Friday, September 25, 2009

Reaction to Mayor Miller's Resignation

It's impressive how people see what they want to see. Mayor David Miller's numbers tanked after the garbage strike. With the news this week that the sick day bank was going to cost $200 million more than what was bandied about during the strike, the perception that he not only screwed up in dealing with the union, but also lied to Torontonians, grew. As the pollster on the radio this morning said, Miller has to find a way out. And today he did. He announced that he will not be running in 2010 as Mayor but will continue to lead this city until the election 14 months down the road -- as people elected him to do, I might add.

I have vociferously objected to Miller's policies on garbage, making garbage day a nightmare for anyone with any kind of disability who has to deal with it on their own. I also see his garbage policies as whitewashing the fundamental problem of waste having grown astronomically in the past couple of decades and no amount of recycling is going to ameliorate that. I objected to him continuing the polluting dumping idea by buying a dump in rural Ontario and pissing off our neighbours, while continuing to nix creating electricity from our own waste. I objected to him imposing another land transfer tax on top of the provincial one, making it that much harder for young adults and new immigrants to stay in the city if they wanted to own a home. I thought he did a terrible job in advocating for Toronto at the provincial and federal levels. True, trying to get Toronto-hating former Harrisites in power in Ottawa was a tough task but I felt he soft-shoed it too much. And then he made the disastrous decision to apply for streetcar funding from the Feds' infrastructure fund instead of filling potholes and repairing bridges. I'm appalled at how dirty this city has become, literally, with litter all over, and politically with left treating the right as scum, not recognizing that they represent Torontonians too and thus should be respected and listened to as much as they demand for themselves. I think banning guns is a daft idea. They get smuggled in by the boatload so how is banning legitimately owned guns going to make a diff? Registering them at least helps the police follow the trail when they come across a stolen one, but banning them will not add any more safety. Far better to spend money and political power on getting to the root cause of the crime and hopelessness, which Miller during his speech claimed he did.

But crime has not gone up under his watch, as some claim. It's gone down. The homeless problem is as bad as ever but I don't think worse. Taxes have gone up but compared to 905 regions, it's a trickle. You think our tax hikes are bad -- try 8% or more. And corruption is the same as ever, though there's at least been no hint of scandal like the one that swept Miller into power. So anti-Miller people, get a grip. This is good news but we don't need to smear the guy with lies.

I'm pleased that we now have a chance to have a new Mayor. Miller's announcement will inject the city and next election with buzz. Hopefully, Torontonians will use their noggins this time round and elect someone who will grow our city without dumping on the most vulnerable in their zeal to be more green, more trendy, more right leaning, or whatever. In short, we need a Mayor -- and we need new Councillors -- who will enact policies that will include every single person living in this city and allow them to participate, not just the rich, healthy, with time on their hands folks.

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