Saturday, 30 October 2010

How the new council stands on Ford's main policy aims

Ford faces stiff fight on council -
The Toronto Star managed to survey 32 of the 44 new councillors on some of Ford's main issues.
It seems Ford will face stiff opposition against cutting parade funding, cutting the size of city council, and eliminating the fair-wage policy.
The new councillors are more evenly divided on the issues of making the TTC an essential service and on contracting out garbage collection.

My views on these issues:

Parade funding - This is an investment as big parades like the Gay Pride march and Caribana bring a substantial amount of money into the city. Keep investing.

Fair Wage Policy - "contractors doing business with the city must pay roughly the same wage as city employees doing comparable work." Krystyn Wong-Tam: "The fair wage policy was created to raise the employment standards and
the city should be a ‘model employer.' If we start to remove policies
and laws that were created to protect workers, what's next? Pay equity?” Keep the policy.

Cutting council down to only 22 councillors - Get real. With the size of this city, cutting council would mean less representation for the people, community issues would take a hit as the councillors would have bigger work-loads and be forced to only look at larger city-wide issues, and spending would increase (hiring more staff for each councillor to deal with the increased work/calls - so, the city would end up paying more in wages, not less). Cutting the council size would be a very bad idea.

Making the TTC an essential service - sounds nice, but it would cost us more in the long run. Think a jump in the fare and tax increases to cover the increase in wages. People generally don't like big fare or tax increases, so no to this.

Contracting out garbage collection - currently the garbage collection is a combination of public and private. Would it cost the same or less to contract it all out, and would the service remain the same (and not get worse)? These are the main questions to get answers to before considering this.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Falling for the Dark Side - A Requiem to Reason

It's one thing for politicians and the mainstream media to lie to people. But, when people you care about fall for those lies and turn on you because you try to reason with them and show them the truth, it gets very personal.

What frustrates and upsets me:

Politicians who lie.

Mainstream media perpetuating the lie.

The fact that people fall for the lies. The fact that these people don't look any further for the truth. And, when they are shown the facts, they refuse to listen - they refuse the truth.

But, what frustrates me the most is seeing friends of mine, who I thought had the intelligence to not take things at face value, fall for the lies. I see them become bigoted like some of the lying politicians. And I see them lash out at others, including old friends, who have differing opinions - people who are only trying to raise the facts and expose the truth.

As a self-professed "left-winger" (NDP/social democrat) I care about people - I don't bash people (I do take liars and bullies to task with a vengeance though).
I care about people - family, friends, relatives, fellow Torontonians, Canadians, humans. I care about the environment. And I care about this planet.

I feel obligated to get the truth out there to everyone I can. I have to work hard at getting the truth out because I, and those like me, are up against the far more powerful and pervading mainstream media. People read, watch and listen to the views of the mainstream media daily, so, it is very easy for the mainstream media to manipulate people into believing what they are saying. People forget that the mainstream media are a bunch of large corporations with business interests at heart. They will put the weight of their word behind any political party or politician who is going to do things that benefit them as big businesses.

It saddens me to see old friends, one by one, fall to the lies, become bigots, and become enemies of reason.


Recently, 47% of the people of Toronto were duped into believing that the finances at city hall are being gravely mismanaged and that there is much wasteful spending. However, the facts show that things are indeed quite the opposite - the finances at city hall are being well-managed and in the past year the city ran a surplus. This 47% elected Rob Ford, who said he would fix this (non-existent) financial mismanagement.
Rob Ford has promised to reduce the city's income (cut taxes) and increase spending (proposals to hire more police officers (at a time when our crime rate has been dropping for years), and to scrap Transit City (scrapping it will cost millions of dollars in penalties) and to build more subways instead (which cost much more than the Transit City plan. And the Transit City plan was already budgeted for and would have brought more fast transit to the outlying regions of the city, including Etobicoke - the Rob Ford heartland - than Ford's new subway plans), among other proposals of spending). Now, it doesn't take much knowledge of basic math to know that if you reduce your income and spend more, then you will most likely end up with a deficit. But, isn't this what Rob was saying he was going to fix? His plans seem to be to do the opposite of what his main message was. Seems pretty fishy to me. Seems like maybe we should look more closely at this man behind the curtain.
And, if I care enough about my fellow Torontonians to say, hey, wait a minute, this sounds fishy, look at the facts, and, if me going to all the trouble of pointing all this out makes me a bad person, then I'm bad.

Toronto Election Results Maps 2010

Here are two maps showing geographic divisions (by ward) of mayoral candidate support and how the elected councillors will relate to the new mayor (or not).

Map a) How people voted for mayor by ward: mostly Ford, mostly Smitherman, or evenly divided

Map b) How the councillors will most likely vote in relation to the mayor: Which elected councillors are regressive (pro-Ford), progressive (anti-Ford), or in the middle.

Map b shows a probable voting pattern on regressive policies. The In The Middle group of councillors could go either way in the voting on regressive or progressive policies.

Map a)

Map b)

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Give Rob Ford a call

Worried about Rob Ford? Give him a call -
Rob Ford has said to the people who didn't vote for him that if they are worried about what he will do to Toronto, then they should give him a call (hasn't he heard of the Internet yet - email?).
Here is his current number:

This should be interesting if he is inundated with calls to not do any of his main proposals in his election platform.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Toronto's new mayor, Rob Ford: "Why don't you go to Iran and get raped and shot."

YouTube - Why Rob Ford should never be Mayor
Watch the video.
Yes, let's all go get raped and shot. Thanks Rob. I'm looking forward to 4 years with you - not.

Rob Ford wins as Mayor of Toronto, but will he get the Council votes?

