Thursday, 30 September 2010

Toronto Mayoral Race: Smitherman's albatross - the eHealth Scandal

George Smitherman Avoids Further Backlash for eHealth Scandal by Running for Toronto Mayor | Political News and blogs on Stephen Harper, Canadian Politics and Voting on Informed Vote |
The eHealth Scandal ended up costing the Ontario taxpayers about $1 billion. George Smitherman, who was the Health Minister at the time, did nothing to put matters right, and refuses to take responsibility for this. Do we really want someone so irresponsible as mayor of Toronto? I won't be voting for Smitherman on election day.

Little to show
Mr. Smitherman was health minister when the government first tried to
digitize provincial health records with an organization called Smart
Systems for Health. After the agency failed to get the job done, it was
folded into eHealth. That organization was ultimately accused of
spending $1 billion with little to show for it.

Toronto Mayoral Race: Ford and Smitherman promise to cut services

CBC News - Toronto - Toronto job cuts would hurt service: union chief
Both Rob Ford and George Smitherman have promised to reduce the amount of service employees over time. In an ever-growing city, this means that the amount and quality of services will be reduced. This can also mean facility closures (due to lack of staff).

The only mayoral candidate who won't be cutting services, and isn't making any unrealistic expenditure promises either, is Joe Pantalone.

Note from Joe's campaign:
This week Smitherman and Ford both released their financial platforms. They were remarkable in their similarity. Smitherman tries to call himself the anti-Ford - but his 1300 staff cuts in the first year would only be 200 less than Ford's 1500. Both plans jeopardize front line services, and neither add up.

Both Ford and Smitherman have talked about the privatization of our garbage system and Smitherman has even suggested selling off our TTC bus routes (in an echo of the London, England transit fiasco). Both candidates have also spoken about bringing the environmentally irresponsible practice of garbage incineration back to our city.

It's clearer than ever that there is only one candidate in this race who wants to build up the city, rather than demolish what we've achieved.

Vote for Joe Pantalone for mayor.

Toronto Mayoral Race: Cuts that don't add up

Goar: The curious case of the 21,000 free Metropasses -
Ford, Smitherman and Rossi think that the city can find a lot of money by making all sorts of cuts. But some of these cuts won't really amount to much in savings.  Here are some examples (click the link).

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Ontario court strikes down provisions which make prostitution "illegal" in Canada

'Emancipation day' for sex-trade workers -  News - MSN CA
TORONTO - A court decision striking down key provisions of Canada's prostitution law is being hailed as an emancipation for sex-trade workers.

The Ontario Superior Court ruled today the laws are unconstitutional because they're contributing to the danger faced by sex-trade workers.

The judge found that laws against keeping a common bawdy house, communicating for the purposes of prostitution and living on the avails of the trade "are not in accord with the principles of fundamental justice."

The lawyer for the sex-trade workers says the judgment, however, is subject to a 30-day stay during which the law remains in place, adding the federal government can seek an extension of that stay period.

Dominatrix Terri-Jean Bedford says it's like emancipation day for sex-trade workers.

Bedford, one of the women behind the challenge, says the ball is now in Prime Minister Stephen Harper's court.

In her ruling, Justice Susan Himel said it now falls to Parliament to "fashion corrective action."...

Toronto Mayoral Race: Rob Ford Does Not Compute

Rob Ford Has Sort Of A Financial Plan, Kinda - Torontoist
Read the post for a detailed analysis.

And of course we're assuming that Ford wants to do absolutely
everything that the Board of Trade demands, which of course he doesn't;
his transit plan alone has the potential to completely break the bank,
even before we realize that he doesn't appear to be on board with the
Board (ahem) on certain types of spending cuts, because like most fiscal
conservatives, Ford doesn't have a problem with spending the city's
money on things of which he personally approves, like more cops or
subways or high school football.

In short, Rob Ford's entire plan comes down to how competent he
personally can be at the job of mayoring. His savings plan essentially
demands that he be absolutely perfect at it, because his revenue cuts
have left him precisely zero room for error or possibly even less, no
matter how many times he insists he's found $2.8 billion in spending
cuts (not even close). Now take a look at that YouTube again. Remember
that a major part of mayoring is public speaking. How confident are you
in Rob Ford's ability to be mayor right now?

Federal court determined Galloway was no security risk

Federal Court slams government interference in Galloway ban |
The Federal court determined that former British MP George Galloway was no national security risk
According to Justice Mosley, "the main reason why the respondents [the
Federal government] sought to prevent Mr. Galloway from entering Canada
was that they disagreed with his political views."

