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cosmostein





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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:

Reading the Constitution the way he did raises a question of competence. If he doesn't know the law, how are all the rest of us?

But of course he knows the law. He's using the law to advance a political purpose. He found an excuse -- a laughably bad one -- to do what he wanted, for whatever reason. And that's inexcusable.

He's like those American judges that rule that the Trump's enforcement of immigration law is 'unconstitutional' ... knowing they will be overruled three months later by a higher court. But in Canada, the legal profession doesn't do anything in three months (unless it's their deal). No money in that! The appeal process could be much slower.


This is an issue with lower courts;
In the past you would have a ruling grounded in law and precedent which was handed down. You could look at it and the preceding cases which were cited and be able to walk down the road of logic (regardless if you agreed or not) of the Judge in reaching that decision.

They may very well be appealed but a strong ruling grounded in precedent is harder to overturn.

The issue here is lower courts are passing grandiose "statements" as rulings knowing full well they will be overturned.

The Trump Immigration issue is a very apt example;
It doesn't matter where you stand on the issue of the ban itself, the question really comes down to:

Does the Federal Government have the ability to determine who can and who cannot enter its sovereign borders and if so what the requirements are for non-citizens.

The answer is without question;
The stance on Trump, the travel ban, or whatever is moot.

A Federal Government has to have the ability to pass legislation pertaining to its borders.

However a lower court opted to make a ruling that would be without question overturned by a higher court without any concern for the precedent set to stop a particular action.

This is largely how I view Monday's ruling.
Even if you hate what Doug Ford is doing, the precedent the ruling sets is far reaching and effects all potential governments, not just Fords.


Bugs wrote:

He went from the gridlock in council about transit to traffic and gridlock on the streets. He listed off mayor after mayor who had tried to get mass transit working, at least in the 'grid city'. It was a non-partisan presentation, not really blaming an individual, but the size of the council itself as being part of the bottleneck.

I think it justifies him, whether it's honest or not. If this gets the city addressing the traffic problems in a realistic way, it will be Progress. They have to think about long-deferred maintenance at some point. The fact is -- the old Metro did better than the new amalgamated city. Nothing has really been addressed since the new city was proclaimed.


Ford isn't wrong.

Let's back out the "left vs right" nonsense regarding Toronto and Transit.

The city grows at a rate of around 1% or so a year, the amount of car traffic entering the city increases by around 1.5 - 2% a year.

The city needs in influx of commerce and increased revenue to be able to offset spending increases in the budget.

So the city is growing, car traffic is increasing, and grid lock is becoming worse.

The solutions thus far:
Have a toll on the Gardner, Rip down the Gardner (it will only add 10 minutes to your commute!!!!!), Ban Cars in the Downtown core, restrict roads in the city from auto traffic, throw streetcars underground, add more buses and streetcars to existing roadways without right of ways.

Its all just political grandstanding with nonsense spewing almost endlessly from Council.
Its like the idea of "banning gasoline" with no regard to how most people get to work every day. Its all just time wasted that Toronto taxpayers pay for.

Do we actually want to solve a problem?
Or simply pick a side and watch the problem compound around us?

The current Go and TTC system at peak rush-hour couldn't absorb 1% of the current car commuters into its ranks. They lack the capacity and infrastructure.

Lets even back out actually getting on a train for a moment; How about getting to the train?

Parking at stations was an election issue in 2007 when John Tory was at the helm of the PCs an din 2018 its still a huge problem.

So why are we even discussing mass transit as an option to combat gridlock?
Build the damn system, build the damn parking, THEN see how many cars come off the road and THEN talk about tolls.

This a problem that gets compounded when we look at the growth in the commuter market year over year.

The city needs a MASSIVE infrastructure program;
This incrementalism of adding a few KMs here and there all the while arguing non-sense like LRVs Vs. Subways isn't enough. Its not even close.

They need to take buses and streetcars off the roadways and take the huge hit associated with tunneling all over the city as should have been done originally and either expand the Gardner, DVP, and with the help of other Governments the 401 or work with those governments creating a 4XX by-pass highway further north of the city removing commercial truck traffic passing through the city via the 401.

Unless the population starts decreasing year over year, its a problem you are stuck with.

Yeah, its going to be unpopular initially.
Yeah, its going to be a nightmare for likely 15 - 20 years
Yeah, some politicians are going to lose their jobs over it

Someone in Toronto has to have vision and that could very well be John Tory, but there is no way that anything the size and scope of what is needed passes with the status quo the city has had since amalgamation.

I get that people want to hate Doug Ford;
However defending the efficiency of the Governance of Toronto isn't the best way to make your point.
Bugs





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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a good exchange. Now we are into transit.