Rob Ford handily won the mayor's race in Toronto last night. But all may not be lost for the people of Toronto.
Ford has some pretty extreme ideas, and some of them are either not under the governance of the city council, or they are not changeable by council as per provincial laws.

So, what of the issues that Ford can tackle? Will he have the support of council to get away with destroying Toronto?

I've analyzed the new council and come to the conclusion that the makeup is not much changed from the previous council. There are more Right-wing councillors, but the Left and Centre/Centre-right still hold the balance

The Left and Centre have about 18 votes
Centre-right has about 6 votes
the Right has about 21 votes, including the mayor.
(The previous council was divided 23, 12, 10)

So, for Ford to win a vote, he has to win over the Centre-Right councillors. There is a good chance that these people won't go for any of Ford's extreme or ridiculous ideas. So, this might reduce the harm that Ford can do to our city.

On the other hand, this could result in a lot of fighting at City Hall with little getting accomplished. At worst, I think, Toronto will stagnate for the next 4 years while Ford makes a fool of himself in Toronto and in the eyes of the world. At best, Council will push forward leaving Mayor Ford sputtering on the sidelines.

Let's hope for the best.

More thoughts on the future of Toronto:
The Galloping Beaver: Good luck Mr. Ford, good luck Toronto

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Pantalone was the only mayoral candidate to show up to the Get Active Toronto debate

Ford, Smitherman no-shows -

Rob Ford and George Smitherman abruptly pulled out of Wednesday’s
debate sponsored by Get Active Toronto, a coalition encouraging people
to get healthy through exercise.

Despite the last-minute cancellations, the event continued with
mayoral candidate Joe Pantalone, who spoke to about 200 people at the
downtown YMCA beside two empty chairs.

“I would say it’s disrespectful and disappointing,” said organizer
Catriona Delaney. “We wanted to know where Mr. Ford and Mr. Smitherman
stood on the subject of the importance of physical activity and the
health of Torontonians. Their actions spoke louder than their words.”

Do you want to elect people to council who won't show up? Of course not. Time to vote for a serious candidate - vote for Joe Pantalone for mayor!

More reasons to vote for Joe Pantalone instead of George Smitherman

Why Tories Support George Smitherman - Torontoist
Nearly 40 Conservatives, including ex cabinet ministers of the Mike Harris government, endorse George Smitherman.
Joe Pantalone said that "Mike Harris is back in the form of George
Smitherman...Why else would the Harris team have just endorsed him?"

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Pantalone has the most labour support

Pantalone, Smitherman fight for labour vote -
Pantalone still has the most labour endorsements, yet the Star plays up this one labour group supporting Smitherman as if he has more labour support.
Why would labour support Smitherman if he plans to contract stuff out and reduce staff?

Regardless, Pantalone is the only one with a reasonable and progressive plan for Toronto.

Israel's bad policies continue to result in loss of allies

Israel shedding allies as government goes ‘from bad to worse’ - The Globe and Mail
“Since then, your government has gone from bad to worse,” he told Mr.
Schorr. He cited “the resumption of the illegal building on the West
Bank,” and the matter of an oath of loyalty to the “Jewish state” the
government proposes to administer to all non-Jews who seek to become
Israeli citizens (primarily directed at people who marry Arab Israelis).

Smitherman bails

Queer Thoughts: Is Smitherman blackmailing voters?
The debate was scheduled for 90 minutes. It lasted 30 minutes as
George Smitherman had to go to pick up his endorsement from Montreal
Liberal MP, Justin Trudeau.

Obviously the debate couldn't go on
with just Joe Pantalone. Too bad the queer communities debate was cut
off before a full airing of the communities issues could happen. Is
George taking our vote for granted?
Smitherman comes off as a guy desperately seeking power, you're
either with us or against us. The last guy to say that made a horrible
mess of the world. Smitherman was last seen dashing out the door to a
waiting car so he could be sure to not keep Prince Justin waiting

Joe Pantalone is your only real choice for mayor

Real Pantalone backers have little choice -
Truth is very elusive, especially at election time. But mayoral
candidate Joe Pantalone is closer to the truth than some think when he
says there’s not that much difference between George Smitherman and Rob
Ford. ...

More endorsements for Pantalone

Sarah Polley, Gord Perks, Rosario Marchese – Just Some of the People Helping Build Joe-mentum for Election Day «
On the heels of releasing a balanced budget with no service cuts or new
provincial funding and a plan for giving Community Councils control
over local budgets, just before his final policy announcements, and
amidst a new slew of radio ads and the placing of 5000 signs across
Toronto, Joe Pantalone was cheered this morning by over a dozen high
profile supporters.

“We must not roll back the clock on our great city,” said Councillor
Janet Davis, opening up the celebration at a packed-full campaign

“Joe Pantalone is the only candidate who uses real numbers,” said
Fiona Nelson of the Board of Health. “And he is the only one talking
about the future of our children.”

Councillor Gord Perks (who, according to today’s Toronto Star, “has
done inspired work on council”) said, “I’m going to vote with my
conscience. I’m going to vote for my city. That means I’m going to vote
for Joe Pantalone.”

MPP Rosario Marchese praised Joe’s “political intelligence, charm, and ability to work with all people.”