"This ruling confirms what we have been saying from the beginning: Jason
Kenney attempted to ban Galloway because he disagreed with his views,"
says James Clark, a member of the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War and
an applicant in the case. "This kind of behaviour is completely
unacceptable in a democratic society, and represents a serious attack on
Canadians' free speech rights. We are pleased that the Court agrees
with us."

Galloway is going to be coming back to Canada soon on another speaking tour.

Harper government supports privatizing and selling off our water

[20-Sep-10] Council of Canadians condemns Harper's sponsorship of water privatization conference
Montreal - The Council of Canadians is condemning the Harper government
for its sponsorship of an international conference of water
corporations that are seeking to privatize the resource.

"It is shameful that Environment Canada is co-sponsoring the World
Water Congress," says Council of Canadians Director of Campaigns and
Communications Brent Patterson. “The World Water Congress is a
conference of large, unaccountable water corporations like Suez
Environnement and Veolia Water, as well as the Oil Sands Developers
Group. The focus of their meeting in Montreal this week is on how to
profit from water scarcity and private water services."


"The federal government also currently compels municipalities to
explore P3s under the Building Canada Fund," notes Council of Canadians
Ontario/Quebec Regional Organizer Mark Calzavara. "Harper should stop
trying to force communities to 'partner' with corporations. Instead,
the federal government should create a national water infrastructure
fund and ensure clean water is delivered as a public service."

"The Prime Minister and the privateers at the World Water
Congress would like to be able to sell water for profit to the highest
bidder, but public water is a human right," adds Karunananthan. "The
Harper government still seems oblivious to the realities of increasing
water scarcity and climate change. It's clear most Canadians and
Quebeckers support the right to water, so the question is why doesn't

Monday, 27 September 2010

Toronto Mayoral Race: Ford lies about tax hikes to stir up voter support

Smell Test: How much was the Toronto property tax hike in 2010? -
During the recent TVO mayoral debate, Rob Ford claimed that Toronto residents saw property tax increases of 5% each year. Joe Pantalone countered that it was 2.9% overall.

Fact: The last time the city saw a 5% property tax increase was while Mel Lastman was mayor. This past year, the property tax hike was only 2.9%. In previous Miller years, it was between 3 and 4 percent.

Tax hikes are needed to keep up with increasing costs, and to offset the costs downloaded by the Harris government (and we are still paying for things that the province should be funding).

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Toronto Mayoral Race: Here's looking at Joe

NOW Magazine // News // Here’s looking at Joe

Excerpts from the link above:

We’re certainly no strangers to dramatic election turnarounds. In the
2003 mayor’s race, Barbara Hall fell from first to worst, and a lefty
with a vision stole the vote despite starting September with
single-digit polling numbers. 

That would be David Miller, and
mainstream media portrayals to the contrary, Miller has helmed one of
the greatest periods of municipal change in this city’s history, a
legacy that only one candidate, Pantalone, seeks to protect and expand.

Smitherman, Rocco Rossi and Sarah Thomson all shamelessly try to sound
more and more like Ford with irrational anti-tax, slash-and-burn
promises, only Pantalone consistently puts forward progressive and
proven positions

It’s too early to hand this race to any
politician. Make them earn it. Pantalone has run a quiet race, too
quiet, but he’s turning up the volume, and if you’re proud of much of
what’s been done in Toronto in the last seven years, you’ll like what
you hear. Pantalone is a veteran, but his ideas remain new and
inventive, and he has the experience to actually get them accomplished.

we really take candidates who demand tax cuts and freezes seriously at
the same time as they trade in pie-in-the-sky subway fantasies? The last
time a subway was attempted in Toronto – the Eglinton West Line –
Ford’s cousins, the Harris Tories, actually spent millions of dollars to
fill in the tunnel. Ford worries about waste at the same time
justifying the hundreds of millions of dollars it would take to rip up
Transit City. Smitherman, too, would mess with the well-honed plan by
adding pricey subways and unproven private financing.  

other candidates trade in insults and accusations, Toronto’s at-risk
neighbourhoods remain cut off from the core and the jobs that live
there. The ready-to-roll Transit City light rail solution is the
quickest and cheapest way to correct this volatile and unjust situation.

time to take a good look at Pantalone’s positions and not stuff our
hopes down into some dark memory hole. This city has been well served by
dreamers, from David Crombie to Miller, so let’s honour that legacy by
not reining in our aspirations, certainly not at this still early stage
of the race.

