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politics

On Thursday at the Economic Club, Rob Ford Lied Several Times Every Minute

Line by line, an analysis of Rob Ford's troubled relationship with reality.

Rob Ford at the second of two council meetings during which he was stripped of most powers  Photo by Greg Stacey from the Torontoist Flickr Pool

Rob Ford at the second of two council meetings during which he was stripped of most powers. Photo by Greg Stacey from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.

We have often pointed out that Rob Ford lies all the time; he lies habitually, ceaselessly, and carelessly. He does not even lie particularly well: his lies are blatant, easily disproved with a little research or basic knowledge.

But how mendacious, exactly, is our mayor? How often does he omit, mislead, prevaricate, or just make stuff up? Luckily, Rob Ford gave what was his first real campaign speech of 2014 (as opposed to the countless unofficial campaign speeches he has been giving for years now) at the Economic Club of Canada, and we have decided to record, for posterity, every single time Rob Ford was less than honest. We have divided these instances into two categories: straight-up This Ain’t Right moments in red, and statements that are distortions, but not quite as clear cut, in orange.

Line by line, here’s how Rob Ford’s speech compares with reality.

Thank you very much, Rihanna1. Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. It’s a pleasure to be with you here today. I want to thank the Economic Club of Canada for hosting today’s event and for getting me locked in the elevator for 45 minutes. I always enjoy talking to the business community. I know you share my priorities when it comes to running the city as efficient as possible, and during my talk today I want to explain how my administration has helped straighten out this city.

1 The Economic Club of Canada’s President is named Rhiannon Traill, not “Rihanna,” which we mention because that’s kind of an odd mistake to make after being stuck with her in an elevator for 45 minutes.

We’re now working better than ever before. We’re keeping taxes low by reducing the size and cost of government2. Since 2011, we have found over $750 million in efficiency savings3 while improving services we deliver4. Folks, these are permanent savings to our base budget, driven by finding efficiencies and internal restructuring. We’re reinvesting these savings to directly offset hundreds of millions of dollars in future tax increases5. That’s how we’ve reduced the average tax increase by over 57 per cent during my administration.6

2 Toronto’s net budget has grown every year under Rob Ford. (t was $3.58 billion in 2011, $3.69 billion in 2012, and $3.71 billion in 2013.)

3 As Daniel Dale has previously pointed out, Rob Ford’s claim here is completely bogus on a number of levels—even if he’s dropped to $750 million from an even billion. For instance, Ford defines “saving” as not spending money that you hypothetically assume other people might have spent, if they had been elected mayor instead of you. In a budget briefing with reporters, City staff estimated that the total savings during Rob Ford’s term so far—defined (as English speakers generally do) as money that we used to spend that we no longer spend—is in the neighbourhood of $350 million.

4 Rob Ford has repeatedly voted to cut City services and has successfully passed service cuts on a number of occasions.

5 It’s true that council has decided to direct most of its surplus to capital projects. But that isn’t necessarily fiscally prudent, and it wasn’t Ford’s idea—that’s following a policy council passed under David Miller.

6 It’s true that under Ford council has voted to keep property tax revenue increases low. However, they’ve been able to do that because of revenue increases in other areas: compared to when he first took office, Toronto annually takes in $80 million more in the land transfer tax, $50 million more in development charges, and $170 million more in user fees. Combined, this increased revenue amounts to the equivalent of a 12.5 per cent property tax increase.

We have ended the unsustainable budget practices of the last administration and stopped the out-of-control spending at City Hall. Under my predecessor, the City’s annual operating cost ballooned by an average—by an average—of $394 million each year7. That’s a 5 per cent increase in spending compounded each and every year. Folks, we all know that this level of spending is simply unsustainable. My administration has reversed this trend8, and put an end to the out-of-control spending at City Hall9. Since I took office, the annual growth in our operating expenditures has dropped by 98 per cent. Today, our operating budget is growing by a sustainable and responsible $8.4 million a year. And that’s how we’ve kept Toronto property taxes significantly, significantly lower than other GTA municipalities10, on an average of $1,100 less a year.