I know Toronto, and how to get around in it. Honestly, the best thing to do is to take the subway as close as you can get, and have a bicycle with you. If you are betwen Dufferin and Parliament, south of the St. Clair ridge, you will probably do better on your bike all the way. I am deadly serious.

Having to park a car is a major problem in the grid city. You have to add that time to those trips.

The problem with transportation is that more roads are improved and expanded, the more traffic you get on them. Make two-lanes into four, and a decade later, you're building another 2 'control lanes' and soon enough it's gridlock every rush hour.

That's the problem. Dense use of cars is a major pollution. Personally, I think mass transit can be stressed at rush hour -- people understand -- but overall, it has to be cheap, safe and convenient.

You want to know what sets taxi fares in Toronto -- unofficially? TTC fares! They go up so they don't take business away from the TTC. Trust me, if four people want to go to the movie in the grid city, and traffic moves on the streets, they could probably get to the movie cheaper in a taxi than on the TTC, and be picked up at the door! If fares went down, and were time-sensitive, taxis could do a lot of business picking up people from subway stations, for instance. You just make it easy to use a cab by lowering the 'drop' to $1, for example, and maybe $2 a mile.

Before the subway was built in Montreal, cabs were a main way people got around late at night. They were cheap enough that any small group could afford a trip downtown and back. That's what cabs in Montreal were like in the 1960ies.

If the cabs involved were special vehicles, perhaps electric, small and cheap and only capable of 60 or 70 km/h perhaps -- light vehicles designed for city conditions -- they would enable the TTC to stop servicing a lot of remote area late at night. Uber-like organizations would adjust at a reasonable price.

Then, don't extend the subway system to Pickering before you 'twin' much of the existing track. You doubt me -- go into the College subway station at 5 pm. Prepare for a harrowing experience in how overloaded the downtown part of the subway is. You will find the subway trains come down University and almost totally discharge at Union Station. Then they go to King Street, where all those tall buildings, full of employees, are ... then they go up to Queen Street, where all those busy shoppers are, and they go up to Dundas, where they top up the cars and then go to College Street ... where almost nobody can get on.

But College Street has Ryerson, and government offices galore ... so the poor plebs that try to catch a subway at 5 pm will see train after train go by while the station gets more and more packed with people. You will see how small the station is.

Wellesley is just as bad. No relief, until Bloor, but the Bloor station is on the border line of being too small. I invite anybody to sit in the College St station on the Yonge line, and watch it happen.

Taking the subway at rush hour is a cattle-car experience.

People who never take the TTC are planning transit. That's the truth.
RCO





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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

( I have to agree with Lilley , this batch of lawsuits targeting the new Ontario government is unusual and does appear to be an attempt at getting around the fact the left wing parties lost the election and there agenda is not moving forward . )


LILLEY: Political left don't think elections matter



Brian Lilley


Published:
September 13, 2018


Updated:
September 13, 2018 3:09 PM EDT


Filed Under:

Toronto SUN ›
Opinion ›
Columnists ›


Ontario Premier Doug Ford. Chris Young / THE CANADIAN PRESS



When Ontario Premier Doug Ford says his government is being targeted with lawsuits from special interest groups, he is spot on.

Ford’s government is facing a series of court actions launched by activist groups and a collection of Liberal and NDP interests.

It’s an attempt to ensure Ontario is ruled by litigation, not legislation.

Greenpeace is the latest group to launch a court action to stop the PC agenda at Queen’s Park. They’ve teamed up with left-wing activist group Ecojustice to stop Ford’s elected government from fulfilling an election promise.

This lawsuit takes aim at the government’s cancellation of the cap-and-trade program, specifically claiming the government didn’t consult on the change.


“The minister has a legal duty under Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights, to provide for public notice and comment on proposed regulations and legislation that could have ‘a significant effect on the environment’ at least 30 days before implementation,” the Ecojustice lawyers argue.

The government, in response, has agreed to a 30-day consultation period.

Ford did criss cross the province promising to scrap cap and trade and the carbon tax, and a month-long formal consultation is reasonable but what they are actually, and more broadly, arguing is that elections don’t count.

“If successful, this case will uphold Ontarians public consultations rights, declare that an electoral process is not considered a sufficient means of public consultation,” the lawyers said in a statement. What they really want, however, is to use the courts to block Ford’s decision — by any means — to stop his plan to scrap cap and trade.

And this pretty much sums up the views of the far-left radicals behind this bevy of lawsuits, elections don’t count.


When the left loses an election these days, they try to overturn the ballot box by going to the courts.

It’s why there are also three lawsuits aimed at stopping the government from changing the sex-ed curriculum.

