Friday, September 2, 2016

Magic Man Tory's Mystical TTC Ride, Ward 42 Open & more -- The Left Chapter City Politics Journal VII

With these two on the job, please let me off the train.
Magic Man Tory Wants to Improve TTC Air Conditioning While Cutting TTC Budget

Just as summer is drawing to close and as the city is on the verge of the blessedly cooler temperatures of fall, Mayor Tory has decided the time has come to take action on overheated subway cars with air conditioning systems in need of repair.

Hopefully something can be done to rectify this by Christmas! It is possible that Tory will have taken his promised ride on one of the "hot" subways with no air conditioning by then -- a pledge that will be much easier to handle for our esteemed mayor should he fulfill it in, say, late September when the dog days of summer are but a memory.

All of this is especially humourous  given that Tory is demanding the TTC tackle the repairs as he continues to insist they also find 2.6% in fictional gravy train "savings" to trim from their budget.

His increasingly delusional and incoherent administration is relying more-and-more on the contrast with his predecessor's buffoonery to maintain the illusion of competence.

Cho Provincial Victory Leaves Council Seat Open

Long time Toronto Ward 42 City Councillor Raymond Cho cruised to an easy victory for the Conservatives in the provincial by-election in Scarborough Rouge River. He did this in spite of his leader Patrick Brown's farcical flip-flopping on the provincial public school sex-ed curriculum, a fact that does not bode well for the Liberal government.

Municipally, however, Cho's victory leaves his council seat open. This is a potentially welcome turn of events given that one would be hard-pressed to find a less worthy replacement, though given the state of Toronto politics anything is possible.

City Council can now either appoint a replacement to fill the council seat for the remainder of the two year term, or they can call a by-election. Given the length of time before the next election I think the latter is more likely.

This has the potential to shift the balance of power slightly should his successor prove to be more progressive.

Recent perpetual candidate Neethan Shan -- who is a school trustee and who placed third in the provincial by-election for the New Democrats -- seems likely to run if council does go the by-election route. If he does he likely stands a reasonable chance to join the ranks of Toronto City Council's milquetoast NDPers like Joe Cressy and Mike Layton.

Given how effectual their 'opposition' to Mayor Tory has been to date, I doubt this prospect worries Tory very much.

Other News

In a positive step "Toronto increases access to emergency dental care for low-income adults". Anti-poverty and community activists and groups remain rightly dubious about Tory's alleged commitment to a civic poverty reduction strategy overall, however, given the looming cutbacks to all city departments.

Want a poster of Mayor John Tory or a Jim Karygiannis mug? Neither do I. But presumably the city will be selling more interesting and fun swag if it goes ahead with a proposed souvenir shop at City Hall.

The OMB was up to its usual pro-developer tricks as "City forced to refund portion of Scarborough subway development charges".

"Councillor ‘exasperated’ as chain eatery opens at prime Beach location"

"Dundas Subway Station Gets New Entrance If Tower Approved"

Look forward to checking out this and future street murals:  "Kensington Market Mural Inaugurates City's Street Art Pilot"

Seriously. Why is this dangerous and very noisy spectacle that appeals to a fairly narrow proportion of the population still taking place over a densely populated city that also has many residents who have survived the terrible, horrific trauma of modern air strikes? It is time for the air show to end. "Air show too traumatic for newcomers who escaped war".

Important Read: 

Landlord Licensing appears to be coming to Toronto at long last. This article in the Torontoist by Leah Lalich is an overview of what this might look like and mean for tenants: "What Toronto’s Potential Landlord Licensing Program Would Look Like"

See you in two weeks!

See also: TTC Austerity, Fantasy Parks, Heat Alerts & more -- Left Chapter Toronto City Politics Journal VI

See also: Tory Austerity, TTC Inanity, Black Lives Matter, Bike Licensing & more -- The Left Chapter Toronto City Politics Journal V

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