Plague Update: Canada, Ontario, etc.

Ended up stumbling onto The Agenda, and this episode was great for anyone interested in the plague, or in city planning to respond to it.
If you want to be able to speak constructively about when we’ll start going back to work, restart the economy, or get back to normal, however you want to put it, you must listen to the first 10 minutes of this episode:

6 conditions to get back to normal, by the WHO:
-control transmission
-test and treat every case
-outbreak risks are minimized in specific places
-limit in schools businesses etc
-limit international spread
-individual communities are empowered to adapt.

The last question posted to the UofT guest was should there be an inquiry like after SARS. Answer was YES, but first action is to READ the SARS inquiry report so they don’t reinvent the wheel, and this time act on all the points to correct.

Next was Cathy Crowe, a Street Nurse who tried to get Toronto to declare a homelessness state of emergency prior to the COVID-19 plague hitting the big city.

Prior to the plague showing that all city resources could be directed at once to a life-and-death problem, only “lip service” was being paid to the homelessness crisis. “We need to align all the resources of the city to pave the way” -Sean G.

“The biggest problem is actually political” “You effectively can’t build an apartment building in 95% of Toronto” – Alex B.

Cathy notes the city lacks about 4-5000 hotel rooms, and the province or city should purchase hotels or apartment buildings that are not financially viable.

Average cost of a detached house in Toronto is over a million dollars! Not many people living in the city can afford that. Where are kids going to live in Toronto once they grow and move out of their parents’ homes.

Legalize rooming houses, and regulate them to help with affordability. Four-plexes should be the new minimum for new construction. People should be able to convert to duplexes.

Canada’s Car Culture Criticized

Glad to see some Danes standing up for Canada.

A Canadian stands up for the Danes.

The Danes stand up for themselves.

A few points have arisen as a result of this discussion, largely in defence of “car culture.” I’d like to address them if I may:

We love our cars!

That’s great. What is important, though, is having choices, and safe, affordable and convenient choices. Cars should not be the only option. In a sustainable, livable city, a citizen should have a choice to walk, cycle, run, take the bus, ride the train, get a lift with a friend or drive. These choices must be open to everybody old, young, able bodied and disabled. It is possible to have it all, and the option of driving a car should be alongside, rather than at the expense of healthier, quicker and often more affordable options.

Country X is too big for sustainable transport

Density and sprawl are more relevant to the discussion than size. Many people live within 5 to 15 km of where they work, shop and play but infrastructure designed exclusively for private cars makes sustainable and healthy travel options difficult. In regards to inter-city travel, driving for lengthy periods is unsafe and time consuming. Large countries in particular should demand superb transport systems between cities to make travel safer, cheaper and more relaxing.

What about winter?

Agreed. Winter in Scandinavia is pretty dismal, especially for vulnerable groups in society. I’m sure parts of Canada are even worse. Again, it is about providing choices for safe travel, not just cars. Gridlock is gridlock in sun and snow. Car-free bus lanes, trains, cleared bicycle and pedestrian lanes alongside traffic-calmed roads can make winter transport safer and more convenient for everybody. The same is true of choices for the remaining three seasons.

Amid the responses to this discussion I genuinely hope that energies are directed towards those who can actually change policy. Hopefully less gridlock, safe and sustainable choices, green spaces and livable, vibrant, healthy communities are what people want all over the world. Sustainable transport is about giving people safe choices to travel, not banning cars.

Future Proof: Ice Storms

Last year Shane vlogged about ice storms. Let’s not wait until a big storm hits Saskatchewan before we future proof our homes being built today.

You can check out Shane’s website, and buy his book.

If I had $20,000 to spend on a “depreciating liability” (a car), or $20,000 to spend on renewable energy for my home, which would be more useful during an ice storm or other time of emergency? Arguably a car could be useful to remove myself from the place of emergency, but if there’s no enough gas, or electricity to pump the gas, or if the roads are jammed, a warm home would be much more useful.

Energy prices are only going to go up, so investing in energy systems today is an excellent choice. A company local to Regina that could help is Sound Solar, but there are others with good reputations also.

Rob Ford is Not a Nice Man #TOpoli

If you defended Rob Ford during his election campaign in 2010, I would have simply said you made a mistake. His angry outbursts against the media, and his ridiculous comments about bike lanes placed him firmly in my political opponents category then. Plus he had a history of drunk driving by that point in his life.