7 It’s never been clear if Rob Ford is lying about the difference between the City’s gross and net operating budget, or if he is simply too stupid to understand it. As Matt Elliott has done yeoman’s work explaining, increases in the gross operating budget do not reflect an administration’s fiscal record because the gross operating budget includes every dollar Toronto gets, including those from external sources such as the provincial and federal governments. (The net budget is the money Toronto collects and spends by itself, from property taxes specifically.) So the gross budget can go up if, say, the province decides to create and fund a new public health program, and transfers the requisite amount of money to Toronto to administer it.

8 Rob Ford’s administration has only “reversed this trend” inasmuch as it has proven unable to get significant provincial and federal funding as David Miller’s administration did.

9 If we restrict ourselves to Toronto’s net operating budget—the money the City raises and spends on its own—that has increased every year at about the same rate under both David Miller and Rob Ford.

10 None of this has anything to do with the property tax difference—Toronto residents have long paid lower amounts compared to the surrounding area—and again, the City’s net budget (which reflects changes in property taxes) has gone up by about the same amount under Ford as under Miller.

Today, the City of Toronto is doing more with less11, just like most of the corporations are around the world. We have a leaner12 and more driven workforce that is focused on delivering customer service excellence13. Folks, it hasn’t been easy. And there is still much work to be done. But we have come a long, long way in four years. Because of our fiscal discipline, international bond rating agencies like Moody’s and DBRS have kept Toronto’s credit rating strong14. That’s because under my leadership, City Hall is budgeting to address our needs in a sustainable and responsible way15.

11 During this year’s budget debates members of Ford’s own executive committee bemoaned the City’s inability to provide proper service due to staff shortages; under Ford the City has implemented service cuts. Given that, and given that property taxes have increased under Ford (albeit not as much as they should have, given those staff shortages), it is far more accurate to say that the City is doing less with more.

12 The City of Toronto had 42,684 full-time employees in 2010 and has 42,220 full-time employees in 2013—a difference of approximately one per cent, achieved mostly by “gapping,” or not filling vacancies when people leave their jobs. Given the aforementioned service issues, and that those jobs are still on the books (we haven’t restructured operations, there are just things that aren’t getting done) it’s not so much that we’re leaner, but more like we’re stumbling around without lunch.

13 The City’s employees may be focused on serving the public well, but Ford’s policies are not. During the executive committee debate on the 2014 budget Ford suggested slashing the number of 311 helpline staffers from 110 to 80. Earlier, some councillors has proposed improving the service standards for residents who call the City for help understanding their property tax bill, suggesting that only 20 per cent of those callers be forced to hang up for being on the line too long, down from the current 25 per cent. Ford decried this as gravy and took the unusual step of sitting in on the relevant council committee so that he could vote against it.

14 No particular credit to Rob Ford: Moody’s rating of Toronto’s credit has not changed since 2002, when Mel Lastman was mayor. Ford’s “fiscal discipline” has neither helped nor hindered us on this issue—we’re exactly where we were before him.

15 The City faces an acute funding shortfall in 2015—an opening pressure $332 million, after assuming a two-per-cent residential property tax increase and a 10-cent TTC fare hike [PDF, p. 26]—and our cash reserves are depleted, mostly because Rob Ford demanded and got lower property tax increases from city council during his term, and used cash reserves to fund a one-year property tax freeze in 2011. This is the opposite of “sustainable and responsible.”

We’re applying the principle to every aspect of what we do. By bargaining hard, bargaining very hard, my administration won historic—historic!—collective agreements with the City’s major unions16. This has allowed us to achieve unprecedented flexibility to improve service while saving over $100 million17. All of this—all of this, friends—without one day of labour disruption18.

