Why people love Rob Ford, or think they do
So mayor-elect Rob Ford was voted in. I talk politics all day at work as a reporter with my colleagues and other journalists. I interview politicians, residents, business people about the decisions at city hall. Then I talk with friends and loved ones more about this city, life, news, politics. I listen, read and watch politics. Ahh…
But I can always use more of a reality check into what people I don’t know think about politics and the election. I’d love to hear what you think: what are you excited about, confused about, fearful of with a new mayor Rob Ford about to take the helm?
Let me share with you some comments I overheard from strangers having conversations about Rob Ford’s policies post-election.
First up: Tuesday Oct. 26 the day after the election. It was raining. The streetcar took 15-20 minutes to arrive. It was standing room only with very little room for any more passengers when I overheard a woman ask the streetcar driver about Rob Ford’s policy to get rid of Toronto streetcars.
I could not hear well enough or get close enough to hear their 15-minute discussion on the likelihood of streetcars being shelved. But it was interesting to hear her raise this concern about what she heard regarding Rob Ford’s intentions.
During the mayoral campaign, Rob Ford spoke often about getting rid of some streetcars and replacing them with buses.
In his transit plan on page 2 he writes, ” We will improve traffic flow downtown by removing some streetcars. Streetcars on downtown arterial streets will replaced with clean buses that provide the same capacity on the same routes. This will make the system safer and more accessible for all users.”
“It will also improve traffic flow,” Ford’s transit plan states.
“Zero net cost. Cost to purchase and operate new buses will be offset by savings from reducedpurchase of streetcars, sale of existing streetcars and reduced streetcar system maintenance.” Continue reading
Posted in Toronto a day in the life
Tagged cut, eliminate, Kris Scheuer, Libraries, Mayor, platform, policies, Rob Ford, spend, streetcars, Transit
Mayoral candidate unveils plan to balance 2011 budget
Modest tax increase, no staff firings, no service cuts
(Written for Town Crier Oct. 14)
Toronto mayoral candidate Joe Pantalone releases his economic plan. Photo by Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.
Joe Pantalone made two big announcements this morning:
First, Pantalone said he won’t drop out of the race for the city’s top job. And second, he said he can deliver a balanced budget in 2011.
“This budget has a number of components in it,” he said. “First of all it has no service cuts. It does not call for any additional money from the provincial government for 2011 because we understand the province and feds have financial issues as well.
“It is a city building-budget which is fiscally responsible,” he claimed.
Pantalone said the city’s facing a $503 million gap to balance next year’s budget. That pressure grows to $541 due to $22 million in campaign promises plus the $16 million revenue loss of phasing out the vehicle registration tax in 2011 through 2014 plus a four-year tax freeze for seniors earning less than $50,000 living in their own home.
Mayoral hopeful attends Town Crier editorial board
Then announcing he’s quitting race hours later
(Written for To wn Crier Oct. 13. See UPDATE.)
Mayoral candidate Rocco Rossi told the Town Crier’s editorial board today his campaign isn’t stumbling but picking up steam.
“I think the choice is clearer and clearer,” he said at the Oct. 13 session before he later announced he’d bow out of mayoral race.
Rocco Rossi at the Town Crier offices. Photo by Victor Aguilar/Town Crier.
With all the other candidates, save Joe Pantalone, having released their economic platforms, Rossi said that he’s riding high on the news that the Globe & Mail,Toronto Sun, National Post and Toronto Board of Trade have all said that so far his plan is the only one that adds up and is fiscally-responsible. His plan includes eliminating Toronto’s $3 billion in debt that costs the city $450 million in payments annually by selling off Toronto Hydro, the city’s a minority share in Enwave and some surplus land.
Posted in Toronto Politics
Tagged campaign, economic, Ford, George, Joe, Kris Scheuer, Mayor, Pantalone, platform, polls, Rob, Rocco, Rossi, Smitherman, Town Crier
Mayoral hopeful shares his ideas for running Toronto
Ford’s thoughts on transit, taxes, controversies, consensus-building
(Written Aug. 24/10 for Town Crier.)
Mayoral candidate Rob Ford at an Aug. 24 Town Crier editorial board meeting. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.
Faced with a packed room full of Town Crier and cultural media reporters, mayoral candidate Rob Ford was peppered with questions about whether he’d welcome newcomers to Toronto.
“The official plan says we need another million people in the GTA or Toronto. We can’t even take care of the 2.5-2.7 million people we have in the city now,” he told the Town Crier editorial board this afternoon.
He said wait times in hospitals are too long, there are 70,000 people on the city’s affordable housing list and the homeless population is increasing.
“We don’t have the right to say you can’t move to Toronto,” he said. “Of course not. But in a perfect world, what I’d like to do is get us from the red into the black, have a surplus, reduce our debt, have our finances under control then I’d say great let’s welcome more people.” Continue reading
Posted in Toronto Politics
Tagged budget, candidates, councillor, expenses, Kris Scheuer, mayoral, newcomers, platform, Rob Ford, savings, Town Crier, Transit, TTC
First plank in Smitherman’s policy platform unveiled
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier, May 27. UPDATE here.)
Mayoral candidate George Smitherman at the Town Crier offices for an editorial board meeting. Photo by Victor Aguilar/Town Crier.
George Smitherman, the perceived frontrunner in the mayoral race, will be starting to unveil his campaign platform tomorrow starting with an expansive transportation plan.
At an editorial board meeting at the Town Crier offices the afternoon of May 27, Smitherman gave insight into his three-pronged platform, which will also include a detailed roadmap emphasizing jobs, community development and a focus on the city’s core services.
Details on how he’d focus on core services will come later in his campaign, but did speak specifically about recreation and parks. Continue reading
Posted in Toronto Politics
Tagged city, George Smitherman, Kris Scheuer, Mayor, plan, platform, race, Toronto, Town Crier, Transit, transportation