safe so I don’t have to keep repairing my tires from driving on these roads?  My dealership told me that if my car keeps driving on these roads for a couple more years, the car will be a write off.  The potholes, bumpy and buckling roads and vibrations from these horrid streets are shaking my car apart.

But hey, we’ve got bike lanes, one way streets, no cars on King Street and the Gardiner is falling apart.

Toronto City Council really messed this up… Big time.

Hey Council… You want to put a giant park over the railway tracks in the downtown core?  Before you do that, move the tracks, add a driving tunnel, add a subway or LRT, and then once you’ve used that space to the max, then bury it and put a park on top.  Then above the park, put a bicycle path – enclosed or covered or not – where bikes can shoot across the city and not interfere with traffic and visa versa.

It’s not rocket science…

It has to get done.

Speed it up, make it safe, and remember that there are cars who have to drive in the city.  By pretending that by adding a LRT line I’m going to stop using my car – that I pay lots of fees to the city for, if an exercise in nonsense.  I’m not going to all of a sudden pack my kids and their sports equipment and them and hop onto the subway to take them to their games and practices.

It’s not practical, and is never going to happen.

 

In other Toronto-news:

The Toronto Rock Lacrosse team is the BEST game in town that no one goes to see.  These games should be sold out!  Best game in town!  The Rock destroyed the 1st place New England Black Wolves 21-9 in front of just 9,125 fans at the Air Canada Centre.

As a LONG time season ticket holder, I’d like to see more fans venture down to the ACC to take advantage of a great event.   Coincidentally, the Rock play the Calgary Roughnecks Saturday February 3rd at 7pm at the ACC.

 

The Royal Rumble was last night.

The Grammys were last night.

The NHL All-Star game was yesterday.

 

Great time of year to be a fan.

As long as you’re not driving.

 

Oh, and we take the subway to the Rock games… Convenient, cheap and reliable.  Good thing the games are at the ACC, or we’d drive.

 

 

 

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Posted in Community, politics

Toronto City Council’s Secret Left-Wing Agenda Revealed!


Giorgio Mammoliti speaks to reporters
Giorgio Mammoliti speaks to reporters (Photo credit: hyfen)

When Toronto City Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti alleged he, Mayor Rob Ford and other “right-wing” councillors at Toronto City Hall have been victims of a “left-wing conspiracy”, everybody laughed.  When Mammoliti said that a preliminary investigation he has conducted has pointed to a group of people “out to do some damage, personal damage” to the right-wing councillors on City Council, people again laughed and thought Mammoliti was going crazy.

A former member of Mayor Rob Ford’s executive committee, Mammoliti claimed that he has been followed by private citizens here in Toronto and that his home and office phones have been tapped.  He raised the question about just how badly do the left-wing councillors really want him, Ford and the other right-of-centre councillors out of office, replaced with the free-spending, union-loving, tax-the-rich, left-leaning council which almost brought Toronto into bankruptcy.  (Insert Olivia Chow here).

Mammoliti revealed that an investigation has pointed to a number of key suspects; city councillors, private citizens, lawyers in this city, who have united together to ruin the reputation of the right-wing candidates, force the public to sour on them and run them right out of office and we need to look no closer than the legal actions brought against Mayor Rob Ford by a private citizen – a very pro-NDP citizen, no less – which was handled pro-bono by another pro-left-wing lawyer in Toronto, Clayton Ruby.  This legal action resulted in the temporary removal of the Mayor from office and tarnished his reputation.  The citizen who was the front-man of this lawsuit and his lawyer were eagerly expecting the Mayor to cover the court costs, around $150,000.00, however, upon winning the appeal Ford had gone to the court to ask his costs be covered by this duo.  They in turn have asked Ford to cover the costs by taking the money from the taxpayers of Toronto, stating the individual who brought the case against Ford does not have those kinds of funds.

Oops.

We’re also waiting to see if lawyer Clayton Ruby is going to follow through on his pledge to waste more taxpayers money and take the appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.  This case is that important but it’s not going to challenge the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, is it??

So what do you make of this conspiracy?

