THE DEMOCRATIC REPORTER
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National Post - Oct. 19, 2009 - By Kelly McParland
Move to Toronto and underachieve
These are dark days in Toronto, God's favourite city, so open and friendly that billboard ads in B.C. make fun of it. (And so thin-skinned it quickly forces the ads to be taken down.)
It's not just the annual fall disappointment of its hockey team. The Leafs have gone seven games without a win, meaning they wake up every day to eager newspersons with microphones, all asking the same question: Why do you stink so bad? This is known to be helpful to a team's mental equilibrium.
Nope, it's not just the Leafs. As the Post's Joe O'Connor cruelly but accurately pointed out last week, stinking is what Toronto sports teams do. The Blue Jays are a lousy, underfunded baseball team with a big ballpark they can't fill, and a manager the players don't like. The local professional soccer team is good at selling beer, not so good at winning games. And the Argos ... well, my therapist says I should dwell on more pleasant subjects.
Besides sports, Toronto's self-satisfied city fathers and mothers have been told they're running a city that is fast becoming a convenient bedroom community for people working in the surrounding suburbs. Every morning Highway 401 is jammed with cars heading out of the city, and every night it's jammed with cars heading in. An annual ranking of entrepreneurial cities by the FP/ Canadian Federation of Independent Business rankings puts Toronto dead last at 96 out of 96, well behind its own suburbs at 33. A big reason is that Toronto is run by people who think the way to create a great city is raise heaps of money and spend it on bicycle lanes, in the misguided notion that people commuting home from the surburbs will do it by bike, especially in the winter.
Bikes are such a priority in the city that a Facebook protest group has sprung up to campaign against Toronto's out-of-synch traffic lights, which force cars to stop at block after block as they inch their way along. The city's traffic manager told reporters the politicians haven't specifically ordered him to make life miserable for drivers, but that "car traffic is lower on our list of priorities." Than what? Duck crossings?
Earlier this year the city got another bad report card. In April the Board of Trade reached the same conclusion as today's FP ranking, indicating that Toronto is a swell spot to be on the weekend, but you wouldn't want to run a business there. Incomes are growing faster, local economies are doing better and joblessness is less of a problem in the region outside the city.
Maybe that's why suburban politics seems so much more competitive. The fiercest contest in municipal politics is shaping up to be Carolyn Parrish's attempted coup against Hazel McCallion in Mississauga, where the famously loose cannon Liberal is eyeing the 88-year-old mayor for life and licking her lips.
North of the city, in Vaughan, the council has spent almost its time since the last election trying to eject Mayor Linda Jackson so somebody else can have a run at the job.
And in Toronto? Well, in Toronto the mayor has declared himself so successful he can't think of anything else to do, and is stepping down. The only declared candidate for the job so far wants to cash in on prostitution and gambling, regulating hookers, starting up a city lottery and building a casino, then taxing the hell out of it all to build affordable housing (presumably for the junkies and gambling addicts.)
It's novel, yes. But everyone has the same question: Will it get us more bike lanes?
Comments by others, 2, to this web-page;
by Richard V Oct 19 2009
Also, New York's Mayor Bloomberg has added miles and miles of bike lanes to all five-boroughs and that city doesn't suck nearly as hard as Toronto.
by dmn451 Oct 19 2009
- the worse run city in the worse run province in Canada.
by RogersJi Oct 19 2009
Surely Mississauga isn't so stupid to trade their long term mayor for Carolyn Parrish?! Looks like too many Toronto immigrants are now living in Mississauga.
by Sassylassie Oct 19 2009
Tarrana, a wonderful example of the damage the socialist can do with their demented upside down loopy dangerous logic or lack there of.
by Straightup Oct 19 2009
On one of my trips home I went down into the humber area by old mill and saw how basically they let it all grow in. So all the pick-nic areas were now gone. I thought it rather fitting that you're all paying more money but management has gone down the toilet.
Its clearly getting worse.
You can vote in another mayor but you're getting screwed by the entreched up strata of the bureaucracy that's killing your city.
We're seeing the same bs here in Calgary with a failed ex lib as our mayor.
by etiam Oct 19 2009
Maybe you'd sell more papers than you do now. Probably wouldn't hurt your sales east of Manitoba - you can't sell less than zero of something.
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