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Friday’s Headlines

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Miller pushes hard for deal [ Toronto Star ]
The method in Miller’s meltdown [ Toronto Star ]
Post-strike plans: Getting ready to role [ Toronto Star ]
Miller bombed communications strategy on strike, experts say [ Toronto Star ]
Who are the undecided? [ Toronto Star ]
McCallion set trend on curbing sick days [ Toronto Star ]
Don’t vote down deal with unions [ Toronto Star ]
Under fire, Miller lashes out at foes [ Globe & Mail ]
Protocol gives amnesty to misbehaving strikers [ Globe & Mail ]
Full services should be running by next week [ Globe & Mail ]
Miller’s in a fight for his political life — and he’s losing [ Globe & Mail ]
Mind traps of Toronto’s late strike [ Globe & Mail ]
Garbage cleanup to resume tonight, city services ‘by early next week’ [ National Post ]
National Post Editorial Board: Just say no to strikers [ National Post ]
By the numbers [ National Post ]
‘Like living in hell,’ citizens speak out on strike [ National Post ]
How council may vote on the strike [ National Post ]
Q & A: So, my trash is going to be picked up when, exactly? [ National Post ]
Miller faces crucial vote on strike [ National Post ]
Mayor hopes new Toronto deal will be a model [ Globe & Mail ]
David Miller’s deal adds to smell of Toronto’s trash [ National Post ]
Matt Gurney on David Miller: Toronto’s reluctant warrior [ National Post ]
Miller foes ‘disgraceful’ [ Toronto Sun ]
Pesticide fear in dump clean-up [ Toronto Sun ]
Council vote could halt strike deals [ Toronto Sun ]
Curbside pickup to resume Tuesday [ Toronto Sun ]
City can still fix sick leave mess [ Toronto Sun ]

Don’t it make you wanna screen? [ Torontoist ]


  1. I quite liked Salutin’s article, ‘Mind traps of Toronto’s late strike’

  2. As expected, the right-wing rump of Council is making a lot of hay regarding the concessions made to the union. While I’m no defender of the Mayor, I don’t see how he can be blamed for the fact that existing employees will get to keep this benefit. I don’t think this target was ever achievable by Council.

    That said, I do blame the Mayor for leading the public to believe that this goal was achievable if only the public were patient and endured the inconvenience of a strike. I do blame the Mayor for misrepresenting what was achieved for the City in this deal. I do blame the Mayor for stoking a level of destructive, mean-spirited, anti-labor sentiment the likes of which this City has not seen in years. (Funny how all the NDP MPPS and MPS went AWOL through all this.) I do blame the Mayor for picking and chosing those fronts when he wants to “act” as if the city is in financial crisis. (I’m not saying the city isn’t in financial crisis, but we have a Council that always has money for the Mayor’s pet projects including questionable new hires — and then pleads financial crisis when it wants to shut discussion down.) I do blame the Mayor for fostering a public mood in which it will probably be more likely for the right-wing agenda of privatization to proceed. (Everybody points out that the private sector wages for these jobs are generally cheaper — Nobody wants to acknowledge that the main reason that this is so is because Canada has for the past 2 decades maintained ridiculously high immigration rates that guarantee a ready supply of cheap, desperate labor.)

    Seems to me that the City’s strategy was little more than just saving money on wages while its union employees were out on strike. About a week or so ago, one of Spacing’s commentator’s called the Mayor’s performance during this strike as “letter-perfect”. I guess it depends on what alphabet one is referring to.

  3. Social workers sometimes like to say that their main hope is to go out of business. What they mean is that when everyone has a living wage with a secure social safety net, then they will no longer be necessary. Well, Toronto’s social workers are poised to go out of business, but not in the same sense as above.

    Rick Salutin repeats the same tired trickle-down theory demanding solidarity for CUPE, claiming they set a higher standard for other employers. Rick knows full well that non-public sector workers, unionized or not, will never have the power to claim the same level of wages and benefits of CUPE. The pie is finite and CUPE just grabbed more than its share.