And in a city that prides itself on its
multiculturalism, are we really ready to dismiss a smart man whose
thoughtful words are spoken in a voice that announces that, yes, like so
many of Toronto’s citizens, he comes from somewhere else? 

incredible that rich kid Ford can be depicted as an Everyman when
Pantalone and his parents arrived in this city in poverty to emerge as
yet another in the millions of success stories Toronto is so proud to

So don’t be bullied because of fears of a possible Ford nightmare. Consider voting for someone you can be proud of. 

is a city of miracles, a progressive, inclusive town that the rest of
the world is in awe of. It will take less than a miracle to keep us on
this ascendant path; it just requires that we as voters do not narrow
the race too soon.

You still have plenty of choices before
election day October 25, so take a look at the little man with big ideas
before rushing to judgment.

Toronto Mayoral Race: Continue to improve or tear it all down?

NOW Magazine // News // David Miller’s living legacy
Contrary to what the mainstream media, Rob Ford or his wannabes want you to think, things improved in Toronto with David Miller as mayor.
This article in NOW reviews some of those improvements.

So, come election day ask yourself this: Do you want to undo these improvements and make things worse in Toronto? - then vote for Rob Ford or one of his wannabes (Smitherman, Rossi or Thomson). Or, do you want to keep these improvements and build on them, continuing to make improvements? - then vote for Joe Pantalone.

The Conference Board of Canada released a report reinforcing the fact that Toronto is doing well and rebounding quickly from the Recession:
Following a 2.3 per cent decline in real gross domestic product (GDP) last year, Toronto’s economy will bounce back with growth of 4.7 per cent in 2010. Manufacturing output, which had been declining since 2005, is expected to post double-digit growth in 2010. At the same time, the city’s construction sector has benefited from government stimulus spending and strong housing starts. Retail sales, which posted a rare decline last year, are on track for solid growth this year.
David Miller is quoted in the Toronto Sun, responding to the report:
“This is very positive news for Toronto,” Mayor David Miller said Wednesday.
“Through business-friendly city policies like our official plan, low development charges and cuts to commercial taxes, Toronto is undergoing an unprecedented building boom.”

Toronto Mayoral Race: How Commuters Get Downtown

Tunnels and Transportation — how commuters get downtown « Spacing Toronto
Contrary to the belief of some mayoral candidates, most commuters travelling to downtown Toronto don't take cars to get there.

The fact is, however, that despite the presence of both the Gardiner
and the DVP feeding cars into the downtown core, only a minority of
people who work downtown drive there. The vast majority -- 71% -- of
people who travel into work downtown don't have to fight their way
through car traffic -- they take GO Trains, the TTC, or they walk or

Here's the breakdown for people commuting to Ward 28 (which includes most of the downtown business district) from outside the ward (all figures are from the Transportation Tomorrow Survey, 2006 (PDF)).

Local transit (TTC): 38%

GO Train: 26%

Walk/Cycle: 7%

Car driver/passenger: 28%

Other: 1%

The numbers are similar (more TTC, less GO Train) in Wards 27 and 20, which border the business district.

Toronto Mayoral Race: Joe Pantalone's Environmental Platform

Joe Pantalone’s Plan for Greener Prosperity «
Climate change and environmental instability pose a profound challenge to our economy – but the choice to take action now also presents great opportunities for economic and social renewal.

Toronto is already a global green leader. The TSX lists more ‘green tech’ companies than any other stock exchange. Toronto’s $25 billion ten-year capital plan is rebuilding infrastructure for tomorrow, while supporting 300,000 jobs. Joe Pantalone has supported such growth for 30 years.

In the future, competing globally will rely on cooperating locally, with regional industry and with our ecosystem. We must prioritize attracting new 21st Century industry, and creating good green jobs.
Rolling out the green carpet

Government doesn’t create jobs on its own, but, by setting standards, can create a context which attracts business and makes investment opportunities. Joe Pantalone will be Toronto’s green jobs champion, offering fertile ground for new green industries like those already stimulated by the green roofs bylaw, Tower Renewal, and Transit City’s made-in-Canada streetcars.

Read the above link for the details of the platform.

Toronto Mayoral Race: Pantalone - the credible alternative

SPACING VOTES: Making the case for Pantalone « Spacing Toronto
Is Joe Pantalone the guy to offer the counter to Ford? He could be, should he find a way to energize an increasingly demoralized city. As an immigrant, he would represent at least a nod in the direction of the real face of Toronto. As a Council veteran, his record suggests the ability to run a pragmatic and functional team. As an environmentalist, he has a vision of a Toronto not defined solely by resentment over a vehicle registration tax. And he’s not a screamer, something I appreciate every time I see footage of Ford and Smitherman.

Toronto Mayoral Race: The latest statistics

Why Rob Ford hasn't won the mayoral race just yet
The author of this article does have a valid point about how the statistics of the demographics are a bit skewed, but, there are some other factors.