Actor Sarah Polley also made the following statement:

“Without Joe Pantalone, the destructive, angry tone of this mayoral
race would be too depressing to contemplate. Joe is the only candidate
for Mayor who is talking about building this city rather than tearing it
down He is dedicated to the environment and to the arts, and he
understands the great  value that cultural diversity brings to our

The full list of today’s endorsers: Janet Davis
(Councillor, Ward 31 Beaches-East York), Gord Perks (Councillor, Ward 14
Parkdale – High Park), Rosario Marchese (Current MPP for
Trinity-Spadina), Sarah Polley (Actor), Martin Silva (Former Ward 4
Councillor, CHIN radio personality), Mike Layton (candidate in Ward 19
Councillor), Fiona Nelson (Member of the Board of Health, Former Chair
of the Toronto District School Board), David Reville (Former Toronto
alderman, former MPP for Riverdale, Professor at School of Disability
Studies at Ryerson University)  Marten Holdenried (EMT, CUPE 416), Jill
Marzetti (Labour Council), Mike Seaward (Steelworkers), Charlene
Mueller (Toronto Hydro worker/CUPE 1 Treasurer), Catherine Leblanc
Miller (Trustee for Toronto Catholic School Board), Barry Lipton
(member of CommunityAIR).

This is Canadian Leadership - Jack Layton

From an email received from the Federal NDP yesterday:

My Friend –

For the third time in a month, Michael Ignatieff has taken a shot at my leadership.

Last week in a Liberal video he knocked my many years of service to the Canadian people.

While Michael Ignatieff spent 34 years outside of our country, I was rolling up my sleeves as a city councillor to get things done for people – building green initiatives in Toronto, overseeing one of Canada’s largest public hydro companies, presiding over the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

I’m incredibly proud of this record. I don’t know why Mr. Ignatieff expects me to hide from it.

While Michael Ignatieff was writing papers at Harvard supporting George Bush's invasion of Iraq, and supporting the use of state assasinations and coercive interrogations, I was working to build a revitalized, principled, fiscally responsible New Democratic Party that is ready to take on Stephen Harper’s Conservatives.

Again, I’m not inclined to hide from this.

I am incredibly proud of my record. Of the things you and I have accomplished together.

It’s this record of Canadian leadership that I will take to voters as I ask them to join with me to defeat this out-of-touch Conservative government.


A few weeks ago, Michael Ignatieff responded to Stephen Harper's divisive approach on guns by targeting six NDP MPs who consistently supported the gun registry.

And not a single Conservative MP who actually opposed it.

A lot of people have asked me, with the Liberals turning their focus solely towards us, whether I will point the NDP’s election resources solely towards Michael Ignatieff’s team.

No. I absolutely won’t.

The focus of New Democrats across the country remains the same. To defeat Stephen Harper’s out-of-touch government. And to replace it with New Democrat leadership that cares about the challenges that middle-class families face right now.

I know that after four and a half years under the Conservatives, Canadians are looking for a different kind of leadership. And only New Democrats are stepping up to the plate.

You see, in two and a half years as Liberal leader, Michael Ignatieff has voted in favour of every single Stephen Harper budget.

Under his leadership, the Liberals have consistently voted to adopt Mr. Harper's tax breaks for profitable banks and big polluters. The same corporate giveaways that Mr. Ignatieff now pretends to oppose.

Michael Ignatieff even voted for the Harper HST that has caused the price of everyday essentials to skyrocket in B.C. and Ontario.

And he hasn’t delivered a single thing for Canadians in return.

Michael Ignatieff has backed Stephen Harper throughout his entire political career. That is his record of public service. And that is why the only path left for him seems to be attacking New Democrats.


New Democrats have our sights set on the real target. Defeating Stephen Harper’s government.

And I want you to be a part of it.

I’m asking you to make a pre-election donation right now. Canadians are looking for an alternative to Stephen Harper, and you and I are going to give it to them. Together we are going to defeat Conservatives across the country.

We’ll defeat Stephen Harper in B.C., in Alberta, in Saskatchewan and in Manitoba – all places where New Democrats are the only alternative to the Conservatives.

We’ll defeat them in Ontario, in places like Oshawa where the scars of four years of Stephen Harper’s broken promises are all too evident.

We’ll build a national alternative to Stephen Harper by building on our breakthrough in Quebec.

And we’ll defeat Stephen Harper in Atlantic Canada, in ridings like South Shore Saint Margaret's where we finished only 2% behind the Conservatives in 2008.

I want you to help make it happen. Make your secure online donation right now – and let’s launch the next election campaign with a bang.

It’s time for a different kind of leadership here in Canada. Not Stephen Harper’s out-of-touch approach, but leadership that cares about you. Not the Conservatives’ Republican-style wedge politics, but leadership that seeks out common-sense solutions to make your life better.

As an actual small-business owner, as a professor at Ryerson University, and yes, in 28 years as an elected leader, I’ve learned a lot about how to get practical results for you. That’s why I’m running to be your Prime Minister.

I’m ready to take up this challenge. Your New Democrat team is ready as well. With your help, we’re going to make it happen.

Jack Layton
Leader of Canada’s New Democrats

Monday, 18 October 2010

Eye Weekly's This is what Rob Ford's Toronto would look like

Rob Ford's Toronto - EYE WEEKLY
(click the link for the whole story)
The city would not be clearing snow and ice from sidewalks, so seniors and the disabled will be on their own. (Ford introduced an unsuccessful motion to cancel snow clearing.)

We’ll either be building affordable rental homes with city tax money or building them with love. (Ford introduced an unsuccessful motion to refuse $43 million in federal/provincial funding.)

Remember the garbage strike? Yeah, that wouldn’t be resolved. (Ford voted against approving the strike-ending contract.)

Streets to Homes would have to get by on less money because, you know, homeless people don’t need that much help. (Ford voted for reducing their budget by 5 per cent.)

Vote with your brain, not your ass - vote for Joe Pantalone.