One of the lawsuits is being fronted by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, an organization headed up by Dalton McGuinty’s former attorney general Michael Bryant. Under Bryant’s leadership, the CCLA has all but abandoned any pretense to impartiality.

The day Doug Ford won the Ontario PC Party leadership, CCLA was fundraising from supporters with a warning that they would need protection from Ford. They did the same when Ford won the election.

So much for a non-partisan protector of civil liberties.

The second lawsuit is attempting to thwart government plans by arguing the curriculum used just a few years ago will now violate rights and physically harm children.

The third suit is led by the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario. The union never protested or tried to stop Ontario’s failing math curriculum but are determined to make sure sex-ed stays as it is.

The government is also being sued over the cancellation of the basic income pilot project. Mike Perry, a failed candidate for the federal NDP in 2015, is the man behind that suit.

I’m not saying there is no room for citizens, or groups, to take governments to court.

It’s part of our system.

But as the number of lawsuits pile up in Ontario, it is worth looking at who is behind them and what their motivations are.

This batch is all about reversing the election results by using the courts to overturn the results from the voting booth.


https://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/lilley-political-left-dont-think-elections-matter
Bugs





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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this is becoming more 'usual' all the time. It's called lawfare and it's aim is to delay and/or financially ruin people, rather than winning the case.

The Ghomeshi case was lawfare. In our politicized courts, nobody should confuse anything he did with a crime. A point I have made before, and gotten no response -- it's that the perp ought to be able to know where his çrime'' starts, particularly with criminal law, but also with commercial law.

Ghomeshi was operating at a time when the line was "N) means NO" and he never heard "NO". In one of the three cases for certain, he was trying to get rid of a groupie in a graceful and unhurtful way. He's was found not guilty, but he his career is ruined.

If people know what the court will do, they will act accordingly. This is half the usefulness of courts. They deter bad behaviour with the threat of accountability. Example: there is a battle over payment of a bill. If the law is clear, they can settle it, with or without bad feelings, if they know how the court will rule.

We have already lost that with sexual 'crimes'. "Human rights" are trumping Charter rights.

This is the Ontario courts: a decade ago, the son of an ex-police chief, then head of the police union -- the police are a nest of nepotism -- was heard by the RCMP extorting money from club owners. It was a wiretap and they were looking for drug transactions, as I understand it, and they took it seriously enough that they officially notified (that is, there was a 'paper trail') the Toronto police, and charges were laid.

Guess what? The charges were thrown out on the basis of the prosecution taking too long to get its case together.

Contrast that to the case of Judge Paul Cosgrove, who stopped a murder trial because of the delay ... we have a Charter that (laughably) gives us a right to a speedy as well as a fair trial. This from Wikipedia:

Quote:
In 1999, Judge Cosgrove stayed charges of murder against Julia Elliott after a 22-month trial. He ruled that the Crown attorney, police and a deputy attorney general had committed 150 constitutional violations, findings that were unanimously rejected by the Ontario Court of Appeal in the fall of 2003 with the Court ordering a new trial. Julia Elliott subsequently pleaded guilty to manslaughter.[1]

As a result, the Attorney-General of Ontario, Michael Bryant filed a complaint against Cosgrove, calling him unfit to be a judge, and accusing him of sullying reputations and of having "vilified the state". As a result of the complaint, Cosgrove was suspended pending a hearing into his conduct that was scheduled for December 2004. Cosgrove complained to the Canadian Judicial Council that the scheduled hearing was unconstitutional and damaging to judicial independence. His lawyer claimed that Bryant's action created a situation in which the Attorney-General could punish judges for making controversial decisions, since a complaint by an Attorney-General automatically would result in suspension pending a hearing. According to Cosgrove's lawyer:

Quote:
It creates a 'chilling effect' that will undermine the ability of judges to adjudicate fearlessly cases, as justice requires. This chilling effect undermines and is wholly inconsistent with judicial independence.

According to The Globe and Mail newspaper, Cosgrove's affidavit warned that judges might become afraid to criticize or rule against the Crown if they thought a vindictive attorney-general could, in effect, end their careers simply by lodging a complaint. The consequences of this were argued to be so negative that the process effectively permitted an attorney-general to become "the judge in his own cause". [1].

Both the Canadian Superior Courts Judges Association and the Ontario Criminal Lawyers' Association supported Cosgrove's case.

In October, 2005, the trial division of the Federal Court of Canada ruled in favor of Judge Cosgrove and stripped the Attorney-General of the power to force the Canadian Judicial Council to conduct hearings that could remove judges from the bench.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Cosgrove


The only thing is -- they did effectively remove Paul Cosgrove from the bench! I don't think anyone thinks he won his case, Did he hear any more cases?

The fact is the woman had been held in jail for two years, and the prosecution was messing up the case, and getting delays and extentions. How long can you take somebody's liberty away from them without having some evidence?