It’s now 3 years later, and he’s admitted to smoking crack and being an angry, drunk driving, alcoholic. If you’re still defending the man as recently as this past Summer, or last month, you’re making a big mistake.

Today, you have even more egg on your face, if you hold more than a shred of human sympathy for this dangerous, oafish, thug.

Trained to Wreck

What’s with short term (and long term) memory loss in this country?

Who could forget Ralph Klein’s drunken abuse a decade ago?
Canada: Alberta Premier berates homeless in visit to shelter

Regina politics isn’t so far removed from showing symptoms mentioned by both Coyne, and uneven behaviour from a Mayoral candidate who refuses to quit despite broad public disapproval.

Nick Kouvalis on how Rob Forb won:[recording]

Political strategist Nick Kouvalis talks about his experience managing Rob Ford’s successful run for Toronto’s Mayoral race of 2010. While the city’s government was bloated, and taxes were too high, Ford’s message of “Respect for Taxpayers” and stopping the gravy train resonated, thanks in part to money for voter outreach phone calls and volunteers to go talk to voters.

Yes, the proud, robocalling Kouvalis can also be partially blamed for RoFo.

Now, if you’d kindly look away again, I get some Ford jokes out of the way, in a batch.
Continue reading

Rob Ford Does The Expected

If there’s an incriminating video out there, naturally you’d hire a criminal cracker to destroy every copy.

#CrackHousing?

Then spend months denying there’s a video. When the police confirm they have recovered the video of the drug abuse, admit to drug use, but a legal drug.
Then admit to using the other drug, but not at the time the infamous video was shot.

https://twitter.com/rolandparis/status/397840060516560896

Rob Ford is moving to Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside to open the next Insite clinic for “harm reduction”. This leaves PM Harper fuming.

What he actually said during his apology press conference was:
“I feel like a 1000lbs have been lifted off my shoulders.”
“I would do anything, absolutely anything, to change the past.” Even do crack?

“I want to be clear, I want to be crystal clear…” Crystal meth clear. Clear, but not how Harper is ‘perfectly clear’. So scripted, yet so heartfelt at the same time. Odd.

Global News commentator was saying Ford’s advisers should tell him to step aside to treat his alleged larger addiction problem, because “voters love a comeback story”. Voters would love a Mayor who isn’t a crackhead drug abuser with dangerous mood swings, poor self control, and thoughtless policies that make their city less prepared for the present and future. If they equate those needs with Ford again, they’ll get the wreck of a man they collectively deserve.

Many are predicting Ford’s re-election next year. I predict he’ll become too infirm from natural causes to serve, or end up in jail as most serious drug abusers seem to do in Harper’s “tough on crime” Canada.

Rob Ford 2012 vs Rob Ford 2013

Stephen Harper urges tougher crime laws, meets with Rob Ford
The mayor met privately with the prime minister in Scarborough for almost an hour Tuesday to talk about curbing gun violence.

Harper and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford held their own meeting on the issue on Tuesday, snubbing Premier Dalton McGuinty, who had asked for all three levels of government to be at the table for a discussion.

After Harper’s motorcade had left, Ford climbed into his SUV in a secure police parking area and drove quickly past waiting reporters and residents who had hoped to speak with the two leaders.

In a two-paragraph statement, Ford later said they had a “very productive conversation” and “shared a number of ideas that will be followed up in the next weeks and months . . . to make sure we have the tools in place to better prevent gang violence and protect the public from criminals.”

Now, Harper is all, “Rob who?”

Toronto shooting: Mayor Rob Ford says gang members should leave the city
“Go somewhere else. I don’t want ‘em living in the city anymore,” Ford said of gang members returning from jail.

Ford also said he will meet with Premier Dalton McGuinty on Monday to ask for more money for policing, not for social programs.

“It just tore my heart apart. And I just thought, this is not the city that we live in, this is — I was mad. More than upset, I was mad. I said, ‘Enough’s enough.’ I’m lookin’ around, and I said, ‘I’m not gonna sit here, I’m gonna be proactive.’ I talked to the premier, got a hold of the premier, called the prime minister’s office, I said, ‘I want meetings. I want something to be done.’ I want these people out of the city. And I’m not going to stop. Not put ’em in jail, then come back and you can live in the city. No. I want ’em out of the city. Go somewhere else. I don’t want ’em living in the city anymore,” Ford said.