16 CUPE’s opening offer during labour negotiations in 2012 was for a three-year wage freeze. The City eventually gave them a six-per-cent raise over four years in exchange for some concessions, including removal of the “jobs for life” clause for senior employees and some relief on pensions. While undoubtedly one of the few high points of Ford’s tenure as mayor, it’s not really “historic” except in the sense that it is part of history.

17 Fifty-four million dollars in estimated pension savings plus $35 million in estimated efficiencies gained during the contract from the CUPE concessions is $89 million, not “over $100 million.”

18 Except for that time the library workers went on strike.

We have privatized garbage collection west of Yonge Street, saving $80 million19 while proving, improving service delivery. After just one year, one year of private collection, customer satisfaction is up and the complaints are down by 20 per cent. City council has also approved my motion to study private garbage collection east of Yonge Street. This will be an important issue in the upcoming election. Do you want your garbage privatized throughout the City and not have any labour disruption? That’s up to you to think about. One thing is clear: for as long as I am mayor of Toronto, we will never, ever face another costly and disruptive garbage strike.

19 CUPE disputes this number. (Also, to be clear: whatever that figure is, it’s over the life of the contract, not annual savings.)

Folks, we have come a long way. We are turning the corner. And we are on the right path20. Over the next 10 years, we are reducing our City’s planned debt by over $804 million21. This will keep our credit rating strong, avoid our debt ceiling, and save millions of dollars in interest fees. At the same time, we are investing $1.2 billion more in our infrastructure needs22. For years and years, friends, our aging infrastructure was neglected and ignored. Today I’m proud to say this trend has been reversed23; the City of Toronto is investing millions of dollars to maintain and upgrade our hard infrastructure. These are investments that will benefit our city and our residents for decades to come.

20 See note 15.

21 City officials expect to see planned debt increase over the next 10 years, and that’s before you account for the Scarborough subway extension, which will optimistically cost the municipal government nearly one billion dollars.

22 Ford plans to finance this $1.2 billion through the sale of City assets, with some federal and provincial money, and by taking money from the City’s budget surpluses. It’s not at all clear this plan is realizable: for one thing, no other levels of government have promised anything, and for another, we don’t have a list of which assets he wants to sell, much less their estimated value.

23 During 2011 and 2012 the City’s debt increased by $800 million. That’s partially because of the previous capital infrastructure plan which began under David Miller.

Over the next 10 years we will spend $10 billion on Toronto’s vital infrastructure needs. We are putting money into roads, bridges, sidewalks, and expressways, and keeping the Gardiner Expressway24, which will be another election issue. We are invest—we are investing billions of dollars in our water mains, sewers, and water infrastructure.25 Water, as we all know, is very, very important to this city. We are fixing roads, filling potholes: when we’re talking filling potholes, we’re talking filling 200,000 potholes each year. Folks, well-maintained infrastructure is the backbone of our great city. These investments are absolutely crucial to Toronto’s economic competitiveness, not just for today, but for the future.

24 Actually, we don’t know what we’re doing with the Gardiner: a study of its long-term future is now underway. (Ford’s own chief planner, Jennifer Keesmaat, is opposed to further investment in it.)

25 It’s true that the City is investing billions in water—it’s part of the Wet Water Flow Master Plan—but that’s a plan council passed in 2003, under David Miller. (Toronto is also spending much less on that plan than originally budgeted.)

And this brings me to another extremely important issue: transit. It is no, no secret that expanding our underground transit system is another priority of mine. Which brings up another election issue: do you want subways, or do you want streetcars? Or should I say, fancy streetcars: LRTs26. That’s for you to decide. I have been very clear in my position on building new subways since day one. I am committing to moving forward on a vision of fully integrated subway system for our great city. Subways offer the fastest speeds, the highest capacities, and the greatest connectivity27.

26 Light rail transit is not, by any stretch of the imagination, “fancy streetcars.” They are larger rail vehicles with greater capacity, running at higher speeds, in dedicated rights-of-way.

