Hot Air, Not Safety

We have an odd City Council. On the one hand, they’re suddenly all hot and bothered about private gun clubs leasing space on city property, which as any thinking Torontonian can tell ya will make diddly squat difference to the gun crime rate in Toronto. On the other, they couldn’t care less that the fire department reports serious safety concerns with the design of the St. Clair streetcar right-of-way. They’re much more concerned that Fire Chief Bill Stewart toes the party line and declares everything hunkey dorey. Of course, if they do act in Torontonians’ best interest and start tackling the issues raised in the fire department’s report, then they may, gasp, have to rethink their vaunted light rail transit design and may even have to modify the strategy and, in the end, admit that subways make much more sense on some city streets. After all if wide St. Clair Avenue cannot fit a dedicated streetcar right-of-way (and I’m not saying it cannot, it’s just that the fear-response by Council suggests it), how can narrower, more crowded streets accommodate them, like Pape Avenue on the proposed Don Mills Road LRT?

Mayor David Miller and Council took an inordinate amount of time to respond to the summer of the gun. He couldn’t even get out of his comfy limo to say some soothing words to the masses. But this late-day hot-air shutting down of gun clubs, while shutting up the Fire Chief, says that nothing has changed since 2005. Miller still can’t figure out how to make this city safer, and even when given a concrete report on how to ensure emergency services can arrive safely and quickly to Torontonians in trouble, he doesn’t want to know about it. This is leadership?

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