And who pressed the case? Who else but the manslaughter, Michael Bryant, the guy who walked awáy from a road rage homicide! TC's fave! And the message got through to the judiciary. It became the precedent. We no longer have a right to a speedy trial. In BC, Robert Pickton was held for more than six years because they didn't have enough evidence to support the charges they had laid.

I dunno, I am not a supporter of Pickton, but where's the limit?

Nobody thought to petition the court on the basis of a right to a speedy trial. That's how dead this right is. Our Charter is like a similar document in the Soviet Union's constitution.

Nobody dares to criticize the Courts. They can do almost anything they want if they get away with antics like this. Delay is a weapon they have at their disposal, and they use it.
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:
This is a good exchange. Now we are into transit.

I know Toronto, and how to get around in it. Honestly, the best thing to do is to take the subway as close as you can get, and have a bicycle with you. If you are betwen Dufferin and Parliament, south of the St. Clair ridge, you will probably do better on your bike all the way. I am deadly serious.

Having to park a car is a major problem in the grid city. You have to add that time to those trips.

The problem with transportation is that more roads are improved and expanded, the more traffic you get on them. Make two-lanes into four, and a decade later, you're building another 2 'control lanes' and soon enough it's gridlock every rush hour.

That's the problem. Dense use of cars is a major pollution. Personally, I think mass transit can be stressed at rush hour -- people understand -- but overall, it has to be cheap, safe and convenient.

You want to know what sets taxi fares in Toronto -- unofficially? TTC fares! They go up so they don't take business away from the TTC. Trust me, if four people want to go to the movie in the grid city, and traffic moves on the streets, they could probably get to the movie cheaper in a taxi than on the TTC, and be picked up at the door! If fares went down, and were time-sensitive, taxis could do a lot of business picking up people from subway stations, for instance. You just make it easy to use a cab by lowering the 'drop' to $1, for example, and maybe $2 a mile.

Before the subway was built in Montreal, cabs were a main way people got around late at night. They were cheap enough that any small group could afford a trip downtown and back. That's what cabs in Montreal were like in the 1960ies.

If the cabs involved were special vehicles, perhaps electric, small and cheap and only capable of 60 or 70 km/h perhaps -- light vehicles designed for city conditions -- they would enable the TTC to stop servicing a lot of remote area late at night. Uber-like organizations would adjust at a reasonable price.

Then, don't extend the subway system to Pickering before you 'twin' much of the existing track. You doubt me -- go into the College subway station at 5 pm. Prepare for a harrowing experience in how overloaded the downtown part of the subway is. You will find the subway trains come down University and almost totally discharge at Union Station. Then they go to King Street, where all those tall buildings, full of employees, are ... then they go up to Queen Street, where all those busy shoppers are, and they go up to Dundas, where they top up the cars and then go to College Street ... where almost nobody can get on.

But College Street has Ryerson, and government offices galore ... so the poor plebs that try to catch a subway at 5 pm will see train after train go by while the station gets more and more packed with people. You will see how small the station is.

Wellesley is just as bad. No relief, until Bloor, but the Bloor station is on the border line of being too small. I invite anybody to sit in the College St station on the Yonge line, and watch it happen.

Taking the subway at rush hour is a cattle-car experience.

People who never take the TTC are planning transit. That's the truth.


I don't disagree with anything in the above save for the twinning (Which I will argue in favor of below);

The issue that Toronto has is this isn't a new problem, you and I have had the same experiences trying to board a Subway at rush hour.

The problem is the solution at hand is simply the path of least political resistance;
You made the comment above that widening roads simply results in that capacity being absorbed;

One of the largest planning mistakes the various levels of government made was never planning for an alternative to the 401.

Its a commuter hub and its a commercial artery for the Province with goods coming and going from our largest trading partner. You need a solution to the gridlock, especially as the city grows and commerce grows.

As such you either need to make the ways in and through Toronto larger and wider;
Of you need a means to divert commercial traffic away from the city.

As for commuters and road traffic;
The challenge is the Go Transit system is an effective way to get to Union;
There are not many stops within Toronto and the idea of converting it to an electrified system with multiple stops is misunderstanding of what Go Transit it.

Its an intercity commuter network designed to bring the suburbanites into Toronto;
TTC is the network that gets you around Toronto, its why I am in favor of twinning some of the lines so rather than making the Go Train all things to all commuters, and packing those trains in the process.

Folks in all corners of the city can take the Subway in and the Go Train can be way in from the fringes; much like MTA in New York operates with its MNR, LIRR, and NYCT partnerships.