    Also, it’s a funny kind of solidarity that uses coercion to extract more money from those they show solidarity with, while diverting scarce funds from limited social program budgets towards their own salaries. It’s a funny kind of solidarity that calls children scabs if they clean away the garbage piling up in their local playgrounds.

    Rick suggests raising taxes, and I would support this if property taxes were not the most regressive form of taxation used by governments. Property taxes are really just a tax on large families and renters.

    And so as long as unions can force a monopoly on a city that can force payment, there is nothing to restrain them except massive program cuts. This is what Mike Harris did, and apparently these decadent public sector unions haven’t learned their lesson.

    Toronto’s Mike Harris will impose massive, stupid, arbitrary cuts in order to keep the budget under control. This is how social workers will put themselves out of business in Toronto.

  4. such a dilemma… if these councilors vote down the deal, everyone will realize how totally incompetent asses they are, but we’ll be stuck with at least another month of strike.

  5. Re: Don’t vote down deal with unions

    I know the Star’s comment section gathers some of the less intelligent people on the internet, but I honestly feel my IQ drop 10 points after reading some of that WHAGRBBL.

    Conservative members on council are claiming that the city “lost” and plan to vote against the contracts, and the vocal minority is eating it right up without even using what tiny brainpower they may have to think for themselves. The city and the union negotiated a compromise that they both could live with. That is why they call it ‘negotiations.’ No one wins or loses, ideally they both work together to find a solution that works best for both parties.

    If the city held with its no sick bank period position, then we would much further away from the end of this strike, and these same retards would be WHAGRBBL about garbage piling up, lack of services, and the city failing to handle the strike effectively.

    Even your average moron could see that these members of council are playing politics. They know, or at least expect the contracts to pass, so this way they can look “strong” in front of the sub-morons. If this contract does not go through, then it will go to arbitration and the union will get everything it wants and then some. While I’m sure the sub-morons will still find a way to WHAGRBBL the blame on Miller, everyone else will realize the blame falls squarely on council’s right wing members and Miller will get re-elected.

  6. Mark
    Salutins article is an old man’s reflection on what might have been and is completely irrevant to the present Toronto issue that is about trying to bring the public sector unions into the real world where you are rewarded for performance not rewarded for showing up on the job.
    There is not a right wing rump on Council, there is a left wing rump in power. Miller has by his Bush like attacks on any opponents shifted the political spectrum to say he and his allies are ‘left leaning’ whereas he and allies are actually left wing and extremely left wing. There are simply no Harris right wingers on this Council outside maybe of Rob Ford who I do not count because he is in the separate fruit loop category.
    Miller caved in this strike just because of this. When push came to shove his left wing/NDP mindset and that of his Executive Committee did not allow him to confront an underlying belief system that unions are always right and employers are evil capitalists seeking to exploit the working class. I have been down to Committee meetings and watched where Miller and his Executive obfuscate before union deputations expressing this exact same class warfare crap.
    The Star, the most liberal of the mainstream media has been the most critical of the Mayor during the strike so don’t call those who express the same views and oppose Miller a right wing Rump. They are in any broader perspective moderates opposing an extreme left wing control freak who demonstrated yesterday in his irrational loss of control that he is both arrogantly intolerant of the views of others and out of touch with public opinion. For all his pretty words and visions yesterdays performance pushed Miller close to the self righteous Fascist/Communist convergence where no opposition is tolerated.
    It is not pleasant to see hope implode but facts are only facts and Miller’s credibility is destroyed by his own hubris.

  7. Re: Mark’s comment: “The Star, the most liberal of the mainstream media has been the most critical of the Mayor during the strike so don’t call those who express the same views and oppose Miller a right wing Rump.”
    Actually Mark, most of the Star’s criticism wasn’t so much with the substance of the agreement but with the fact that it could have probably been achieved before any strike took place and certainly without the Mayor fostering false and unrealizable expectations among the public. (Royson James’ column of today -Sat, Aug.1, makes these points most explicitly.)