She mentions that there is a disproportionate amount of people over 50, and homeowners in the demographics of the poll. But, it is important to add more weight to these groups since they turn out more for elections all the time.

And, there are the 25% undecided. They will play a big part as they start to become decided over the next month.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Toronto Municipal Election: How the councillor candidates rate for support of The Arts

Councillor Report Card
Here is a list of all the councillor candidates and how they are rated on their support of The Arts by Arts Vote Toronto.
They will be doing mayoral candidate ratings after Sept. 29th.

n/a = didn't return the survey.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Toronto Mayoral Race: Ford and Pantalone rising in the polls

Ford surges ahead at 45.8% support, new poll shows | Posted Toronto | National Post
The latest Nanos poll of over 1,000 people across Toronto done for CTV, CP24 and the Globe & Mail, shows, of decided voters, the following support:
Rob Ford 45.8%
George Smitherman 21.3%
Joe Pantalone 16.8%
Rocco Rossi 9.7%
Sarah Thomson 6.4%

Both Ford and Pantalone have made significant gains. Smitherman has stagnated. And Rossi's and Thompson's support has dropped.

Of note: 25% of those polled are still undecided.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Toronto Mayoral Race: Joe Pantalone on Transit City

Pantalone on Metrolinx CEO’s Comments: We Cannot Put Transit in Reverse; and We Cannot Run Diesel Through Backyards «
Joe Pantalone is the only mayoral candidate who supports Transit City. This is a plan which is currently moving ahead, approved by the city and the province, and budgeted for. The Transit City plan will provide new transit lines to many areas of Toronto - far more and better service than proposed by the other mayoral candidates. There is a map of the Transit City plan here.

Excerpts from the link at the top of this post:
“My opponents are using the election to pretend long negotiations
never happened, and sell a beautiful mirage of cheap subways. I could
promise the people of Scarborough flying cars, but instead I promise
continued commitment to the plan which will bring them actual change,
soon and in a fiscally responsible way.

We have a plan for transit expansion. It is approved by the City and
Province. It reaches all corners of Toronto. And it is a fifth of the
cost of subways. It is called Transit City.


“The rail link between Union Station and the airport must be
electrified,” he said. “We cannot run diesel trains through people’s
backyards in the 21st Century. And the line must have local stops and
walkable street crossings.

Metrolinx’s job building regional transit is crucial. But it is also crucial to remember that regions are made of communities.”

Toronto Mayoral Race: Is Toronto a city in decline? No. But, if Rob Ford becomes mayor ...

When Rob Ford becomes mayor… - EYE WEEKLY
Eye Weekly takes a look at how the Toronto mayoral race has been twisted with the right-wing contenders claiming that Toronto is a city in decline (while it is quite the opposite), and what would really happen if Rob Ford became mayor.

The crime here is that Ford defined the premise of the debate in a way
that contradicts reality. Despite his assertions to the contrary, we
are not a city in decline.

During an epic worldwide recession,
the banks headquartered in Toronto stayed strong and our housing market
held its value. The city is densifying and growing vertically every year
(just look at the skyline). We’re an innovation hub that’s helping lead
the world in pharmaceutical, medical and mobile technology development.
We have arts institutions that are stronger than at any point in our
history, a growing body of compelling architecture and a slowly growing
transit system. Toronto’s property taxes are the lowest in the GTA,  yet
the operating budget is balanced (if precariously), while services have
actually expanded in recent years. We have a population as ethnically
diverse as any city in the world and yet we suffer little racial
discord. Our crime rate is, by Canadian and international standards,
exceedingly low.

By virtually anyone’s standards, we are among
the best cities in the world in which to live and do business. We have
problems, real ones, with the way the inner suburbs have evolved and
failed to evolve, with the way the budgeting is done, with a persistent
revenue gap, with labour relations at City Hall. Yes, we have problems.
But they are the growing pains of a thriving city in the process of
But here’s the most disturbing truth of all: it’s not worth going into detail about the city Rob Ford promises because it’s pure fantasy.
Mayor Rob Ford has absolutely no chance of enacting his agenda and
will, as a result, grind the city to a halt, undoing seven or more years
of progress and creating a situation much like the one he claims he’s
addressing now.

Reality one: basic math
numbers simply do not add up. The cuts he proposes to “waste” at City
Hall are almost purely symbolic — a footnote to the budget — and are
dwarfed by the $250 million a year in revenue that would be lost from
his elimination of the vehicle-registration tax and land-transfer tax.
That scenario alone would make his expansion of customer service, police
service and subway building impossible. Meanwhile, cancelling new
streetcar orders and discarding the ones we have while buying fleets of
new buses would create hundreds of millions of dollars in new costs and
vastly increase the operating shortfall of the TTC. We simply could not
afford it.