Toronto ACORN - Mayoral Candidates' Report Card 2010
Toronto ACORN is a grassroots, non-profit, member organization that builds leadership and community organizations in low to moderate income neighbourhoods across the city. We believe that the poverty, discrimination, and community deterioration that exists in low-income communities is largely a result of a lack of civic engagement and community
Summary of Ford's Report card:
Food Security: 0/4 - Ford did not have a food security platform.
Housing: 1/4 - Although Ford supports rent subsidies for low-income residents, he does not support building new affordable housing, inclusive zoning, landlord licensing or improved apartment inspections.
Jobs: 0/4 - Ford's platform did not include issues dealing with jobs.
Children and Youth: 0/4 - Ford's platform did not include issues dealing with children and youth.
Transit: 1/4 - Ford supports more costly subway expansion over more economical and more far-reaching light-rail expansion, and streetcars.
Total: 2/20 or 10%
(Note: Joe Pantalone scored highest with 18/20 or 90%)
Read the link for more details.

New Joe Pantalone Radio Ads

Listen to the ads:

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Toronto Police only accountable to themselves

Orwell's Bastard: The day they turned the Charter of Rights into toilet paper
Here is an excellent post on the problems of trying to hold the Toronto Police force accountable to abuses they commit.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Victory for Canadians and Avaaz - No Fox News North!

From Avaaz:

We did it! "Fox News North" has dropped their bid for forced access to our cable fees!

83,000 of us signed the petition, 25,000 sent letters to the CRTC and 4,000 donated over $115,000 - and last week SunTV, seeing they could not win, dropped their request to the government to force cable companies to carry them. A huge congrats to everyone on this amazing victory for Canada!

It wasn't easy -- the Sun media empire threw everything they had at us - smear pieces, legal threats, even insider knowledge of sabotage of our campaigns -- but our united voices proved more powerful than even a Harper-allied corporate giant.

Let's take a moment to celebrate this, and share thoughts for what we do next. Click below to join a nation-wide live-chat:

Just 3 weeks ago, our campaign caused the resignation in disgrace of SunTV chief and former Harper spin doctor Kory Teneycke (after we pressed for an RCMP investigation into the sabotage of our petition by people linked to Teneycke). While significant, Teneycke was just replaced by another scandal-ridden spin doctor for another conservative Prime Minister.

But the decision to abandon the forced access to our fees is a huge deal. "Fox News North" (SunTV) has admitted that, if given a free choice, Canadians won't watch it enough to make it profitable - that's why they sought a special licence from the CRTC that would force cable companies to carry them, and why the press warned that the CRTC was under pressure from the Harper government to grant this licence. So, the success of our people-powered campaign could mean the end of this attempt to bring a poisonous brand of crony-media to Canada. Hooray!

Harper's radical-right clique has launched a full scale assault on our democracy - forcing out top civil servants for refusing to be politicized, controlling press access to government like never before, even shutting down our Parliament when it suited them. A 24 hour propaganda news channel that backed their every move, no matter how outrageous, could have been a headshot to our country's democratic character. This victory is Canadian democracy's resilient response, and it's beautiful. Thank you!!

With gratitude and excitement for all we can achieve together in the future,
Ricken, Emma, Laryn and the whole Avaaz team

Mr. Freeze Fibs - Smitherman pushes for a meaner city

NOW Magazine // Vote TO // Mr. Freeze fibs
Written by Gord Perks, Councillor for Ward 14


George Smitherman says that a vote for Joe Pantalone is a vote for Rob Ford.

leave aside that this is self-serving and ignore how disappointing
Smitherman’s campaign is if he has to rely on not being Rob Ford to get
your vote. 

While Smitherman and a legion of pundits want the
strategic voting argument to be the most important factor in this
campaign, the fact is, it isn’t.

Here’s the truth: a vote for Ford
is a vote for an attack on public services; a vote for Smitherman is
also a vote for an attack on public services; a vote for Pantalone is
the only vote for sustained and improved public services.

The two
most telling election promises Smitherman has made are to freeze taxes
next year and to shed public service jobs by only hiring two new people
for every three who retire.

We all know Ford’s “gravy train”
doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. There simply aren’t enough pennies to
be pinched to support his sweeping tax cuts. 

What gets less
attention is the sleight of hand Smitherman uses to “balance” his budget
plan. His tax freeze principally rests on blowing surpluses generated
by Mayor David Miller
Read the rest at the link.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Toronto Mayoral Race: Strategic Stink

NOW Magazine // Vote TO // Strategic stink

Once we drag out the logarithms, spreadsheets and poll numbers, a
case can be made that a strategic vote for Smitherman is actually more
likely to give us a city we’d be ashamed of than would a vote for Ford.
Despite claims by the mainstream press, if Ford were to win, he’d be
very unlikely to have council support, so getting his slash-and-burn
policies through would be a daily struggle. 

huge-tent, “I will be what you want me to be” approach is more likely to
be bought by a new council, meaning his own slash-and-burn approach
might actually become city policy and the recent great strides Toronto
has made would be dismantled and destroyed.

To ignite the
strategic voters’ Bunsen burner for a minute to warm this electoral
petri dish, I suggest that we might be doing more strategic harm
electing Smitherman than Ford. 

As the federal and provincial
governments continue to ignore this city and hoard their 90 per cent
share of tax dollars raised in Toronto, the next term will be tough for
any elected representative. If Ford were to win, the folly of his
policies and crazy promises would be quickly exposed. That means the
shit would hit the fan in plenty of time to pre-empt a new right revolt
led by provincial Conservative Tom “I Like Mike Harris” Hudak when the
Ontario vote happens in about 18 months. 