    My comments were not meant to criticize the so-called right-wing of council since I would agree that they are certainly within the bounds of fair comment to point out Mayor’s shortcomings in achieving his stated objectives. (And the term “rump” was meant to suggest that these individuals are a minority on Council.) That said, I don’t think these objectives were possible — and for that I think the mayor is fully deserving of the jeers and condemnations he is receiving for having fostered these expectations.

    My guess is that at the onset of the strike, Miller thought these goals were achievable … and that he was willing for the strike to continue until these goals were achieved. Obviously, that didn’t happen. My guess is that the negotiations took on a greater sense of urgency for the City because the Medical Officer of Health was on the verge of asking the Province to intervene for health-related reasons. (Which would have been even more disastrous for the Mayor’s re-election chances.) He gambled (as he is wont to do) and he lost (also as he is wont to do — except it seems when it comes to elections).

  8. Ben,
    I do not know who oversees this sight so I and I hope others will step forward and state that your posting is offensive and not in the spirit of spacing to encourage dialoge as oppose to diatribe. To paraphrase yourself I would say that morons and sub-morons calling other morons, morons and sub-morons is not a particularly fruitful use of intellect. [Though it does have a sort of catchy rythum.]
    But I quess that thought has probably stretched the limits of your synapses too far and I don’t want to cause any more damage to what is clearly a fairly severe pre existing condition.
    So I will sign off by saying; if you want to insult people do so with some elegance.

  9. Where are the supporters of Miller who regularly come forward on this site with intelligent comment. I cannot believe that you are all on vacation while Miller experiences one of the most rapid and extreme collapses in political fortune and credibility in the history of municipal politics. This is something that should be talked about, why the silence? Or is it simply to painful to watch vision die?

  10. John’s comment is the best one I’ve read on the strike anywhere. Word up, John!

  11. samg: that was McD’s comment about the Star, not me!

  12. why say that property taxes are really a tax on renters? property taxes are a tax on properties. property owners are liable for those taxes, regardless of whether a property is tenanted. it’s a single tax (there aren’t different taxes for rented and owner-occupied properties). and it’s paid once. to say that property tax is passed on to renters misses the point that, at least in toronto, property rental is a market. landlords are not in cahoots with each other to ensure that they recover property taxes — they have to compete with each other for tenants, which might require operating at a loss from time to time.

    similarly, why do you say that property taxes are really a tax on large families? property taxes are calculated by taking a fixed percentage of a property’s market value, as determined by mpac. it’s simply not true that the market value of large-family-occupied homes is always, or even generally, higher than others. a tiny house in rosedale or the annex will almost certainly have a higher market value than a large family home on dufferin, and therefore the family on dufferin pays less property tax to the city than the owners in rosedale and the annex.

    … and let’s not forget that property taxes do not pay for everything the city does for property owners. property owners are additionally billed for water (supply and sewage) and waste collection.

  13. Property taxes can be passed directly onto tenants. If rental prices are kept below market due to legislation (as is the case in Ontario for the most part), that means there is little reason for a landlord to care if the property taxes go up. The tenant might care, but what is he or she going to do about it? This is one way that property taxes place undue burdens on those less able to pay.

    Also, a large family of modest means is more likely to own a large home, out of necessity, than a power couple with no kids living in a condo. The power couple will pay less in property taxes than the large family, whether the family rents or owns.

    I did not mention that an elderly couple on a pension might find themselves with an unbearable tax burden if their home happens to rise in value compared to those in other areas. That’s fine if they plan on selling their house, but I would argue that a just tax system should not seek to toss old people out of their homes just because the market rollercoaster happened to jerk up for these folks at the wrong moment.

    And finally, while the weathiest families may earn 100 or even 1,000 times as much income as the median family, their homes will not be proportionately more expensive. Meanwhile, a $500,000 home may be occupied by people earning just about any income.

    Property taxes have little to do with the ability to pay.