Reality two: he can’t boss the province around
of what Ford wants to do — notably cutting the size of council — would
depend on provincial legislation McGuinty or any other premier would
never approve. And his great transit scheme? At the moment, the province
is paying for $3.7 billion worth of the Transit City plan Ford wants to
scrap. Do you think they’ll continue giving him the money to use for
his own devices?

Reality three: He can’t really boss anyone around
even before things get to the provincial level, Ford wouldn’t have the
authority to get his ideas past the council level. He could set the
agenda and make appointments to committees, but he — as outgoing
Councillor Howard Moscoe put it — “could not pass wind” without winning a
vote at council.

This is a problem for Ford more than any other
candidate because he has shown no history of being able to work with
anyone on anything. He proudly told me in 2006 that even council’s right
wing hated him (“I don’t want to eat lunch with those guys anyway,” he
said). It’s easy to forget now that even Mel Lastman considered Ford an

So who would accept the kamikaze mission of being his
budget chief, charged with making his magical numbers add up? Who would
sit on his transit commission, trying to keep the trains running while
negotiating the stiff penalties and absurd demands of his platform? No
one who knows anything about finance or transit, that’s for sure.

we’re actually facing is gridlock and regression. Why? Because we’re
looking at four years of angry shouting and a loud, probably
unproductive argument between Ford and council (and between Ford and the
province and between Ford and the city’s labour unions and between Ford
and city staff…).

He might well succeed in stopping progress
altogether in a few areas: grinding Transit City to a halt, cutting some
taxes and slashing spending on arts and cultural programs. The city’s
years-in-progress bike plan might be scrapped or halted, environmental
progress rolled back. But Ford would replace those with nothing.

opportunity cost — what we’ll miss out on by taking no action — will be
huge. Development will slow as the planning department becomes paralysed by political deadlock. Transit growth will stop and basic
maintenance and service will be cut as the commission endlessly debates
how to square financial and contractual circles. Basic infrastructure
will be neglected. In short, the city will start to rot.

most distressingly for a penny-pincher like Ford, our financial hole
will just keep getting bigger following tax cuts while pressing budget
and revenue problems go un-addressed, forcing steep tax hikes or drastic
service cuts or, most likely, both.

Then by the time the next election rolls around, everyone will be even angrier and perhaps we really will be a city in decline.


Toronto Mayoral Race: Ford stands accused of libel

Restaurant says they're being exploited by Ford -
The restaurateur family caught in the middle of a divisive election
issue says they are being exploited for political gain and have
initiated legal action against frontrunner Rob Ford.

Ford is scheduled to be served with a notice of libel on Thursday, the Star
has learned. Foulidis has demanded the Etobicoke councillor apologize
and admit that his allegations are not based on any evidence. Should he
refuse, Tuggs will sue for financial damages.

Everything Ford has said about us is lies. He will say anything to
get elected.
And in an attempt to become mayor he has publicly accused
my family of corruption — and he professes to stand for the small
businessman,” Foulidis said.


Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Pantalone is the only one who supports Transit City - the only realistic transit plan

Hume: Don’t confuse road rage with transit policy -
Of all the candidates, only Joe Pantalone has a realistic transit plan. Joe fully supports the Transit City plan already in place. And the Transit City plan is already going ahead.

The other candidates have come up with very unrealistic plans for subways - un-affordable, un-doable.

Voting for Joe will keep the Transit City plan on track. Voting for the other candidates will most likely see a halt to the Transit City plan and not much else done for transit as their plans hit the road-blocks of reality.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Rob Ford for Public Lynchings and More

Rob Ford and a decade of controversy - The Globe and Mail
The Globe supplies a list of actions and statements made by councillor Rob Ford over the years that should give you pause if you are thinking of voting for him for Mayor of Toronto.