Voting “strategically”
for Ford might ensure that Ontario wouldn’t elect another Harris-style
Tory government. A vote for Smitherman would be more fuel on the fire to
discredit Liberals and hasten, perhaps guarantee, a horrible provincial
Tory backlash win.

But even thinking this way makes me want to
take a shower. I’m committed to marking my X beside a candidate I
believe in, not one I can merely put up with. And you can be sure that
if Smitherman is elected, he will interpret the result as a mandate, not
as lukewarm support. He will operate as if every vote were
enthusiastically given, not reluctantly, strategically offered. And if
you look at his not-so-different-from-Ford approach, that’s something to

Of course I want the candidates I vote for to win. But even
if they don’t, I want my vote – and my support – to stand with a
candidate and policies I believe in. 

Ideally we all use our votes
to elect those we believe in. But at the very least, we use our votes
to stand and be counted, and to make sure, even if the wrong candidate
is chosen, the winner knows there’s a significant group out there with a
different vision of the city.

By casting your vote with
confidence and conviction, not compromise and collusion, we might just
get a city government and a Toronto we can be proud of. It’s happened
before. Why not again?

On election day, vote for your principles, and vote for the policies you actually support.

Toronto Mayoral Race: The NOW interview: Joe Pantalone

NOW Magazine // Vote TO // The NOW interview: Joe Pantalone
Joe answers questions from NOW magazine.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Toronto Environmental Alliance grade the top mayoral candidates on the environment

Top Mayoral Candidates graded on the Environment | Toronto Environmental Alliance

Joe Pantalone 20/20 - Strongest on the Environment
George Smitherman 18/20 - Shows clear commitment
Rob Ford and Rocco Rossi - 0/20 - couldn't be bothered.

Toronto Musicians for Mayor Joe at Lula's Lounge Oct. 14

Lula :: Toronto Musicians for Mayor Joe
Doors at 7pm
1585 Dundas St. W - West of Dufferin

Toronto Musicians for Mayor Joe
Fundraising event with Special Guest Hosts:

Jaymz Bee of JAZZ.FM and singer-songwriter and NOW Columnist, Andrew Cash

Join Michael Occhipinti, Yvett Tollar, Louis Simao, Rich Brown,
Maryem Tollar, Pat Murray, Dan Fortin, Tania Gill, Michelle Willis among
other special guests for an evening of positive songs in support of Joe
Pantalone and his positive vision of Toronto!

More of Harper's Plan

Here we see Harper's plan - Step 3 - in action: cutting payments to provinces to stop funding social programs in Canada.

Ottawa signals slowdown in provincial payouts

Bernier seeks end to $40-billion in social, health transfers to provinces
This is written as if it is only Bernier's plan, but this totally fits in with Harper's Pan.

The destruction of Canada is nigh. Wake up people!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Toronto Mayoral Race: Joe Pantalone: community councils should have more control over local spending decisions

The Daily Plank: Fund community councils, says Pantalone -
Joe Pantalone would give greater control over local spending decisions to the four community councils.
If elected mayor on Oct. 25, Pantalone would free up $85 million for the community councils, which meet monthly to discuss development proposals, traffic issues and other local concerns.

The community councils — for Toronto and East York; North York, Etobicoke-York; and Scarborough — are made upof city councillors from those areas.

The community councils make recommendations to city council but they have no budget themselves, something Pantalone would change.

Of the $85 million Pantalone would make available, $10 million would go to improving commercial streetscapes; $30 million for parks; $40 million for community centres
and $5.5 million for snow clearing.

In a news conference at Yonge and Eglinton — the geographic centre of the city — Pantalone said the newfunding model would be implemented in 2012 after spending 2011 to work out any bugs.

The community councils would be able to advocate for more money by applying to council’s budget committee, he said.

And spending decisions of a community council could only be overturned by a two-thirds majority of the city council.

The move, he said, is designed to “strengthen local decision-making and control.”

Toronto Mayoral Race: Duke Pubs' burger poll puts Joe Pantalone in the lead

IMAGO RESTAURANTS INCORPORATED | Pantalone's Mayor Burger in the Lead!
Joe is in the lead with 197 Joe Pantalone Cricket Chicken Burgers sold.
Rossi is in 2nd with 178, Smitherman in 3rd with 163, and Ford is in a distant 4th with 85.

Toronto Mayoral Race: Rob Ford sued for libel for $6 million

Ford sued for $6 million by Boardwalk Pub owner -

Blunt-talking Rob Ford is being sued for $6 million by the owner of the infamous Boardwalk Pub.

Last month, George Foulidis gave the mayoral front-runner an ultimatum: apologize for suggesting he bribed city officials in exchange for a lucrative vending contract in the Beaches or face a libellawsuit.
Ford’s campaign team told reporters the candidate had no intention of backing away from earlier comments.

The candidate was formally served Tuesday. Ford did not respond to a request for comment.

The 11-page lawsuit accuses the crusading Etobicoke councillor of exploiting the Foulidis family for political gain.

“Mr. Ford knows that there is no evidence of wrongdoing by Mr. Foulidis,” the claim alleges. “He has done (this) solely for political gain and has sacrificed the reputation of Mr. Foulidis in the process.”

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Would you vote for someone who is so careless of money and responsibility as to make libellous statements resulting in a $6 million lawsuit?

