A view from the Center

Friday, November 28, 2008

Few Credentials

Another day, another political blunder. Only this time it would seam that the provincial and municipal guys are making their way to the corner with the dunce's cap in hand.

The Toronto Star this morning is reporting that the Metrolinx Regional Transportation Plan recomended to wait 5 years to talk about how to finance the $50 billion plan. Which means that in 2013 the topic of how to pay for a plan they want to implement next year will happen. How does one expect to be able to start a project if they don't know how to pay for it? Were is the logic in that!

The irony of the whole thing is that even the "politicians who helped write and yesterday approved sending the 25-year plan on to Queen's Park think that five years is too long to wait." (Toronto Star)

The reality is that in order to finance this billion dollar plan the use of road tolls have been proposed along with other taxes. Anytime that the topic of toll roads come up to finance public transit the anti-car/pro-transit vs. pro-car/anti-transit debate rears it's ugly head. And there is not a single politician -who wants to keep their job- that will engage in political suicide; which is what this debate is. For them it is not about what is better for Ontarian's or Ontario its about making themselves look good. Sitting on a committee that dreams up plans of grandeur looks good on the resume. Until the issue of finance comes up; suddenly politicians are not so willing to engage in the conversation; preferring instead to leave it up to someone else.

The Toronto Star has provided wonderful maps which show how GTAers commute each day to work. Compare the 3 maps for Drivers, transit users and walkers/cyclists what you will notice is anyone who has poor transit options drive and those flush with transit don't drive. With toll roads those commuters that drive, will be expected to carry the burden of paying for the Metrolinx Regional Transportation Plan. A plan that they will likely never benefit from.

I had once been under the impression holding office meant having some form of credentials to legitimize the tittle. However it would appear that common seance is not in the job description; had it been the discussion on financing a plan this large would have been tackled before the plan was even put on paper. Even worse non are willing to take the leadership to open the debate now. Leadership the foundational block they all ran on, clamming they were the best one to deliver. Leadership is what their constituents put them in office to provide; but are not receiving.

A school child in days gone by were sent to the corner to sit with the dunce's cap on for not doing their homework and lying. Waiting until 2013 is a clear indication that they have no idea how to fully fiance the plan. But that hasn't stopped them from lying to the public about the possibilities of it happening. Our fine politicians belong in the corner for not doing their homework on financing and for lying to the public about the chances of this project getting off the ground before 2013.

Clearly the credentials for this job-the politician- should be revised.


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