Some of the highlights
- caught drunk driving
- believes same-sex marriages could dismantle a healthy democratic civilization
- offered to help someone score OxyContin off the street
- arrested for assaulting his wife
- believes that bicycles should not be allowed on streets with motor vehicles and that if cyclists get hurt while riding on a street, then it is their own fault.
- thinks that only people who do drugs with syringes, and gay people can get AIDS
- got drunk and belligerent at a Maple Leafs game and shouted insults at a couple (after the couple asked him to be quiet). Had to be removed by security guards
- during a council meeting, he called another councillor "a joke, She's a waste of time. A waste of skin."
- he's against affordable housing and homeless shelters
- supports public lynchings

Referendum win by Erdogan mainly means a boost for democracy in Turkey

Turkey’s Erdogan ready to make changes after referendum win - The Globe and Mail
The AKP ran an impressive campaign. Most aspects of the government’s
lengthy set of changes were immensely popular: They reduce the power of
military courts over civilians, grant greater protections of human
rights, and remove the immunity from prosecution that Turkey’s military
coup leaders gave themselves when drafting the constitution in the early

Toronto Municipal Election - How we make decisions, not just what's decided, is an environmental issue too

How We Make Decisions, Not Just What's Decided, is an Environmental Issue Too - Torontoist
The way we make decisions and policies can be as important as the decisions themselves.

One issue that has been largely neglected in the upcoming municipal
election is how we make decisions that end up affecting the environment.
Consider: if a decision-making process increases the chance of making
bad environmental policies, shouldn't we avoid this process?

Some candidates hoping to become Toronto's next mayor are promising
to change key decision-making processes, which could lead to bad
environmental policies. The best example of this is changing how the TTC
makes decisions.


As voters consider which mayoral candidate has the best environmental
platform, it's important to look beyond what they say about specific
environmental issues like transit, climate change, smog, and waste
management. We also need to look at how the candidates propose to make
decisions about those issues. Those who want to replace democratically
elected councillors with appointed private experts are not doing the
environment a favour; privatizing decision-making of public bodies is a
recipe for future environmental failure. For those who say, "Yes, but
the current model isn't working properly," remember the famous words of
Winston Churchill, paraphrased here: democracy sucks, but every other
decision-making process sucks even more.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Joe Pantalone for Toronto Mayor - Links

Here are a number of links for info on Joe Pantalone for Toronto Mayor.
I'll update this post with more links as I get them.

Joe's own site

Joe's Twitter Feed

All the posts on Driving The Porcelain Bus (this) blog

Olivia Chow Endorses Joe Pantalone for Leader of a More Inclusive Toronto

NOW magazine: Pantalone's Big Push

Toronto Star: Pantalone the 'one choice' for mayor, Layton says

Joe Pantalone Welcomes a Landmark Endorsement from the Toronto & York Region Labour Council

CAW to support Joe Pantalone for Toronto Mayor

Here is a list of media endorsements from the last election. Joe was endorsed then by The Toronto Star, NOW and the Annex Guardian

Pantalone would scrap vehicle registration tax

Mike Layton and Joe Pantalone Announce Mutual Endorsement for Municipal Election

Facebook links

Town Crier: Voters want municipal experience at council's helm: Pantalone

Joe was a proponent to get Metrolinx to improve the rail/street structure at Strachan and Wellington

Joe, along with many others, supports changing the proposed rail link from downtown to the airport from diesel to electric. Diesel would introduce much pollution through the city. With an electric train, there would be no air pollution produced through the city from this.

Joe Condemns Provincial Government’s “2-Week Plan to Damage 300,000 People’s Lungs with $10 Million Trains”

Joe Pantalone would usher in online voting

Joe speaks at the Better Ballots forum
At the Better Ballots Forum on June 1, 2010, Joe voiced his support for lowering the voting age, opening voting to all permanent residents, and introducing online voting. Joe also spoke out against paring down the number of city councillors in Toronto.

Toronto Sun: Five questions with Joe Pantalone

Olivia Chow endorses Joe Pantalone for Toronto mayor

Last night, at a dinner with supporters in Chinatown, Olivia Chow announced her support for Joe Pantalone in his run for mayor of Toronto. Jack Layton, and Mike Layton (who is running in Joe's old Ward 19 riding) have also endorsed Joe for mayor.
Olivia said of Pantalone: "Mr. Pantalone, he works hard, sometimes behind the scenes. He just get things done in his quiet, effective very serious way. And that's in stark contrast to what Mr. Ford is offering."

Two things seem to be holding Joe back in the campaign -  The fact that he is soft-spoken, and that most mainstream media just want to cover Rob Fords's antics. Even when Pantalone was the only one invited to take part in the Labour Day Parade, the media focused more on the parade-crashers Rossi and Thompson, than on Joe.

Pantalone is campaigning on his steady-hand-at-the-wheel experience in Toronto municipal politics, and collecting more and more endorsements, while the media rarely mentions him. But, as the front-runner Ford makes himself out to be more and more of an ignorant buffoon, and the other right-wing candidates continue to show themselves as Ford wanna-bes, I think Pantalone will shine through. I think people in Toronto have enough smarts to see through the jesters in the campaign to the one serious candidate.