Toronto Mayoral Race: Smitherman and Rossi endorse Pantalone

During the CBC Metro Morning debate on Oct. 5, 2010, when asked the question "If not you, then who?" both Smitherman and Rossi endorsed Joe Pantalone:

Smitherman:“Joe Pantalone, because more than anything else I think that an organization, that institutional memory and experience are powerful attributes.” (26:48 in the debate)

Rossi: “I think that Mr. Pantalone brings incredible assets to the table.” (27:25 in the debate)

Toronto Mayoral Race: Joe Still Rising

From the Joe Pantalone campaign team:

A new poll conducted October 7-9th by the Logit Group shows a steady swing in momentum towards Joe Pantalone. For the first time Joe's support has topped 20%, while Rob Ford's support has sunk into the 30s. Between the two is George Smitherman. The sharp rise in Joe's numbers, and the fall in Ford's support, creates a clear three way contest in Toronto's mayoral race.

As the people of Toronto have begun to look closely at Rob Ford's record and policies, his support has fallen sharply. Ford's own poll (published in the Toronto Sun this weekend) had him at 49.5% of decided voters one month ago. Ford's simple answers to complex problems may have had initial appeal, but as voters start to truly pay attention that appeal is beginning to vanish.

Joe has the momentum

Momentum is shifting towards Joe just in time for the final stretch of the campaign. Thanks to the endorsement of Mayor David Miller and the launch of an aggressive media campaign, Joe's numbers have hit the highest level so far this campaign. Over the last year voters have gotten to know Joe, and his numbers have steadily risen. In the winter Joe was at only 6%, over the spring he rose to 10%, this summer Joe reached 15%, and now he is over 20%!

We need to keep Joe's momentum growing. Much of the jump in Joe's support comes from the radio ads that began on Monday. We need to get Joe's message into the media as much as possible. To do that we need to buy ads. Please donate now to help us buy more media. Each time we run a radio spot it costs about $100, and reaches tens of thousands of voters. Thanks to the generous city rebate program, a donation of $500, enough to buy five radio spots, will only cost you $175!

Now a three candidate race

Other candidates have tried to turn this into a two way race, but there are three people who could win this election. Only one of these candidates is presenting a positive, city building program. Joe is the only one standing up for a green and sustainable Toronto, the only one with a realistic plan for transit expansion, and the only one who has a decades long record of working collaboratively with others to get things done.

The poll found 19% of voters are still undecided, and 43% of all respondents indicated that they were very or somewhat likely to change their minds and vote for another candidate before October 25th. The study showed that Joe had the highest amount of second choice support of all of the major candidates. The survey was a telephone poll with sample size of 500. The results are accurate to within + or - 4%, nineteen times out of twenty. The poll was commissioned by an anonymous Toronto business leader and the results were forwarded to the Pantalone campaign.

This poll suggests that the public will also now start to focus on George Smitherman and his promises to cut city services, to privatize the TTC bus routes, to build city jails and his record of financial mismanagement at e-Health while he was the province's Minister of Health.

Joe can win this election, but he needs all of us behind him. Donate or volunteer today to make sure we elect a mayor to be proud of on October 25th.

Have a great day,

John Laschinger

The numbers in this Logit Group poll are in line with the trend from the last Nanos poll and the Ekos poll before that, which showed Ford's support dropping, Smitherman stagnating in the low 20% range, and Pantalone continuing to rise.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

David Miller: Proud of what we've accomplished

David Miller ‘proud of what we’ve accomplished’ - The Globe and Mail
Contrary to opinions of Ford, Smitherman, Rossi and most reporting in the mainstream media, David Miller has done a lot of good for Toronto. Read the link for more.

Joe Pantalone is the only mayoral candidate that is planning on building and going forward from this point on what Miller has accomplished. The other candidates want to take us back and tear it all down. Vote for Joe to continue forward.

More links with info on David Miller's legacy:
Toronto Star - Miller's Exit Strategy - Toronto is our home. Don't Trash Talk It.

Toronto Mayoral Race: Continue To Improve or Tear It All Down

Ivor Tossell blog: David Miller's Toronto

Friday, 8 October 2010

NDP table long-gun bill

New Democrats table long-gun bill | NDP

legislation includes a number of concrete solutions for rural and urban
Canadians, as well as Northern and Aboriginal communities. They

  • providing a first-time exemption from criminal penalty for not registering a long-gun
  • mandating the Auditor General to provide financial oversight of the registry
  • protecting the privacy of gun owners’ identifying information
  • creating a legal guarantee to uphold Aboriginal treaty rights
  • establishing permanently free registration
  • allowing military and police to share important information with the Canadian Firearms Program, including mental health concerns

Read more:

Toronto Mayoral Race: the truth about Toronto city finances and taxes

OneToronto - the truth about city finances
Watch the video.
Ford, Smitherman and Rossi are lying about the city finances and taxes.

Vote for Joe Panatalone. He is not lying to you to get elected. He speaks the truth.

Toronto Municipal Election: How Bike-Friendly is your City Councillor?

How Bike-Friendly is your City Councillor?
A look at how councillors voted on bicycle issues over the last few years.

Friendliest: De Baeremaeker, Heaps and Perks.
Joe Panatalone is in the middle of the bike friendly group.

Most Anti-bicycle (voted against all pro-bicycle initiatives): Rob Ford and Doug Holyday.

Click on the link for all the details

Toronto Municipal Election: MSM and candidates continue to lie about Toronto finances

Toronto's not broke, group argues -

Contrary to what voters are hearing from Toronto's leading mayoral
hopefuls, city spending, taxes and finances are not out of control, says
a citizen’s group concerned about the negative tone of the campaign.

Torontonians pay the lowest property taxes in the GTA. They pay
less than 4 per cent of their income in property tax and receive $3,500
per person in city services such as roads, transit, emergency help and
more, according to economist Jim Stanford, who crunched the numbers
using city finance dept data for the group One Toronto

“We want to get this debate back onto a positive tone,” said Peggy
Nash of the CAW and a board member on Invest Toronto. “Toronto is our
home and you don't trash talk your home.”