27 Subways, by definition, do not offer “greater connectivity” because they have fewer stops spaced at greater distances. They have genuine benefits, but this isn’t one of them.

After years of costly delay, we have finally made significant progress on the transit file in 201328. The City of Toronto has committed to building the Scarborough subway extension. This historic transit expansion project connects the 650,000 residents of Scarborough to the rest of our city. This should have been done years ago. Some said that subways are too expensive, and prefer cheaper, more disruptive surface rail29. Fancy streetcars. LRTs. And there are some who couldn’t make up their mind. Their flip-flopping on the transit file cost us years in unnecessary delays. And then they finally saw the light. But I have never stopped fighting for the residents who told me, loud and clear, in 2010, that “we want subways.”30

28 The City has made no progress on the transit file. At the beginning of 2013 we had a signed, approved plan to build new transit in Scarborough. At the end of 2013 we had a signed, approved plan to build new transit in Scarborough. The only thing that happened was that we spent another year debating whether to switch plans. At no point was anything in Scarborough built, and the projected timelines for something to be built have lengthened (because the subway requires a lot of preliminary design and assessment work that was already completed for the LRT).

29 The LRT would have run in its own right-of-way, not in mixed traffic.

30 Of course, in 2013, polling showed that when Scarborough residents were asked to choose between the various subway and LRT proposals for that part of the city, the LRT option was the most popular choice.

And now, we are moving ahead with the first major subway expansion in decades31. And they said “you cannot get all three levels of government on board to fund subways.” Well, folks, we have all three levels of government committed to building new subways in this great city. This is absolutely fantastic news for the hardworking people of this city. We are now committed to building transit that will benefit our city for the next hundred years.32 Transit that will seamlessly connect Scarborough to the rest of the city. This is a fantastic first step but we still have decades of catching up to do. To keep up with the growth of our city we must invest to expand our subway system on an ongoing basis; the Scarborough subway expansion is the first of many steps. Moving forward, I’m committing to connecting the Sheppard subway to the Bloor-Danforth line. I’m also committed to the downtown relief line33 and the Finch line as top transit priorities for Toronto. To some of you this might seem ambitious but I know it can be done because they said I could not build a Scarborough subway and I got it done34. I have already proven that we can bring all three levels of government together to build subways in Toronto. All we need now, all we need now is the political will to make this vision a reality.

31 Except for the Spadina subway extension, which is currently under construction, and the Sheppard subway line, which opened in 2002.

32 Steve Munro has written at length about the “100-year-lie”: the short version is that there is virtually no part of a subway that lasts for 100 years—not even most of the tunnels.

33 “To be fair, the downtown people have enough subways already.” —Rob Ford, discussing the downtown relief line in 2013.

34 Actually it was Karen Stintz (Ward 16, Eglinton-Lawrence) and Glenn De Baeremaker (Ward 38, Scarborough Centre) who led the strategy that actually got council to change its mind.

At the same time, my administration has moved aggressively to stimulate economic growth and create jobs35. Since December 2010, we have been focused on creating the conditions to boost employment in Toronto36. That focus is paying off. Toronto has experienced three consecutive years of positive job growth37. In 2013, we saw our highest job numbers in over 23 years. Today, 58,000 more residents are employed than when I first took office38, and that growth is not limited to the downtown core; we are experiencing economic growth across the city, in Scarborough, North York, and Etobicoke. Folks, let’s face the facts: Toronto is booming like it’s never boomed before39. Today we are a global economic powerhouse: we are consistently rated as one of the top global destinations to live and do business. Each year our economy exports over $70 billion of goods and services to every corner of the world. Everyone knows Toronto is not just open for business, we are ready for business, we are hungry for business, and we want business here.

35 In truth, the mayor and the municipal government more broadly don’t have much power to stimulate economic growth, other than by funding new projects or increasing services (which can create employment). Rob Ford traditionally opposes most such proposals.

36 In addition to launching new projects, the City can also try to generate a business-friendly climate by doing things like reducing the tax load on certain classes of property, which Toronto voted to do—under David Miller.