Joe Pantalone - fighting for the soul of the city

NOW Magazine // Vote TO // Pantalone’s big push
His emphasis has been on the positive – a novel approach given all the
vitriol from his opponents about what’s supposedly wrong with the city.
Listening to them, you’d think we lived in a bombed-out version of
Buffalo, despite good evidence to the contrary: a UN rating as one of
the top cities in the world, accolades for our green initiatives, a
double-A rating from Moody’s.

Read the link for the full story.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

I'll take a leader with good policies and ideas over a leader who will lead us over a cliff

LORINC: There goes the middle « Spacing Toronto
John Lorinc sums things up about this mayoral race in that we have a bunch of right-wing candidates, no one in the centre and Joe Pantalone on the left.

Most journalists and bloggers agree that Pantalone does not seem to be very aggressive. Meanwhile, Rob Ford comes across very aggressive. And people often equate aggressiveness with strength. So, many people think Rob Ford would be a good strong leader.

But, which would you prefer - a soft-spoken leader with good ideas and policies and a firm grasp of reality and Toronto municipal politics, or, a hot-headed aggressive leader with poor ideas and policies and an obvious lack of understanding of reality and Toronto municipal politics? Do you want a steady hand at the wheel, or, someone who will drive you off the road over a cliff?

Although Joe Pantalone is soft-spoken, his ideas and policies are realistic and financially responsible. He has the most experience in municipal politics in Toronto of all the candidates. The other candidates; Rob Ford and the Ford wanna-bes, keep coming up with unrealistic ideas that are financially not feasible at all. Some people say new ideas and policies take courage and guts and that's what they want. New ideas are great if they are realistically doable and financially feasible and they will benefit the people of Toronto. But many of the right-wing candidates' new ideas don't fit these criteria.

I'll be voting for the steady hand at the wheel, for someone who is realistic and responsible and who has ideas and policies that will benefit the people of Toronto: Joe Pantalone.

Canadian government's own study shows voluntary census fails compared to a mandatory census

Government study reveals significant errors in voluntary census - The Globe and Mail
No surprise here.
A June, 2010, internal study obtained by The Globe and Mail under the
access-to-information law offers an inside look at how new census-taking
rules could skew data in a range of areas from housing to demographics.
Statscan researchers found the voluntary approach produced less accurate
results – a problem that was especially significant in small population
groups, according to outside statistics advisers who reviewed the
report for The Globe.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

People need jobs, not signs

No cash, no signs: Tories made stimulus funds contingent on erecting billboards - The Globe and Mail
Millions of dollars in taxpayer
stimulus cash doled out by the Harper government was conditional upon
project managers putting up federal promotional signs, The Canadian
Press has learned.

The signage was so critical, in the government's estimation, that
contracts for project funding hold back up to 20 per cent of the federal
cash until a “certificate of substantial completion” is filed –
including photographic proof of sign installation and, in some cases,
Global Positioning System co-ordinates of the sign's exact location.

Ford to slash services if elected as Mayor

Scrap streetcars for subways: Ford unveils his transit plan -
Ford's plan for the TTC would cost way more than the current Transit City plan, and way more than he estimates as subway expansion usually costs more than initially planned. Ford is also planning on cutting taxes and other income for the city. As a result, he will have drastically slash services elsewhere to come up with the money for his TTC expansion ideas.
Like Smitherman, Ford's plans lack financial reality.

And, from Torontoist:
... this is an astonishing bit of fiction which demonstrates little grasp of transit policy, government relations, or basic arithmetic. Released in conjunction with a bizarrely halting video, Ford's key message seems to be: "I am going to take the nice $3.7 billion the province promised us for Transit City and instead use that money to build ten kilometres of subway." Because, you know, the government of Ontario is totally happy to let Rob Ford reallocate its cash that way.
and comment on this from BBowen:
But my favourite part of this plan - and the image that sums up Ford's entire mayoral campaign for me - is the proposed bike trail cutting across the runway of the island airport.

... Wow.

Support the Troops, kick out the Conservatives

WesternGrit: Harper to Veterans: Scr@w You...
And now, the Harper government has announced they’re
cutting the department of Veterans’ Affairs and firing the Veterans’
Ombudsman, Colonel Pat Stogran.

Talk about absurd!

Harper is quick to wrap himself in the flag and claim to be a big
supporter of the military. But he fails to put his money where his
mouth is.

governments make decisions to send the brave women and men of the
Canadian Forces into harm’s way, they must also shoulder the solemn
obligation of ensuring those soldiers are properly taken care of when,
God willing, they get back home.

Stogran exposed the grim reality that this is not happening. Indeed,
he described the federal government’s treatment of many veterans as
“deliberately obstructive and deceptive”.


Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Smitherman to Slash Services in Toronto

I’d freeze property taxes, Smitherman says -
So, no mention of how he will pay for things if he is not going to raise any taxes. I seem to remember he had big expansion plans for the TTC that would be much more costly that the current Transit City plan.
So, George will have to slash services. Please George, tell us that services you will slash.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

CRTC holds public public hearing on "Fox News North " (SunTV)

Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2010-649

Notice of hearing

19 November 2010

Gatineau, Quebec

Deadline for submission of interventions/comments: 1 October 2010

The Commission will hold a hearing commencing 19 November 2010 at 9 a.m. at the Conference Centre, Portage IV, 140 Promenade du Portage, Gatineau, Quebec, to consider the following application:

 [Broadcasting interventions/comments form]

Applicant and locality

1. TVA Group Inc., on behalf of a general partnership to be constituted or a corporation to be incorporated

Across Canada

Application 2010-1188-2

1. Across Canada

Application 2010-1188-2

Application by TVA Group Inc., on behalf of a general partnership to be constituted or a corporation to be incorporated,
for a broadcasting licence to operate a national, English-language
Category 2 specialty television programming undertaking to be known as
Sun TV News.

The proposed licensee will be formed or owned by TVA
Group Inc. (51%) and Sun Media Corporation (49%), two subsidiaries of
Quebecor Media Inc.

The applicant stated that the application is in
accordance with the Commission’s framework for competitive national news
services, as set out in Conditions of licence for competitive Canadian specialty services operating in the genres of mainstream sports and national news, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2009-562, 4 September 2009, and that it would accept the standard conditions of licence set out in Conditions
of licence for competitive Canadian specialty services operating in the
genres of mainstream sports and national news – Implementation of the
Accessibility Policy and other matters
, Broadcasting Regulatory Policy CRTC 2009-562-1, 18 June 2010.

However, the applicant is seeking an exception to Broadcasting Regulatory Policy 2009-562 by applying for mandatory access.

The applicant argued that Sun TV News requires short-term
and time-limited mandatory access by broadcasting distribution
undertakings for a maximum period of three years to effectively expose
and promote its programming to viewers across Canada.

The applicant stated that it was not seeking mandatory
basic distribution, but only to be made available on cable and satellite
distribution undertakings, allowing the public to have access to Sun TV
News without any obligation to choose it.

Additional information may be placed on the public
examination file as it becomes available. The Commission encourages
interested parties to monitor the public examination file and the
Commission’s website for additional information that they may find
useful when preparing their comments.

Conservative government still blocking Afghan committee requests

CBC News - Canada - MacKay denies Afghan committee request

The Conservative government has refused a parliamentary committee's
request to allow the military's former top lawyer to testify without
legal restrictions on the Afghan detainee affair, CBC news has learned.

Ken Watkin, Canada's former chief military prosecutor, said his involvement with the Afghan detainee file was covered by solicitor-client privilege. Ken
Watkin, Canada's former chief military prosecutor, said his involvement
with the Afghan detainee file was covered by solicitor-client
(Dan Balilty/Associated Press)
obtained by CBC news show that Defence Minister Peter MacKay was
unwilling to waive the government's right to solicitor-client privilege
when it comes to the testimony of the military's one-time senior legal
adviser, despite a request for it to do so from the House of Commons
special committee on Afghanistan.

Last November, retired brigadier-general Ken Watkin, a former judge
advocate general of the Canadian Forces, was called to testify before
the committee as it investigated the Canadian government's handling of
Afghan detainees.

The Legacy of Toronto Mayor David Miller

LORINC: Frankly, Miller has done good « Spacing Toronto
John Lorinc details 4 major civic issues and how David Miller made significant improvements for Toronto in these areas.


With Toronto’s sports franchises giving us little to talk about, it
appears that our newest preoccupation is laying waste to every aspect of
David Miller’s record as mayor. If the city seemed to project its hopes
on him in 2003, Torontonians today appear intent on tarring Miller with
all their frustrations, real and imagined.

Indeed, listening to the bellicose rhetoric of those seeking to
replace him, an uninformed observer might conclude it’s been seven
squandered years in Leftigrad. The faster we can undo the damage Miller
has wrought, most of the mayoral candidates imply, the better.

But there are several major civic issues the candidates aren’t
talking about. Here’s the reason: those rhetorical omissions, all quite
deliberate, silently tell a tale of (mostly unacknowledged) political

Let’s look at four of the largest problems the city faced back in
2003: garbage, policing, corruption, and infrastructure. In all cases,
Miller’s record has been strong enough to quiet potential successors (at
least, so far).