Friday, June 24, 2011

A Round Up, but not the kind that causes birth defects.

Torontonians woke up to an unsettling reality this morning: the Mayor is still refused to go to Pride, the House of Commons was still in session, the police admitted to some G20 mistakes, the Jarvis bike lane was gone(or, will be gone), and J. Crew announced plans for a store here(seriously, that was in the news).

All of these things paired with the dark, ominous clouds and rain make this one of the weirdest Fridays in recent memory.

Toronto Sun OpEd: Mayor Ford stands proud: "Indeed, we admire Ford for sticking to his guns on this issue, now that all the usual suspects who hate Ford and everything he stands for, no matter what he does, are trying to puff up this non-issue into a crisis."

I wonder which guns the Toronto Sun are referring to here? In reality, Ford is trying to make his neglect of Pride a non-issue, requiring no guns at all. It's just a matter of scheduling, according to him and his mama. So while we who "hate Ford and everything he stands for" are taking this opportunity to highlight some issues, Ford supporters seem to putting words in his mouth and making it seem like he stood on top of city hall and burnt the Pride flag while screaming that he'll die before we force him to partake in homo explosion. Pretending that he's taken a clear stance(a stand even), when he really hasn't, is no better than what they're accusing us of doing.

Next, the G20: It's funny that something like "Toronto police admit to making mistakes" would be a headline, but after last year's G20 mess it's about time they admitted to something--anything!!! And speaking of the G20, remember when Rob Ford was just a candidate for mayor and he said that the police were "too nice" during the G20 and then he became the mayor? Life really is stranger than fiction.

Speaking of strange, who could have guessed that the debate on back to work legislation for Canada Post would not only go through the night, but into the afternoon? With no signs of stopping? Back to work legislation is the worst, especially considering the lockout. Forcing unions back to work kind of goes against the entire idea of having a union--that sometimes people try to fuck with your rights and you should have some options to fight back and maintain or improve your situation. Back to work legislation is just plain lazy and it does irreparable damage to workers rights in this country. So, I like this all night debate.

I think it's great that the NDP is holding strong (proving some of us naysayers wrong), and they're probably having an easier time filling seats considering they have so many young MPs! Toss a couple of redbulls at those young 'uns, a few bags of chips, maybe a nintendo DS, and you've got yourself a debate! Besides it being interesting, I also like the idea of politicians actually working hard for their paycheques. The thought of Prime Minister Harper trying to steal a few hours of sleep on his office couch? Priceless. Also, it reminds me of the Parks and Recreation episode when Leslie filibusters her own meeting and reads the constituents a children's book. Watch and read the debate, live, on the CBC.

Onto bike lanes: the Jarvis bike lane issue is just silly. Removing a bike lane less than a year after it was installed is short sighted and hasty at best. Of course there should have been community involvement and of course the Councillor of that area should be an integral part of any decision made. I've used the Jarvis bike lane maybe three times, I actually really don't like taking it because it's covered in pot holes and by the time I reach my destination my teeth feel like they might fall out from rattling so much. But, that's a description of practically every bike lane in this city.

How much will it cost to actually remove this bike lane? Is it worth that cost? The lack of a physical bike lane doesn't actually stop cyclists from utilizing a road, so why go to the trouble of removing it? Why not spend the money and time that has now been (and will be) wasted and use it to fix some bike lanes that are in shitty condition. I'm obviously biased, my biggest fantasy is to have one major road running North/South and East/West that is entirely for cyclists, and I think that makes me a crazy lefty cyclist who doesn't stop at red lights.

Jake Tobin Garrett(Spacing) 'On the removal of bike lanes': "It’s almost as if Rob Ford is running around with big Wite-Out pen and gleefully erasing everything he can of the Miller years. Transit City? Check. Fort York Bridge? Check. Jarvis bike lanes? Check. It's important to note that in each one of those cancellations, Ford also forfeited any taxpayers money that had already been committed or spent on the projects. A strange way of respecting the taxpayer, indeed."

It certainly is a strange way of respecting tax payers or, rather, the vast army of taxpayers who are apparently "calling" Mayor Ford incessantly. He told the press: “Yeah, I want to get rid of the bike lanes on Jarvis,” Ford said. “I got a lot of people calling me — they want to get rid of them. I do what the taxpayers want me to do. They want them gone, so I’m going to try to get rid of them.”

Who are these people who seem to have the Mayor on speed dial? Could ONE person who called Rob Ford and asked, specifically, to have the Jarvis bike lane removed step forward--just to prove that you aren't some figment of his imagination?

Does that mean if a lot of taxpayers call Ford and ask him, or tell him, to attend a Pride event then he has to? Or does he only answer his banana phone?

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