As for Pickering;
I am a believe in long term thinking, if Subway infrastructure is something that can be in place for over 100 years my thought is arguing today's density around certainly potential stations is not a great reflection of the systems use for its life.

Pearson will reach capacity eventually and getting to Pearson via transit is an afterthought as the Pickering Airport appears to be the eventual "alternate" Toronto airport why not start on a system that will eventually accommodate that now?
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To the matter at hand;

While one judge has ruled citing this a Charter issue;
I am yet to see a real legal rationale in the challenge made by the city.

The Municipal Act lays out what Local Government has domain over.

The Municipal Elections Act which is a Provincial law grants domain over the balance and the Constitution makes that divide fairly clear. When Toronto wanted to make changes to its system after 2014 they required the Province to agree to amend the Municipal Elections Act to accommodate.

As far as I can see the legal precedent on control over the municipal elections is pretty clear and the city had no issue with it when the Province was adding wards.

When it comes to reduction of government;
Mike Harris reduced the amount of MPPs from 130 in 1995 to 103 in 1999 using almost the same logic as Ford is using justifying aligning the boundaries with Federal Ridings.

While its Provincial and not Municipal it stood up to scrutiny of the same Constitution which is being used to argue a reduction of government infringes on freedom of expression.

The term used above "Lawfare" is pretty fair in this case;
I don't see any rational legal argument that this cannot be done and I find it hard to believe that when and if this gets to the Supreme Court it won't be overturned.

This goes back to the issue on the prior page;
Lower courts making decisions which will almost certainly be overturned is bad for democracy.

This is a Ford issue and not a legal issue;
While I have said previously I think the timing of the changes was not ideal, based on the impact of the judges original decision I am almost forced to side with the Ontario Government on this matter.
Bugs





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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cosmostein wrote:


I don't disagree with anything in the above save for the twinning (Which I will argue in favor of below);

The issue that Toronto has is this isn't a new problem, you and I have had the same experiences trying to board a Subway at rush hour.

The problem is the solution at hand is simply the path of least political resistance;
You made the comment above that widening roads simply results in that capacity being absorbed;

One of the largest planning mistakes the various levels of government made was never planning for an alternative to the 401.

Its a commuter hub and its a commercial artery for the Province with goods coming and going from our largest trading partner. You need a solution to the gridlock, especially as the city grows and commerce grows.

As such you either need to make the ways in and through Toronto larger and wider;
Of you need a means to divert commercial traffic away from the city.

As for commuters and road traffic;
The challenge is the Go Transit system is an effective way to get to Union;
There are not many stops within Toronto and the idea of converting it to an electrified system with multiple stops is misunderstanding of what Go Transit it.

Its an intercity commuter network designed to bring the suburbanites into Toronto;
TTC is the network that gets you around Toronto, its why I am in favor of twinning some of the lines so rather than making the Go Train all things to all commuters, and packing those trains in the process.

Folks in all corners of the city can take the Subway in and the Go Train can be way in from the fringes; much like MTA in New York operates with its MNR, LIRR, and NYCT partnerships.

As for Pickering;
I am a believe in long term thinking, if Subway infrastructure is something that can be in place for over 100 years my thought is arguing today's density around certainly potential stations is not a great reflection of the systems use for its life.

Pearson will reach capacity eventually and getting to Pearson via transit is an afterthought as the Pickering Airport appears to be the eventual "alternate" Toronto airport why not start on a system that will eventually accommodate that now?


You can't think of extending the subway to Mississauga, Pickering and Thornhill without twinning ... but really, that's for engineers.

What seems clear to me is the car -- in its present form -- is not compatible with metropolitan areas, but it's really useful in less urban environments. We have to devise some way of individual people being able to move about the inner city more conveniently, more cheaply, and (hopefully) more safely. But that's engineering. Can we do it at the price we need to do it at.

That's what the planners leave out -- the price. It's important, not so much at rush hours, but in the slacker hours when the masses are on social time. You have a better city if people can get oult and about. And you probably have more commerce too, and we all like that.

As a system, the subways move big traffic and are vital. It's what happens when you get off them. I don't want to see any subways like Toronto's Sheppard Line. Bob Rae''s job-creating marvel. I want subways put where the traffic on the roads already exists, woven into a system.

If it is to be cheap, mass transit won't always be adequate at peak periods. It's a matter of 'right-sizing' something that will cause traffic to grow.

We have to face facts about suburban bus routes. A few of them pay their way but many do not. The routes should be culled. Fares should go to a swipe card transaction and charged by the mile to finance these suburban lines that people want to keep. The user should pay!

And that should be supplemented by cheap taxis.

