Thursday’s headlines

TTC
• Time for new thinking at TTC [The Sun]
• TTC balks at paying full fare for Presto [The Sun]
• TTC looking at service cuts, fare hike in budget crisis [National Post]
• TTC’s budget shortfall to swell in 2012 [Globe & Mail]
• Time for new thinking at TTC [The Sun]
• TTC balks at paying full fare for Presto [The Sun]
• TTC looking at service cuts, fare hike in budget crisis [National Post]
• Chris Selley: TTC gets smart with Presto [National Post]
• Lightning strike caused subway troubles, TTC says [The Star]
• Lightning strike causes a.m. chaos for subway [National Post]

INFRASTRUCTURE
• Fed up with sidewalks being ripped up everywhere? So is the city [The Star]
• Stormy weather batters the GTA, cutting power and dropping trees [The Star]
• The Fixer: Red light signals frustration for Bayview Ave. drivers [The Star]
• East end blackout affected 2,400 homes [The Star]

CITY HALL
• City workers take stand at taxi tribunal [The Star]
• James: A promise Ford shouldn’t keep [The Star]
• Whitewashing a mural stirs a colourful debate [The Star]

OTHER NEWS
• Activist named president of Toronto Humane Society [The Star]
• Marcie Laking new president of Toronto Humane Society [Globe & Mail]
• Internet service at warp speed [National Post]

5 comments

  1. Reading Sue-Ann Levy’s column leaves with a headache. How dense can someone be?

    The TTC does not know what the new wage package will cost them as this is the first time they’ve been negotiating under the “essential services” banner, which is thanks to Rob Ford.

    She also thinks that having TTC rider know when a streetcar or bus is going to show is is an $1 million waste. She has obivously never had to wait for the streetcar or bus in January.

    The TTC has a asked for $39 million more than last year and she wants to eliminate a programme that cost $1 million. Great, how do you deal with the other $38 million, genius?

    Her column provides no solutions, just poo flinging at the TTC. Maybe she should ask Dalton or Hudak if they can chip in some cash for the TTC just like it was in the 70’s.

  2. Two more links of note from today’s papers:

    In the Star, Bob Hepburn argues that road tolls are “nuts”: http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1005120–hepburn-ford-is-right-toll-roads-are-nuts

    And in the Globe, Marcus Gee fawns over rich people: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/marcus-gee/theyll-pay-top-dollar-for-life-at-the-top/article2052874/

    Both writers could probably stand to take some introductory social science courses before they write about these issues again.

  3. James, I don’t get why you’re so annoyed with Marcus Gee’s article. Quote:

    “It’s hard to not to feel a bit nauseated, or at least amused, at the Bonfire of the Vanities excess of it all.”

    Rich people exist, and rich people buy expensive condos. Does every article that mentions rich people have to get into social justice issues? That was not the focus of the piece at all.

  4. The thesis statement of Gee’s article is this sentence: “Still, the flowering of top-floor luxury has to be a good thing for Toronto, a visible symbol of its rise as an international city.” Not “could be” a good thing, or “might be,” or even “is” — but “has to be.” Which is just flat-out ridiculous. If large numbers of rich people buying opulent residences are automatically a sign of civic health, then Dubai would be the healthiest civilization on the planet. Before you can declare the luxury condo boom to be a Good Thing, you have to look at other issues, like inequality levels, the city’s employment situation, and the likelihood of a housing market correction, among others. It would also be a good idea to quote somebody other than developers with a direct financial stake in the trend they’re commenting on. I’m not asking for a Marxist-Leninist screed, just some balance and analysis instead of Gee’s breezy boosterism.

  5. James, thank for the link to those articles… with respect to Gee, agree with you for the most part. I find most of his articles poorly thought out. But I don’t agree with your comments regarding Hepburn’s articles on tolls. The bottom line is that governments at all levels have a poor record of directing specific tax flows to the specific purposes that the new tax was ostensibly created to support. Also, while I am not necessarily opposed to tolls, I am against the City of Toronto (and other municipalities) in the GTA having the power to impose tolls. Why? Because one of the reasons Toronto and the rest of the GTA are in the mess the are in is because of the lack of regional planning in many important areas. Most of the successful cities that get mentioned on this blog are actually cities that are part of strong regional entities. We need greater regional cordination and planning starting YESTERDAY. Giving an individual municipality the right to impose new taxes runs counter to effective regional planning. I know that this atttude is anathema to many people on this board whose mouths drool at the taxing powers they see flowing to the Toronto as a result of the City of Toronto Act. But the fact is that most of Toronto’s problems can’t be solved at the municipal level and require a degree of regional planning that can only be imposed by the province, as well as more equitable provincial support. Once you recognize that, you see the City of Toronto Act (and the various taxing powers it gives Toronto) as the booby prize that it is.

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