37 As 2013 came to a close, unemployment here was on the rise: according to Statistics Canada, as reported in the Globe, it was up “by almost 11,000 people, an increase of close to 4 per cent, from a year ago.”

38 Toronto’s population has also grown by approximately 200,000 in that time, according to Statistics Canada. When Rob Ford took office, the seasonally-adjusted unemployment numbers were 9.4 per cent, and Canada’s unemployment numbers were 7.6 per cent. As of December 2013, Toronto’s unemployment rate had gone up to 10.1 per cent while Canada’s has declined to 7.2 per cent.

39 We had higher GDP growth from 1995-2000, both as percentage and in absolute numbers, than we are projected to have from 2010-15. (Also, as Carol Goar has pointed out, Canada’s supposedly encouraging jobs numbers in fact reflected an upswing in low-quality temporary jobs.)

Moving forward, I am committed to phasing out the land transfer tax. The land transfer tax makes Toronto less competitive and makes it more difficult to buy a home in this great city. This tax unfairly targets seniors and growing families. Toronto has the highest land transfer tax in Canada.40 We are the only city in Canada that hits homebuyers with a municipal land transfer tax as well as a provincial one.41 This is absolutely wrong. That’s thousands of dollars, thousands of dollars new homeowners42 would otherwise be putting into our economy and creating jobs: money that would be used for renovations or buying new furniture. As you may know, we made a push two weeks ago to cut the land transfer tax by a modest, modest five per cent. It is very unfortunate that there was little appetite from the councillors43 to even explore this important issue.

40 Nope. Heck, the Ontario land transfer tax is higher.

41 True, but we’re not the only municipality in Canada that has a specialized, higher total land transfer tax rate than the rest of its province. In Nova Scotia, for example, you pay more land transfer tax in Halifax than you do in Amherst; it’s just that it’s collected by the province instead of the city.

42 First-time homebuyers get land transfer tax rebates.

43 This lack of appetite stems at least in part from the City’s top civil servant, Joe Pennachetti, who has consistently opposed the suggestion that we can afford to reduce the land transfer tax, and warns of dire consequences if we do.

The reality is, folks, it hasn’t been long since council undemocratically took many of my powers44 and councillors are already going back to their old ways45. Toronto could easily, easily face a tax increase of 3.2 per cent or much more if councillors have their way. Yesterday at budget, the executive committee, we passed an increase of 2.25 per cent. Folks, that is a shell game.46 They got that from the land transfer tax projecting $360 million from next year’s land transfer tax when we haven’t even got the numbers in for this year’s land transfer tax. That’s not the way you do business. That’s not the way you run your personal finances, that’s not the way you run your own company.

44 Elected representatives voted to carry on City business in accordance with statutory law and the mandates given to them by their constituents, both at the polls on election day and at their offices in terms of the feedback they were getting from calls and emails on this issue in particular.

45 The City Manager has confirmed to reporters on several occasions that the budget did not undergo revision between that council vote and the budget’s formal launch shortly thereafter.

46 Ford’s right, in one way: the executive committee passed a lower property tax increase, making up the ensuing revenue shortfall by assuming the land transfer tax will bring in more than City staff have projected. It’s accounting hocus pocus. What Ford conveniently leaves out, however, is that part of the reason they voted for this is precisely because he was opposed to the original property tax increase, but refused or was unable to identify concrete items to cut from the budget instead.

I’m extremely disappointed that the mentality of City Hall has changed to the old ways, of tax tax tax and spend spend spend. We have already demonstrated that in every division there are major efficiencies to be found47; in four budgets we have found over $750 million in savings48 and that is just scraping the surface. Under my leadership, the City of Toronto is doing more with less49; my administration has shown that we do not need massive tax increases year after year; in fact, we have reduced the average annual tax increase by over 57 per cent since 2011. The people of this city pay enough taxes50. They give us enough money to run the city.