Have you ever been to the Islington station on the subway? That's where the Mississauga residents switch to Mississauga Transit. People are funnelled into crowded buses, which roar out of the terminal, interfering with already heavy traffic on Islington.
They do it quite smoothly, but because the auto drivers give way when waiting for the lights at Bloor to change. You sense they are at capacity. The passengers are headed mostly to Mississauga centre, where 'they transfer again to buses that take them to their neighbourhood. What's the next level of expansion for a facility like that?

That's how I think about it. The buses do a helluva job, but they go out into bumper-to-bumper traffic. It's probably something the same at the other end.

Anyway, I just hope the planners don't sweep the politicians away with dreamy stuff. It's OK for City Halls and things like that to be flashy, but sewers and transit are vital to a city in the 21st century.

There are markets for transit that are unexplored. Travel, generally, is very 'elastic', as economists say. There are times when people will pay a lot of money to get from A to B; at other times, they just won't even go out because it's too expensive. So, by lowering rates in non-peak times, it encourages usage. It keeps a big system like a subway in the black because it's going to run back and forth anyway. The marginal cost is nil. So why are people paying full fare after 8 pm?

They don't plan like that. The two mayoral candidates are exactly the wrong types of people ... They should take the Scarboro thingy that extends the line -- a 'monorail'. It's like being on a ski-lift, or óne of the kiddy rides at Marineland. Your knees almost touch the person across the aisle. Imagine being packed into one of those at 5.45 with a bunch of single mothers who have to get to the day-care ... you could get trampled.

Let's not have any more of that.
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You hit the nail on the head with cost;

To do this right you need something on the level of Boston's "Big Dig" or the current New York's "East Side Access".

Massive programs which will run a long time (20 years for the former and 15 years for the latter to see the initial benefits) that will go over budget and will challenge politicians to do the balance between low bid and best bid on something that will benefit the electorate for more than a century.

However, its going to be a MASSIVE cost and its going to create chaos on the city for easily a decade.

How many politicians are willing to stick their necks out beyond their mandates nowadays? and how many electorate go to the polls for the long term good?

That is to your second point;
You need folks with vision rather than folks who just want sound-bytes.

The best choices are rarely the universally popular ones when it comes to infrastructure.
Bugs





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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back to the unfolding universe ...

Quote:
Ontario government seeks to hold midnight sitting to debate council-cutting bill
By Shawn Jeffords, The Canadian Press — Sep 15 2018

TORONTO — Ontario's legislature will hold a rare midnight sitting as the government works to push through a bill that cuts the size of Toronto's city council nearly in half.

The Progressive Conservative government called for the midnight session Saturday after the opposition parties refused to pass the bill with unanimous consent.

Government House Leader Todd Smith said the Tories will ask the lieutenant-governor to reconvene the house at 12:01 a.m. Monday to continue to expedite passage of the bill.

That follows an uncommon weekend sitting at Queen's Park on Saturday to debate Bill 31, dubbed the Efficient Local Government Act, which slashes the number of Toronto councillors to 25 from 47.

The session lasted just over 45 minutes as opposition legislators entered petitions into the record to delay the bill's passage.

"It's going to be lights on, cameras on, and everything is going to be out there in the open for people to see," Smith said after being asked if the government was hurrying the legislation through under the cover of night.

"We have a lot of great reasons as to why this bill should be passed as quickly as possible," he added.

The new bill reintroduces legislation that was struck down by an Ontario Superior Court judge, who said it violated the charter rights of candidates and voters in Toronto's upcoming election. The legislation will invoke the Constitution's notwithstanding clause to overrule the court decision.

Earlier this week, City of Toronto clerk Ulli Watkiss said that with each passing day it becomes "virtually impossible" to ensure the city provides its residents and candidates with a fair election.

Smith said that the city needs certainty around its election, which is set for Oct. 22, so the bill must be passed quickly.

"Our party, the PC caucus is here to work and get things done for the people of Ontario so we're going to debate that bill from 12:01 a.m. until the early morning hours of Monday morning," he said.

The government hopes to have the legislation passed by the end of the week.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said the government's move to push the legislation through shows it has misplaced priorities.

"It's pretty clear the government is being very disrespectful about the legislature and what this house is all about," she said. "They're playing silly games at time when we have literally kids in our schools that can't drink the water because there's lead in it."

Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner said he's asked the government how much it cost provincial taxpayers to call all of the legislators, their staff and workers at Queen's Park back to work for the special sessions and has received no reply.