He returned to the point later in the interview. “We have to send a message. Three years for possession of a handgun? That’s nonsense. You should do some serious hard time, and not come back here. Once you come out, out of jail, get out of the city. Go somewhere else,” he said.

(torontosun.com/2012/07/17/rob-ford-calls-scarborough-shooting-isolated-insists-city-safe)

“We must use every legal means to make life for these thugs miserable, to put them behind bars, or to run them out of town,” he said. “We will not rest until being a gang member is a miserable, undesirable life.

“Some people have suggested there is a gang war brewing,” Ford said. “I don’t know if that’s true. But, I do know it’s time for us to declare war on these violent gangs.”

2013 comes around and we see a photo of Ford posing with a gang and hear of a video where he is allegedly smoking crack.
rob ford with gang

Rob Ford in 2013 is the “proactive” “tool” fighting drug crime by infiltrating it, right?

BONUS:
Shooting victim from last year’s drug connected shooting spree that inspired Ford to be a proactive tool:

Horoscope for a dead girl’s zombie Twitter account:

It seems as if one phase of your life is falling away, and you aren’t all that unhappy about its demise. If you have been floating along, waiting for something to inspire you, this could be your chance. It’s as if you are expecting guests, yet you don’t know who they are or when they will arrive. Nevertheless, there is a lot to do right now in preparation of your next adventure, so get busy without wasting a precious moment.

Deep Municipal Scandals

When we thought Toronto’s crack Mayor Rob Ford was about to take the national scandal prize, Montreal’s replacement Mayor Michael Appelbaum rides (in a police car) to the rescue with corruption charges. What major city mayor is next to implode? Are Canadian municipal elections selecting the best political candidate they could be?

http://www.twitter.com/Steverukavina/status/346675569058013184

Added to the Harper Parade of Perps is the accused Saulie Zajdel, a “shadow MP” in Irwin Cotler’s Montreal riding. “Reprehensible” push polling was done by Campaign Research for the Conservatives in that riding, in an effort to position Zajdel for a Conservative MP seat next election.

Toronto Conservative Politics

Fords. Drugs. Murder. I think Ford should have stepped aside when he was turfed for conflict of interest. He clearly broke under the pressure, and his world has crumbled around him.

Gawker writes:

As we initially pledged, if we are unable to consummate a deal and obtain the video, we will donate 100% of the proceeds to a Canadian nonprofit that addresses the consequences of substance abuse. We haven’t selected an institution yet. We will do so when and if the time comes.

I am frankly shocked and heartened that this actually happened. We are going to try very hard to make it work. Don’t smoke crack.

Honesty In Politics: Punished, With Good Reason?

If politicians don’t start being a little more brutally honest about some well established facts, and how they endanger life, then expect them to support laws that endanger us all. For instance, if our POS Environment Minister Peter Kent hadn’t made a habit of lying about the danger of climate change, then I wouldn’t be spilling all over his sudden, insincere reversal in stated thought.

“You don’t have to convince me that climate change is a very real and present danger and we need to address it. […] We would ignore it at our peril.” — Peter “POS” Kent. So, thanks for imperiling us until this point, jerk.

The Conservatives’ climate killing carbon nonsense is being mocked in the House too. Yet people in positions of some power to do something about our deadly pollution problems get little support from media who’ve thrown their lot in with ignorance long ago and peddle it to consumers as an acceptable political position.

Truthiness is a big, deadly problem:
“We just believe that the plastic bag has never been a problem for the environment.” [link added to make my point] That quote is from a literal Bag Man. ““We’re very happy,’ plastics industry spokesperson Joe Hruska told reporters.” Toronto City lawyers, afraid of being sued by the plastics industry, backed down and council buckled too. Instead of doing what was right, they did what seemed easy, to the detriment of our land, oceans, and our lives.

BONUS IMPERILMENT: For more brain cell killing stupidity from Canadian Conservative politicians, check this out: (fcpp.org/publication.php/4135 Senator Greene-Rain embarrasses herself)
“The “CO2 is carbon” mistake is a common misconception, and it unjustifiably encourages people to view this benign gas as dirty, which indeed it is not.”