The group also pointed out that far from being broke, the city had a
$355 million operating surplus last year and a AA1 credit rating.

Just this week Price Waterhouse Coopers named Toronto the most
liveable city in the world. KPMG says the city has the 5th most
competitive taxes in the world.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Hardcore right wing newspaper readership declining in the GTA

Star strengthens role as top GTA news source, survey shows -
Weekday readership for the [National] Post plunged 32.3 per cent, and the Globe and
Mail fell 13 per cent to 354,000 [since last year].

And, with the Grope & Fail's new plan to no longer report news, but to look flashier, they are sure to lose a lot more readers nation-wide.

Toronto Municipal Election: Where the candidates stand on public transit issues

keepttcpublic | Where Do The Candidates Stand?
Click the link above to see how councillor and mayoral candidates fared on the questionnaire from the Public Transit Coalition, and see the list of questions.

Toronto Mayoral Race: Joe Pantalone receives an A+ grade from the Public Transit Coalition

Public Transit Coalition » Pantalone Gets Top Mark on Transit Report Card

Mayoral hopeful Joe Pantalone received the top grade in the Public
Transit Coalition’s  Report Card which rates where the leading mayoral
candidates stand on key issues facing the TTC.  Candidates were sent a
ten-question survey on a range of transit-related issues from keeping
the TTC public to keeping fares in check. The complete list of survey
questions and candidate responses can be found at

The report card makes it clear where the top 4 mayoral candidates
stand on key issues facing the TTC.  Joe Pantalone scores an A+, George
Smitherman gets a B, and Rob Ford and Rocco Rossi got Fs as both failed
to complete the survey.

The Globe and Mail just flushed themselves down the toilet

A coffee table display for the rich: The Globe and Mail |
I used to read the Globe and Mail daily for news and a couple of columns. But recently, they got rid of the last of their progressive columnists and they seem to have got rid of a lot of their news too. Their new look buries the news and shows what I would call non-news items.
When I walked into a variety store this evening, I saw what looked like a Monopoly game box in the newspaper stand. But, it was the Globe and Mail. I looked to see if the paper version also was all look and no substance like the on-line version. Yes, the paper version was also lacking in substance and was more flashy than the on-line version.

From the post (link above):

The new tarted-up, glossy, all-colour Globe and Mail is many things, but it is not a real "news paper."

It has been "dumbed up" and robbed of much of its news content.

The result is a hybrid never before seen in North America. It is some of the old Globe of course. But is also part Maclean's magazine and The Economist. It is part National Geographic, Sporting News, Vanity Fair, and Women's Wear Daily.

The front page of this new Globe looks more like a magazine then a newspaper.
Interesting, but not riveting, features outnumber solid news stories.
Many pieces are very long, and some of the best articles are reprints
from news syndicates. Large and luxurious pictures abound.

Since it has become this, I no longer find it useful or interesting. When they changed the format I read the comments on the new format on their site and the vast majority of comments agreed that the new format (and being minus the progressive columnists) resulted in the paper now being a pile of crap. I don't see how trying to make the paper more useless than the National Post could be a smart choice in any way. Globe, you've lost a lot of readers now, including me.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Toronto Mayoral Race: Miller endorses Pantalone

This morning Mayor David Miller proudly proclaimed his support for Joe Pantalone as the next mayor of Toronto. Miller told an excited audience in Scarborough that "people want this city to evolve. Joe Pantalone is the only candidate prepared to face our challenges and address our need for public transit and community services. He's the one who's going to help people build a 21st century city for themselves and their families."

Yesterday PricewaterhouseCoopers declared that Toronto is now the most livable major city in the world. Toronto is today known as the greenest city in North America.

The progressive Miller-Pantalone administration has seen remarkable achievements. Major new projects are underway: work has finally begun on the Waterfront and the West Donlands, Regent Park is in the process of being rebuilt, BMO Field has opened and proved a great success, and a subway is finally going to reach York University. Still to come is Transit City, a European style network of light rail lines that will revolutionize transportation in our city.

Miller noted that in sharp contrast to the "candidates who want to tear this city down" Joe has spent a career working with people from "every political belief and every neighbourhood" to build consensus and improve our city. Joe is the only candidate that has the vision and skills to build the Toronto we want.

Miller endorses Pantalone in race for mayor, Mihevc endorses Smitherman - 680News
"I've watched this mayoral race with incredible frustration and distress
because what I've seen is candidates who want to tear this city down,
and that's not what we need in Toronto," Miller told reporters.

said Pantalone is the only candidate who stands apart from the others,
who he said are campaigning on the same platform -- negative campaigns
that suggest Toronto is broken and needs to be fixed.

Miller said
Pantalone is the only city-builder among the candidates and the only
one who can lead the city in the right direction.

G20 Inquiry: Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath introduces bill for a full public inquiry

NDP introduces G20 public inquiry bill |

On Tuesday afternoon, NDP leader Andrea Horwath introduced a private
member’s bill that would establish an independent commission to perform a
full public inquiry into the decisions and actions of the McGuinty
government and the police during the G20 Summit.

There were more than 1,100 arrests that weekend,
making it the largest mass arrest in Canadian history; extensive
violations of civil liberties and charter rights; peaceful protesters
silenced; and innocent bystanders detained.

“There are now six separate reviews underway,” said
Horwath. “Yet none of these has the mandate or the jurisdiction to ask
the most fundamental questions or provide Ontarians with the answers
they are seeking.”

Horwath’s bill requires that a commission shall be appointed within 60 days after the G20 Public Inquiry Act
comes into force that will make recommendations to the Ontario
government and police about how to reduce spending, arrests and violence
at similar future events.