"This premier said he was elected to save taxpayers money," he said. "He is wasting taxpayers' money with a frivolous political fight against the city of Toronto... How much money is this premier willing to waste for his own personal political agenda?"
https://www.nationalnewswatch.com/2018/09/15/ontario-legislature-to-debate-council-cut-on-rare-weekend-sitting/#.W52IxaZKjIV


They are doing everything possible not to interfere further in the election. Time is an important factor, and the lack of time is the main good argument against the proposal.
RCO





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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

( looks like the law reducing the size of council was constitutional after all and the Ford won't even have to use the notwithstanding clause )



Ontario's highest court paves way to reduce size of Toronto city council


Ontario Court of Appeal decision on stay application means a 25-ward election on Oct. 22 is likely


CBC News · Posted: Sep 19, 2018 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: an hour ago



An Ontario Superior Court deemed Premier Doug Ford's council-cutting Bill 5 'unconstitutional' last week. But on Wednesday, the PCs won their attempt to gain a stay of last week's decision, moving closer to slashing the size of Toronto council for next month's election. (Cole Burston/Canadian Press)


3062 comments


Ontario's highest court has paved the way for a considerable cut to the size of Toronto's city council just weeks from a municipal election.

This morning, a panel of three Court of Appeal justices stayed a lower court's Sept. 10 ruling that struck down a provincial bill that would reduce the council from 47 to 25 members to align the city's wards with provincial and federal electoral boundaries.


The decision, which freezes the lower court's ruling for the time being, pending a formal appeal that's underway, means city staff will immediately begin preparing for a 25-ward election Oct. 22. Further, it will allow the Progressive Conservative government to avoid invoking the controversial notwithstanding clause of the Constitution to achieve its intended cut to council size.


In its arguments earlier this week, the province's legal team said the stay was necessary to provide certainty to the city clerk, who is responsible for upholding a fair election.

The timing and circumstances of the election were thrown into chaos when the PCs unexpectedly introduced the council-cutting legislation, Bill 5, after the campaign period had already begun. The city challenged it in Ontario Superior Court, and Judge Edward Belobaba ruled against the province, saying the legislation was unconstitutional because it violated freedom of expression rights for candidates and voters.

The Court of Appeal, however, disagreed with his assessment, calling it a "dubious ruling that invalidates legislation duly passed by the legislature."


Unfairness alone does not establish a charter breach.

- Court of Appeal ruling

"Unquestionably, Ontario's announcement of its intention to introduce Bill 5 disrupted the campaigns that were already underway. However, Bill 5 does not limit or restrict any message the candidates wish to convey to voters," the ruling said.

"While the change brought about by Bill 5 is undoubtedly frustrating for candidates who started campaigning in May 2018, we are not persuaded that their frustration amounts to a substantial interference with their freedom of expression," it continued.

"Candidates had a reasonable expectation that they would be operating under a 47-ward platform … However, neither that platform nor that expectation was constitutionally guaranteed. Unfairness alone does not establish a charter breach."

The appeal court rejected arguments from those opposed to the stay that the province was responsible for the chaos surrounding the election and thus shouldn't be granted relief.

"We do not accept the respondents' submission that, because Ontario exercised its legislative authority to enact Bill 5, it does not have 'clean hands' and should not be entitled to the equitable relief of a stay from this court," the panel wrote.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford, in a media scrum in Washington, D.C., where he is being briefed on NAFTA talks, said he was pleased with the ruling.

"I'm feeling real positive and we're going to move forward with it," Ford said.

"We're going to move forward with building transit and infrastructure and housing in Toronto. I'm quite happy and I'm very grateful for the court's decision."


Speaking to reporters at city hall, Toronto Mayor John Tory called the situation "deeply regrettable" and said that much ill will could have been avoided if the province had sought a mandate to reduce the size of council and consulted with residents.

Tory said the city's legal team has been ordered to continue fighting the province using any means available, though he did not elaborate on what options may still remain.

PC MPP Stephen Lecce said the government is pleased with the ruling and Torontonians should be, too.

Lecce said it amounts to "removing waste from government" and blasted city council for being "ineffective."

Lecce reiterated the government's argument that a smaller council will lead to the city building key infrastructure, like transit and housing, faster, adding it will "unleash the economic potential" of Toronto.


Appeal likely to succeed, judges say

In addition to its successful request for a stay, the province responded to Belobaba's ruling by filing an appeal and introducing a second, nearly identical bill to circumvent his decision. Bill 31 includes a rarely used and controversial constitutional provision known as the notwithstanding clause.

The province's legal team said in court this week that if a stay were granted, the government would not move to pass Bill 31. Speaking at Queen's Park, government House leader Todd Smith confirmed that no more action will be taken on the legislation.

In his remarks Wednesday afternoon, Tory said the provincial government had set an "extraordinarily bad precedent" by threatening to pass legislation including the notwithstanding clause.

Nevertheless, the appeal court's decision means the province is one step closer to slashing the size of Toronto council — a move that has drawn ire from legal scholars and activists.