Following this failed attempt to remove Ford from office, came an audit of his 2010 election funding in which Ford over-spent by $40,000.00.  Yes, he kept very detailed books and records and the auditor was impressed by that, and yes there was no further action against him, but I’m sure every single Councillor would be in contravention of the Elections Act if scrutinized by audit.  Where are the other audits of team lefty?  Oh, yeah.  Not in Toronto.

Did you know Mammoliti is also up against the same audit?

What about the audit of George Smitherman when he ran for Mayor?  He promised to reveal who donated to him campaign but never did.  Something to hide, maybe?

So let’s move on to the conspiracy…

When Mayor Ford announced (for probably the 50th time) that he was seeking right-leaning (fiscally Conservative) citizens to run in the next election, in order to get better traction on some of his ideas to reel in spending, cut costs and reduce duplication of services, the cries from the left were deafening.  I think the most critical of them all, Adam Vaughan, wanted to haul Ford before some panel or committee or something, yet again, to be slapped on the wrist.  Apparently it’s in bad taste to say it, but it’s okay to skulk around with your left-wing colleagues to find ways to overthrow the Mayor.

Mammoliti mentioned specific knowledge of secret meetings of left-wing councillors and their “inner circle” with their plans to run the “righties” out of City Hall and that… Well, that is okay.

So as the crack researcher that I pretend to be, I have uncovered their plans and compiled a list of the top thirteen items on the secret agenda of these left-wing councillors.

13. Hire unionized workers at $85.00/hour to remove all the doors at City Hall which open to the right and re-hang them so they open on the left.

12. Re-name any streets in the Greater Toronto Area which bear the name “Ford” to “Fraud”.

11. Create their own newspaper aimed at reporting items supported by the left and trashing any thoughts or suggestions by the right. Oops, that one was done already in triplicate; Toronto Star, NOW magazine and the Grid.

10.  Move to teach children left-wing socialist views at schools and institutions of higher-learning.  Oops.  That already happens too…

9.   Remove the term “Right of Way” from the Highway Traffic Act and replace it with “Wrong Way”.

8.   Pressure Ford Canada to rename its Canadian operations and to give its unionized workforce the credit they deserve, so all cars coming from their factories will cost $350,000.00 each, but a wealth tax on the rich will bring the price down to $45,000.00.

7.   Bringing in a fat tax aimed to penalize fat people, especially ones who take office and do not lose weight like David Miller did.

6.   Ban football in Toronto.

5.   After sending that CBC “comic” Marg whatever her name is to harass Ford on his driveway, the lefties are lining up more characters to disrupt Ford’s personal life including; Doink the Clown, David Suziki, ummm, other famous left-wing Canadiens like Brandon Prust, Max Pacioretty and Travis Moen, and the gravy train and a few others…  If they’re smart, however, they will stay out of Ford’s backyard.

4.    Toronto will implement a new wealth tax on all citizens making more than $65,000.00 a year (politicians exempted) and the new tax will be call the “Open your Wallet” tax whereby those rich bastards – damn them for getting educated and working hard to earn money and pay taxes – will pay to ensure that Toronto’s lowest class are able to move into Forest Hill or the Bridle Path like everyone else.

3.   Shows like AM640, SunTV and the like will come with disclaimers warning the risks associated with their dangerous, fiscally conservative views.

2.   Left-wing media will post unflattering pictures of Ford everywhere, including putting his head on top of a naked body in order to… Well, I don’t know why they did that actually…

1.   The number one thing that the secret left-wing group will do is to continue to pester and harass all the right-wing candidates in Toronto, in Ontario and in Canada and turn all the moderates into fiscally Conservatives resulting in right-wing political leaders at all three levels of government for a long time.  This secret operative will forever be known as Operation backfire.

In addition, there will be many new jokes as a result of this secret plan, such as; “How many socialist, left-wing people does it to take down Mayor Rob Ford?”  Answer:  We’re not sure yet.

Posted in Community, government, politics

Did Toronto Star reporter Royson James just call me a Simpleton?!?


