Today was a productive day.
Councillors Mary Fragedakis and Paul Fletcher of wards 29 & 30 respectively held an information meeting today in Eastminster United Church. During this event they had speakers from many organizations, including the Toronto Library, Animal Services, and many other fantastic Toronto services speak about the KPMG report’s recommendations for service cuts.
This event was simply the left preaching to the left. It was good to hear from these organizations, and give faces to the proposed cuts. Sadly all they talked about was “SAY NO TO CUTS!” It wasn’t anything to motivate those already against the cuts, it did nothing to move the masses. So I asked a question… well, two.
1) How are the politicians and the activists represented going to work with others to find a medium ground, to compromise?
2) Yes we can contact our councillors, who agree with us, we can contact the Mayor’s office, who will ignore us, we can sign petitions, but what can we do with this massive group here to make a change? How can we mobilize?
Councillor Fletcher answered the second question with the usual rhetoric, getting friends and family outside of the ward to contact their councillors, coming to city council, holding up signs. All good and useful ideas, but nothing that will move the masses. Nothing that will convince the “mushy middle” they so much deride. The first question, she didn’t even touch. She told me we had to move along to the next person.
After the event, I talked to my councillor, Ms. Fragedakis as someone asked her how to get the “mushy middle” to see the “correct” side of the picture. I then asked, “how can we get the ‘mushy middle’ to our side of the picture if we cannot work with them, and compromise to find solutions?” Fragedakis’ response was simply that the left is right, and that we have to convince them to our side.
And ladies and gentlemen, this is why I hate party politics. You have people who are living and breathing the party manifesto and putting that ahead of reason. Yes I’m against Ford’s cut, but Toronto MUST balance it’s budget, why? Because we HAVE TO BY LAW! We cannot, under provincial law, run a deficit. So we have to work with the Fords and Mammolitis to find a middle ground to our budget problems.
One of the speakers there was Mr. Peter Tabuns, who is running for re-election to represent Toronto-Danforth in Ontario’s provincial legislature… Queen’s Park1. He spoke well, and he spoke of getting the province to return to the days of Bob Rae, when Ontario subsidized the operational expenses of the TTC. He spoke well, and he spoke convincingly, and he enticed me to want to vote for him. But how can I do that, if I haven’t yet spoken to the Liberal candidate in my riding, especially because of my dislike of Ms. Howath, the leader of the NDP?
Well, it just so happens, that on my walk home from Eastminster United Church, I ran into Marisa Sterling, who is vying for a seat in Queen’s Park.
It was nice to be able to talk to her. It was disappointing, however. She seems to think that representing the city’s needs is the job of Toronto councillors, and that representing Toronto’s needs provincially is not the job of an MPP elected in Toronto. I have to say that she’s wrong. I have to say that the single job of an MPP or an MP elected to represent Toronto-Danforth in their respective Parliament, is to represent Toronto-Danforth in their respective Parliament.
The Liberals aren’t right, the Conservatives aren’t right, the NDP aren’t right, the Greens aren’t right. No one is 100% right, and we must work together to find a compromise.
- For to two people who didn’t know that. [↩]