The outcome of the province's original appeal of the Ontario Superior Court judge's decision remains uncertain, and is unlikely to be heard by a court before the first week of November. However, in their decision, the appeals court justices said it too will likely succeed.

"The question for the courts is not whether Bill 5 is unfair, but whether it is unconstitutional," they wrote.

"On that crucial question, we have concluded that there is a strong likelihood that application judge erred in law and that the attorney general's appeal to this court will succeed."

If the appeals court were to uphold Belobaba's decision, however, it's unclear what would happen next, as a 25-member council will by then have already been elected.

In its written submissions to the court this week, the province's legal team asked that if Belobaba's ruling were upheld, the government be given a window of time to address the matter through legislation, rather than a reversion back to 47 wards imposed by the court.

Critics weigh-in

The news drew immediate outrage from both Ford's rivals at Queen's Park and his critics on Toronto city council.

Andrea Horwath, leader of the Official Opposition, has pointed out that Ford did not mention slashing the size of city council during the election campaign.

"After never mentioning it once on the campaign trail, the premier decided to rewrite the rules for municipal elections that were already underway, throwing municipal elections into chaos and trampling peoples' basic rights," Horwath said during a raucous question period.


MPP John Fraser, interim Liberal leader, said the ruling is "not good for democracy."

"I think most reasonable people would say, 'There's an election on, why are you changing the rules in the middle of the game?'"

He said he's also concerned that Ford may threaten to use the notwithstanding clause in future legislative battles.

Meanwhile, city council candidate Chris Moise, who was planning to run in the city's downtown core, said he feels like the province has trampled on his rights.

"I feel pretty disappointed," he told reporters, saying he's poured months of effort into his council run.

"My life has now changed completely."

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ford-court-toronto-council-1.4829250
Toronto Centre





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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Court of Appeal has spoken.

Now shut up TO and figure out a way to work with this.

Pretty much everyone wants the Councillor numbers reduced, and the same amount know this was a revenge play for the Fords horrible showing at City Hall. It was coming sooner or later.

Time to move on .
Bugs





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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Court of Appeal is saying, in effect, that the judge that made the ruling is off his nut.

Quote:
... Judge Edward Belobaba ruled against the province, saying the legislation was unconstitutional because it violated freedom of expression rights for candidates and voters.

The Court of Appeal, however, disagreed with his assessment, calling it a "dubious ruling that invalidates legislation duly passed by the legislature."


When the Judges meet in the Judicial Lounge for a glass of sherry, they are probably saying things like: Belobaba really got his ass kicked, didn't he?

The fuss over the notwithstanding clause is that is the one thing that allows Parliament to prevail over the Supreme Court -- and the Parliament ought to be able to prevail over the Supreme Court. It should be used more.

The problem with it is that back in the "knife at the throat" negotiations over the "patriation" of our Constitution ... the first use of the clause was to take away the oldest common law language rights in the nation -- those of the Engish-speakers of Quebec. Quebec, as TC doubtlessly knows, is a unilingual province, unlike Saskatchewan. Or Ontario. Or New Brunswick. If just about all the English-speaking provinces.

The clause should be used to press forward with the Transmountain Pipeline, for example. It should have been used to stop same-sex marriage perhaps. The Court is out of line with the mores regularly. The thing is -- the politicians have been putting hard decisions (like abortion) off on the Supreme Court rather than take electoral responsibility.

You may think the notwithstanding clause is anti-democratic, but the decisions of the Supreme Court have been even worse.
Toronto Centre





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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damn dude....youse all gone full blown stupid today.
Bugs wrote:

Quebec, as TC doubtlessly knows, is a uni lingual province, unlike Saskatchewan. Or Ontario. Or New Brunswick.

Only NB is bilingual .

Saskatchewan , Ontario and Quebec are uni lingual
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The decision being overturned was a foregone conclusion;
That may be the one issue on this topic that nearly all of us discussing it can agree on.

With that out of the way, John Tory has been handed a gift;
He needs 13 votes to pass legislation rather than the 24 that would have been required under 47 wards.
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugs wrote:
The Court of Appeal is saying, in effect, that the judge that made the ruling is off his nut.

Quote:
... Judge Edward Belobaba ruled against the province, saying the legislation was unconstitutional because it violated freedom of expression rights for candidates and voters.

The Court of Appeal, however, disagreed with his assessment, calling it a "dubious ruling that invalidates legislation duly passed by the legislature."


A unanimous decision by the Ontario Court of Appeals coupled with that comment is damning.

With that said, we all knew it was coming.
This was a legal decision to undermine something without question in the sphere of the Governments responsibility in hopes of having it delayed beyond the election.

This was a "feeling" ruling and not a legal one.
Good on Ford for holding the course.
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Ford to reduce the size of Toronto city council

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