Whenever I see articles that come from the Toronto Star which relate to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, I cannot resist the temptation to read through them – not to see what the Star has to say, but more to see how the Star spins it to show the Mayor in a negative light.  Clearly still upset that Ford will not speak with them because of their pro-George Smitherman, anti-Rob Ford stance in which they tried to promote Smitherman for teh top post in the city even though the Pronvicial Ministry he oversaw wasted a BILLION dollars of taxpayer’s money.  Since that time, The Star just keeps finding ways to alienate readers through their opinions on Toronto City Council and the Mayor.Rob Ford, mayor of Toronto

But, the article that came out on February 14th was a classic, even for the Star!

In this article (and I noticed there was nowhere to leave comments), author Royson James takes three pot shots.  One at Mayor Ford, one at voters in the City of Toronto and one at those of us who are fiscally conservative.  I could not believe my eyes.  I actually reread the article 3 times.

The Title of this article is; “Ford’s ‘mandate’ not what it appears – Most voters neither expect nor want Rob Ford’s campaign pledges to be fully fulfilled.”

How could I not read on…

Shot number one comes in the first paragraph, here; “Torontonians left no doubt that they wanted Rob Ford as their mayor when 383,501 of them — 47 per cent of those who voted — chose him to lead the city in 2010.”  47%, eh?  So 53% didn’t want Ford is what I am reading here and why that is important to point out, I don’t know other than to make the point that there was not a clear mandate from the citizens in Toronto to have Ford there, or to point out to voters that if 53% vote for a certain candidate in the next election, Ford will not be re-elected.  Either way, not so important in this article but worth noting.

Shot number two comes in this sentence; “Except for a few simpletons and wilfully blind acolytes who consider grants to cultural and community groups a waste of tax dollars, few drank the Kool-Aid. Most citizens liked the rhetoric. Few expected he could carry out his threats. City council wouldn’t allow it.”

I’m sure Royson didn’t mean to imply that by “drinking the Kool-Aid” that people were just following a leader blindly to death as referenced in the Urban Dictionary; A reference to the 1978 cult mass-suicide in Jonestown, Guyana.  Jim Jones, the leader of the group, convinced his followers to move to Jonestown and then late in the year ordered his flock to commit suicide by drinking grape-flavoured Kool-Aid laced with potassium cyanide.  In what is now commonly called “the Jonestown Massacre”, 913 of the 1100 Jonestown residents drank the Kool-Aid and died.  One lasting legacy of the Jonestown tragedy is the saying, “Don’t drink the Kool-Aid.”  This has come to mean, “Don’t trust any group you find to be a little on the kooky side.” or “Whatever they tell you, don’t believe it too strongly”.

Even more interesting is the use of the term “Simpleton”, because only a “simpleton” would consider grants to cultural and community groups a waste of tax dollars – well, I guess we need to re-define simpleton for Mr. James, because this simpleton (armed with a MBA) – and probably many of the 47% who voted for a stop to the “Gravy-train” have plenty of issues dismissing that any funding – even to community groups and cultural organizations –  is not being duplicated through another part of government or to assume that 100% of any funding – no matter to whom and for what – is used for what it was requested for, or that these organization need to be funded by the taxpayers of Toronto at all.

To wave a hand and insult any fiscally conservative person in the Greater Toronto Area is not only insulting but a little short-sighted unless Mr. James knows for a fact where each dollar of grant money goes and that each and every cent is being used according to plan.  Or maybe Mr. James prefers that those in the city who earn the most money simply keep their wallets open for the local government to use as their bank account whenever they need money or want to sue someone to prove a point.  This narrow-minded left-wing attitude in the City has to be stopped.  If the City spent more time performing checks and balances on where the money goes when it leaves City Hall and less time looking to see how it comes in (ahem: $3500 donation to a football team), our taxes would not be so high, our streets and infrastructure would not be crumbling and City Council might work better.

I mean when you write this; “For one, the mayor’s promises of cuts to government spending rested on the shaky ground of no service cuts. Ford has cut some services, so the foundation of the promise and mandate is fractured” and don’t or cannot name the service cuts (if there were any at all), then you are eluding to something which may not be there, maybe so the “simpletons” who read your articles will think Ford is a fraud.

