Daily Archives: September 3, 2009

More strike winners and losers

(Originally written Aug. 7 for Town Crier.)

Did Mayor David Miller, businesses and society as a whole win or lose in the city strike?
I am looking at it from all three sides. I have also examined the labour dispute and its aftermath from perspective of the city, unions and residents. For that part of the story, click here.

Businesses
It’s all losses as far as I can tell. 
Many small businesses that get city trash pick-up could take garbage to temporary dumps, but let’s face it some of them had to pony up cash for a private hauler.
Some businesses also had to cancel or relocate scheduled events because the city was not issuing permits or cleaning up garbage. In some cases, non-union staff and management helped with clean up of major street festivals such as the Pride parade.

Mayor David Miller
Miller has been badly beaten up by the media, councillors in opposition to him, unions and residents. He probably lost more than most when it comes to public perception. Continue reading

Strike’s over, who won and lost?

A reflection on the civic labour dispute
(This was written Aug. 7 for Town Crier.)

So the 39-day strike is over.
Are you still wondering who emerged victorious from this civic battle? 
I am. 
“Everyone loses. Civility is lost. Spin replaces truth. The Canadian sense of compromise is compromised,” lefty councillor Joe Mihevc tells me. “I don’t know any strike where people can say, ‘this ended well’.”
No one wins in a strike, Mayor David Miller said repeatedly at press conferences and I agree. 
But clearly this messy public fight can’t be summed up as simply as “everyone lost”. So I’m taking a closer look at exactly who won and lost from the point of view of the residential taxpayers, the City of Toronto and unions. 
I also looked at the labour unrest from the perspective of businesses, the mayor and society at large, click here for that story. Continue reading

1 Bloor condo buyers get money back

Deposits held in trust will be refunded with interest
Many unit purchasers gave deposits in 2007 for now defunct project
By Kris Scheuer
(I wrote this for Town Crier Sept 3. Click here for UPDATE.)

1 Bloor

Realtor Garth Juriansz in front of vacant site at 1 Bloor East. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

All purchasers of condo units at the proposed tower at 1 Bloor St. East should start to see their money back any day now.
Anna Cass of Royal LePage Your Community Realty told the Town Crier on Sept. 1 around 3:30 she received confirmation of the refunds about an hour earlier that day.
“The cheques just went in the mail,” said Cass, who purchased a unit herself and sold condos to numerous clients at the then-proposed 80-storey tower at Yonge and Bloor. “I spoke to the people who do the refunds.”
On Aug. 18 Bazis International announced they are selling the property at the southeast corner of one of Toronto’s busiest intersections. Great Gulf is buying the site with a closing date around Sept. 16.
Bazis had originally planned to build the tallest residential tower in Toronto. That project is now defunct, so lawyers working for Bazis International will be processing refunds after each purchaser signs release forms.
Cass said as a condo unit purchaser, she wasn’t concerned that her deposit wouldn’t be returned.
Re/Max Realtron agent Garth Juriansz agrees refunds were always secure.
“Getting their money back was never a question,” said Juriansz, who purchased a condo and sold 20 units for 1 Bloor.
That’s because the Ontario Condominium Act stipulates purchasers deposits must be held in trust accumulating interest, said Juriansz.
Lawyer Chris Jaglowitz also emailed to say the same thing.
“I was concerned my clients wouldn’t get their money back in time to do something else with it,” said realtor Juriansz.
“They want to use their money to invest or buy something else.” 
The law firm Robins Appleby and Taub is in the process of issuing refunds to all purchasers who sign a release form first.
For more on this developing story, please click here for update.