Posts Tagged ‘Toronto’

Littering the Waterfront with Corporate Names

Is Burger King’s Quay a future street name?” asks the Toronto Star this morning.

Waterfront Toronto is so starved of cash — why? are the Feds not ponying up? is the Province hemming and hawing instead of providing financial incentive to get it going? the city is broke, that we know! — that it’s considering giving corporations naming rights to our Waterfront.

Great. Now instead of a relaxing and pleasing-to-the-eye landscape, a place of beauty and rest, especially for Torontonians unable to leave the city for vacation spots, we’ll have a length of lakefront dotted with inane names like Rogers Centre. It’s bad enough the government reneged on their promise to keep the name SkyDome, but now we’re told that we may have every single square mm of our visual landscape littered with these stupid names, which names will be guaranteed to change everytime the Waterfront needs more money and a different company steps up to the plate.

To wit, I am now completely lost as to where I’m supposed to go with some venues as the name changes every time I turn around, it seems.  I even get stopped on the street and asked for directions to such-and-such a place, except that that place no longer exists, well, it physically exists, just that the name no longer applies. This is the big problem when you follow the American model instead of the European model and when the big governments swimming in cash do not fund the small governments and public property properly.

Earth Hour T.O. Style

Lights at St Patricks'Tomorrow, Saturday, March 29, at 8:00 pm ET, the lights will be going out in Toronto, and hopefully the computers and radios and TVs too, but not the fridges or freezers. That might be going a bit too far. This time city goes black, it will not be because of an unforeseen power disruption, but because Torontonians, including City Hall, will be deliberately turning off the lights as a gesture of solidarity against climate change.

I’m not sure how one can be against climate change — it’s happening — but more accurately to protest the lack of change to protect our climate and thus ourselves.

Earth Hour runs from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm, and to get in the mood, City Hall is hosting an acoustic concert, starting at 6:45 pm, with Nelly Furtado, the Philosopher Kings, and Fefe Dobson, which will end at lights back on: 9:00 pm. How does one hold a concert sans power, even an acoustic one where sound cannot project far in an open area? The answer is Bullfrog of course. They will be the power behind the musicians.

Tory Rant

It’s amazing what getting creamed in an election and having an entire riding pissed at you for your high-handed ways will do to a party’s attitude to the big city.

“”Dalton McGuinty likes to blame others for his problems,” Flaherty told a somewhat bewildered business audience expecting a preview of the federal budget.” (Toronto Star, 10-03-08)

The former finance minister for Ontario under the Mike Harris Tories, the same party that never got rid of the province’s deficit, I might add, Jim Flaherty attacks the Premier, the man who beat his provincial party in the polls — do I detect a hint of sour grapes? — for financial incompetence. It’s rather strange that Prime Minister Stephen Harper let him speak as it was, but to let him go on and on about the business taxes in Ontario — which would not have to be so high if the other nine provinces, three territories, and Ottawa didn’t keep sucking the Ontario tax teat dry — and how it’s all the Liberals fault Ontario is tanking, never mind that Flaherty participated in the cancelling of the infrastructure and city-building projects when the Harris Tories came into power, is just unprecedented. After all, the PM is known for putting duct tape on the mouths of all federal Tories two years ago when they came into power.
So obviously Harper agrees with him.

Then suddenly we had the odd spectacle of Flaherty enthusiastically giving Toronto — that evil city, the blight of Canada — over $300 million for, gasp, transit! Yes, they’d promised some money over a year ago. But after all the belly aching about Toronto, and now Ontario, one hardly expected them to be serious and for Flaherty to be in the photo op. And to announce that the money is going towards hybrid buses is even more surprising. They really have been converted on the road to a hotter Damascus.

But have they?

I doubt it. Flaherty said a couple of days ago on television that the federal Conservatives needed to build in the 416. Whoa! I thought the Harper Tories figured they could win a majority sans Toronto. Isn’t that why they’ve watched as our city has sunk more and more into the mire of poverty? Isn’t that why they’ve blamed us and our politicians for our woes and troubles? Isn’t that why they haven’t followed the lead of their US mentors by funding transit and rebuilding infrastructure and giving us back some of the billions in taxes they suck out of us?

Apparently, that by-election they put off and put off and angered one riding by getting rid of the Tory candidate who’d been campaigning like a dog for months and then lengthened before finally getting it done, taught them a few things. They need cities. They need Toronto. And now they’re sucking up to us and kissing our asses. Former Conservative PM Brian Mulroney won several seats in Toronto. Some of elected became important members of his cabinet. That’s how he kept his political lock on the country. Whether the rest of the country likes it or not, Ontario is the engine of Canada — as Harper belatedly acknowledged yesterday on television, standing in front of kids’ drawings — and Toronto is the engine of Ontario. We are the biggest city in the country, we are its financial centre, we are the city the world knows best, and we support the country with billions of our bucks. We go down, you go down. I don’t believe that Harper and Flaherty get that yet. I believe that all this sudden new conciliatory attitude to my city, my province, is all to get votes in the election they’re trying to get going if only the Liberals would vote against them in one of those upteen bogus confidence motions they keep throwing out. Once they have their majority, they’ll ignore us again and go back to creating greater division between us and the rest of Canada. The best thing for Toronto is to keep them on a tight leash. Minority governments all the way because the Liberals ignore us too, just not in such a mean fashion.

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