Toronto muses ban on union and corporate contributions
New policy must be passed by Dec. 31 in time for 2010 election
(Column written Nov. 6 for Town Crier.)
After years of debate, delay and foot dragging, the city plans to deal with the hot button issue of banning corporate and union donations in elections.
I would like to say it’s about time, but truthfully the city is dangerously flirting with running out of time.
This is a case of waiting until the eleventh hour to tackle an issue politicians clearly aren’t eager to vote on. Any new election finance reform policy must pass before the end of this year because all candidates can start registering on Jan. 4, 2010.
There’s no reason to defer the issue any longer.
Posted in Toronto Politics
Tagged 2010, ban, city, contributions, corporations, council, Councillor Michael Walker, Councillors Cliff Jenkins, donations, election, Executive Committee, finance, Kris Scheuer, Professor Robert MacDermid, rebates, reform, Stuart Green, Toronto, unions
(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.
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
Posted in Toronto Politics, Toronto Strike
Tagged City of Toronto, Councillor Joe Mihevc, garbage, illegal dumping, Kris Scheuer, Mayor David Miller, sick days banked, Toronto, Toronto Strike Impact, Town Crier newspaper, unions
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?
“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
Posted in Toronto Politics
Tagged 39-day strike, City manager Joseph Pennachetti, City of Toronto, city strike, Councilllor Shelley Carroll, Councillor Joe Mihevc, Councillor John Parker, Kris Scheuer, Mayor David Miller, Responsible Government Group, Town Crier, unions, who lost?, who won?