The commission will also report on whether the
rights and freedoms of Ontarians were put in jeopardy during the G20
Summit and the exercise of power under the Public Works Protection Act.

Read more at the link

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Toronto Mayoral Race: Candidate profile: Joe Pantalone

Candidate profile: Joe Pantalone
Information about Joe.

Other key endorsements not listed in the article: Ed Broadbent, and Stephen Lewis.

Toronto Mayoral Race: Signs

The first signs I've seen were Joe Pantalone signs downtown, and Rob Ford signs in Scarborough. I haven't seen any signs for any other mayoral candidates yet.
Go Joe!

Toronto Mayoral Race: James: What I like about Joe Panatlone

James: What I like about Joe Pantalone -
There are many good reasons to elect Joe Pantalone the next mayor of Toronto. ...

Municipal elections: Labour Council endorsements in Toronto, Durham, Brampton, Mississauga

Municipal Elections 2010
Before Labour Council endorses someone for City Council, we sit down with them and go over the key issues for this election. What kind of questions do we ask? We want to know about their participation in the local community, and their priorities for the ward after the election. A real emphasis is on the role of public services in our society, and where they stand on alternative financing, contracting out and privatization of public services. Transit is a big ticket item, from expanding to the suburbs to keeping it affordable and under public control. The Fair Wage policy needs updating.

Of course we want their views on finding the balance between fair taxes and the cost of services. But there is also a role for the City around economic development, protecting or creating good jobs in the diverse sectors such as aerospace, film and green manufacturing.

And finally, we want to know about what work they have done on equity and human rights, and how they would promote the equity agenda as a City councilor. There are no simple answers to running the fifth largest government in the country. When you seen someone being endorsed by Labour Council, we have given a lot of consideration to why they would earn our vote.

Visit the link for the list and map

Monday, 4 October 2010

Toronto Mayoral Race: Joe Pantalone radio ads

From the Joe Pantalone campaign team:

Rob Ford and George Smitherman have spent months promoting a dark vision of Toronto. Today Joe Pantalone has gone on the offence, standing up for the Toronto we believe in.

The ads denounce Smitherman and Ford's plans to cut thousands of staff from valuable community services, and they condemn Ford's record at City Council, where he has cast cavalier votes against everything from public libraries to rape crisis centres.

Starting tomorrow Newstalk 1010, 680 News, Jazz FM, and CP24 1050 will start running hundreds of airings of Joe's new spots:

The news may be focusing on two loud, blustery candidates, but we know that there is only one person running who has the vision and experience to be mayor of Toronto. We can't let Joe's positive, city building vision go unheard.

Each time we run one of these ads, it will be heard by tens of thousands of voters. But each airing costs about $100. If we are going to run more of them, Joe needs all of our help. Please donate now to buy us more ads, and to challenge those who'd take a chainsaw to the city we care for.

The city has a very generous rebate program, that will refund up to 75% of your donations. A donation of $500 will buy a set of five ads, reaching tens of thousands of undecided voters, and will only cost you $175!

Thanks for your support!

Joe Pantalone campaign

Toronto Mayoral Race: Stephen Lewis endorses Joe Pantalone for mayor

Stephen Lewis Supports Joe’s Campaign for Mayor «
Stephen Lewis is an Officer of the Order of Canada, former leader of the Ontario NDP, former
member of provincial parliament, and former Canadian Ambassador to the
United Nations. Mr. Lewis is also the head of the Stephen Lewis
Foundation, a charitable organization that helps people affected and
infected by HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Toronto Mayoral Race: Learn to tell lies from promises

Dear Toronto: a warning from your Ottawa cousins - The Globe and Mail
Ottawa just experienced 4 years of a mayor who campaigned on promises like Ford and Smitherman are making. Read the link to see what happened.
Another reason to vote for the one candidate whose plans are based in reality and is not promising fantasy: Joe Pantalone.

Harper: we want Canada back!

Friday, 1 October 2010

Toronto Mayoral Race: Pantalone: Ford "never does his homework"

Axing transfer tax could cost taxpayers $12M | Toronto Votes 2010 | News | Toronto Sun
Rob Ford's plan to abolish the land transfer tax will not only mean that services will have to be cut (as a result of the lost revenue for the city), but that taxpayers would be on the hook for a $12 million penalty as well.

Joe Pantalone:
there’s no excuse for the Etobicoke councillor
not to have known, or told voters, about the cost of his promise.

“Everybody there (at the debate) came to the conclusion, based on their
faces, that Coun. Ford was not aware of this contract,” Pantalone said.

“Everybody at City Hall, including conservative members of council, are
aware that Coun. Ford talks a good line but he never does his homework."
Cutting the tax would not only mean “huge service cuts” from the foregone
revenue, Pantalone said, but an added penalty on top of that.

Toronto Mayoral Race: Pantalone scores points at TCN debate

Inside Toronto Votes » Blog Archive » Mayoral candidates square off at TCN debate

Pantalone, a supporter of the light rail Transit City plan, scoffed
at Ford’s transit plan, which includes two subway lines in Scarborough –
along Sheppard Avenue East and extending the Bloor-Danforth line, both
to the Scarborough Town Centre.

“My solution is Transit City,” Pantalone said. “Mr. Ford wants to
build 12 kilometres of subway. Transit City is 120 kilometres. He wants
to build the Sheppard and the SRT (Scarborough RT line), but he forgets
about Eglinton, he forgets about Finch. Mr. Ford’s plan is incomplete
and more expensive. The subway costs three times as much. All these
other plans are approved – and he wants to do more talking. As far as I
know, more talking doesn’t get us there from here.”