So no matter how much the Toronto Star tries to justify the agenda of the left, or promote their own agenda at City Hall, they have to realize that by making comments like this, “If citizens expect the mayor to do the best he can to achieve his campaign promises — not necessarily achieve them 100 per cent — then the same citizens expect city councillors to save the mayor from doing outrageous things.  Apparently, at city hall, the mayor’s mandate is not sacrosanct; it’s as flexible as the mayor’s ability to convince and win over city council with sound arguments and compromise.”  When in actual fact, citizens want the councillors to not “save” Ford, but “Support” Ford.  The Mayor will not be able to work with Council not because he’s a brute, or a bully, but because the majority of Councillors on Council have fundamental differences in opinion as to how they personally feel about the role of government and are unable (or unwilling) to cast that aside and work on a truly non-partisan council.

Did you know, Mr. James that before the election, I reached out to my City Councillor, Joe Mihevc and asked him on the phone and then again in an email if he would support Rob Ford as Mayor of Toronto, if Ford was elected, because if he said yes, he would get my vote as councillor.  If Mr. Mihevc said no, then my vote would be directed elsewhere.  Mr. Mihevc was adamant that he would support Ford as Mayor and work with whomever was chosen to represent us, his constituents, blah, blah, blah.  Then the moment Ford was elected, there is Mr. Mihevc blathering about what a poor choice it was and how he would need to keep Ford in check and now 2-years later, each newsletter.

Here was Mihevc even before the election; “it is absolutely imperative that I/we do everything possible to stop Rob Ford from becoming mayor. This is a powerful driver for me. Rob Ford and his associates would destroy so much that we value about our city – its diversity, animated neighbourhoods, care for the newcomers and the poor, our quality of life. Very simply, and without getting too personal, I have watched him for the last 10 years as a colleague on Council, and Rob does not have the skill set required to lead a complex city hall and its agencies. Simple one-liners, an angry persona, a divisive disposition is not leadership and will only hurt Toronto.  Under Rob Ford, City Council will not function, our city agencies will be in disarray, economic development will be hurt and our city will suffer in many ways.”

Short of predicting that a Ford win would topple the CN Tower, maybe Mihevc was worried that a right-wing council would question how a $42-million dollar St.Clair traffic right-of-way turns into $142 million dollar driving disaster.  Say what you will about St. Clair – pro or con – but to drive it is a fiasco and with parking already at a premium they’ve done a great job to ensure that those outside the strip find other streets to shop along because of the headaches involved in waiting in long-lines or making left-turns.  Expecting residents to use public transit because you think they should is not the mandate of Council, and if they really cared about moving people quickly in cars, on foot, through transit and on bikes, they would build subways already, open up the road and add dedicated bike lanes and enforce rules for cyclists.

I’ve called him on it and will continue to call him on it because my ward does not deserve to be represented by someone who will tell you one thing to get elected, then another once in power.  All along, Ford said what he was going to do, and every day in office, the left find ways to hold up council, make Ford look bad and slow down the proceedings at City Hall.  Hello… Bag tax?!?

I digress.

So before the Star calls out the citizens of Toronto for their support of Ford keep in mind that the 47% who voted for Ford want AND expect him to cut waste in government, and reduce the red tape, and where red tape should not exist, make that go away too.  If City Council does not want to get in line and follow – if they want to go more than 3-times over budget and try to explain it away on additional hidden repairs – then that tells me that they either have no idea how to plan through a project from start to finish or that they just don’t give a damn about taxpayers money and they will continue to spend, then raise taxes and blame it away on Ford’s inability to run council, or on his weight, either one.

I’m sorry, Mr. James, but I cannot and will not support a councillor, or council, who disrespects and takes for granted my tax dollars, any longer.  I trust you understand this simpleton and understand that for all the negatives that come with Mayor Ford, the positives far outweigh them (pun intended).

P.S. I have actually used big words like “Sacrosanct” before (Regarded as too important or valuable to be interfered with.  Holy.)

Shucks.

I’m such a simpleton.