Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Flailing of a Failing Dictator

More Toronto politics folks.

When we last left our intrepid mayor, he had suffered a defeat at the hands of council. His lackeys looked chagrined, and he was at a bit of a loss.

To the surprise of nobody, he's been lashing out in his own special petty way.

First, there were the Ford-side councillors who sent a letter to our Provincial government that said "hey, council is irrelevant, so you should just ignore that vote."

You don't get to pick and choose if you're relevant in a democracy. You can't cry because you didn't get your way and say you don't matter. Because the next time something goes your way, but the people up the ladder don't like it, they can say, "huh, I thought you said you were irrelevant."


Then word came that the TTC chief general manager, Gary Webster, had sent a report to Ford a while back basically saying, "Um, dude, your plan for a subway makes no sense, will never make sense, isn't feasible, and would be extending a mistake made over a decade ago that resulted in none of the promised gains."  Also known as the truth. Our esteemed mayor and his lackeys decided this report wouldn't be released to the public or council - you know, a vital piece of information that could help inform their decisions about the project.

That same guy made the mistake of telling the truth at the big special council meeting too - 135,000 more people served using the LRT plan instead of the subway plan. Far better value for the dollar.

In short, he wasn't making friends with Ford.  He refused to drop to his knees for the emperor of Toronto.

So Ford's lackeys on the TTC board called their own special meeting of their group, and fired the chief general manager. The guy who's been working for the city for 37 years. Why? For no just cause, but because he didn't kowtow to the Mayor's whims.

The sycophants who still side with Ford toed the same line - "A civic employee should hold the same vision as the Mayor."

No. A civil servant should serve the needs of the citizenry. The ideal civil servant should be apolitical, and be relying on facts and the truth. They shouldn't twist these things to match the current administration's viewpoint if it's directly at odds with reality.  This is why there is a civil service and bureaucracy - to maintain a steady flow of operations as leadership and mandates change.

Oh, and the vote? 5-4. Exactly along the lines of those who "want subways" and those who have a fucking brain.

But, council has still spoken. Firing the guy running the day-to-day of the TTC doesn't change that. It's the bully going after the random kid because his teacher gave him detention and the Principal backed it up. I'm sure Webster's replacement will be someone more in-line with our Mayor. Which means more roadblocks and stumbling blocks to a realistic transit solution finding its way into my city. But hey, anyone who thought Ford wouldn't muck up the works instead of accomplishing anything of significance needs to have their independent thought examined.

Edit: Turns out Webster was one year away from retirement. Also, The Holy Roman Mayor managed to say that the "general public" wanted the TTC to "move forward" with a straight face. I assume he fist-pumped once he was out of sight.

Addendum #2: I forgot to mention that the whispered cost of terminating his contract early? $500,000. Yup. Ford's desire to turf someone who didn't agree with him will cost his beloved "taxpayers" half a mil so he can sit at home instead of working for one more year for, I assume, less money. CHOO CHOO! What's that? Oh, it's the GRAVY TRAIN!!! WOOO WOOO!! Thanks for stopping that your Worship.

Note: "His Worship" is actually the proper title/address for the Mayor.


VinNay said...

I thought you lived in a monarchy. Isn't the queen of England in charge up there?

Astin said...

God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen

Sadly, our Mayor thinks he's got the crown.

Besides, everyone knows the Leafs rule up here. Except for the revolt currently taking place.