47 Three years ago, when the City commissioned KPMG to assess all departments and services, they were told that the vast majority of those services were ones the municipality was required by law to deliver, and there was very little that even in theory could be cut. In the budget that followed Ford did try to cut some things—cuts that council ended up reversing—but they were cuts (to TTC service levels, to library hours, and more), not efficiencies.

48 See note 3.

49 See note 11. Also, this is what Ford actually wants to do to this year’s budget.

50 As Ford himself noted earlier in the speech, Torontonians pay lower property taxes than any other municipality in the GTA. The argument that we “pay enough taxes” rings hollow when compared to Mississauga or Brampton’s property tax rates. If we had those, we might not be in so horrific a financial hole come 2015.

Next week I’ll be presenting motions at city council that will save well over $50 million with little impact to services51. But it will be up to the councillors, friends, it will be up to the councillors that you elect to make the right decision and support a fiscally responsible approach to our 2014 budget. I urge councillors to remember that that is their job, that we work for you, you elected us to spend your money wisely.

51 Rob Ford has had three budgets, outside consultants, and several rounds of debates about this budget already to produce this magical $50 million. He has been, surely, very motivated to do so—it’s his schtick, after all. No such savings have yet to materialize, and there is absolutely no reason to think that they will.

Ladies and gentlemen, on October 27, you must ask yourself one question: who do you trust with your hard-earned tax dollars? My administration’s record on this front speaks for itself: today the City of Toronto is focused on driving efficiencies52, investing in our capital priorities, and making the most of every tax dollar. You trusted me, you trusted me to put your hard-earned money where it needs to go, and I’m so proud to say that that’s exactly what my administration has done. Another promise made, another promise kept. Ninety per cent of what I said I was going to do, I have done53. We have rebuilt our fiscal foundation54. The City of Toronto has turned a corner, and is on a path to a brighter future. Ask yourself: are we better now than we were three years ago? Absolutely. Thank you very much.

52 [In which writers and editors debate how many times it makes sense to count the same lie, repeated over and over and over again.]

53 Not even close.

54 [In which writers and editors debate how many times it makes sense to count a different lie, repeated over and over and over again.]


And that was Rob Ford’s speech. More than 50 lies, half-truths, and instances of disingenuous spin. Rob Ford’s speech lasted 16 minutes, therefore Rob Ford took liberties with reality, on average, three times per minute. And that was in a speech where nobody asked him about drugs, alcohol, or criminal behaviour.

Additional reporting by David Hains.

Comments

  • wklis

    Don’t you know Rob Ford does not like recording devices.

    • citizenontherun

      Indeed, they hold him accountable…cant have that.

    • HotDang

      Recording devices have a liberal bias. The Toronto Star uses them.

  • Great Hall Academy

    And the mindless right-wingers still support him…

  • Lloyd_Davis

    Did he really say “running the city as efficient as possible”? I figure he wouldn’t know the difference between an adverb and an adjective, but it seems his speechwriters don’t, either? Oh, I know. Grammar is just rhetorical gravy.

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      Grammar is for downtown elites.

      • AllanG

        Only people who drink lattes care about grammar. Mangling the English language is an incredibly valuable skill for a mayor – especially when talking to the province or feds about our needs.

  • torontothegreat

    Bravo Torontoist!

  • http://www.matthewfabb.com/ Matthew Fabb

    Great job Torontoist! Great format of breaking down the speech with notations and pointing out where and how badly Ford is lying about things. It makes it very readable and easy to go through. I hope you guys will continue using this for other speeches or perhaps debates through out this election year!

    • TorontoistEditors

      Thanks! We’ll be doing this at least once for each major mayoral candidate—a full speech analysis—and liveblog-style fact-checks for some of the key debates.

      • tomwest

        Can you list those candidates you consider “major”, please? (Although I know that this may change depending polls, etc.)

        • TorontoistEditors

          At the moment, best guess is: Olivia Chow, David Soknacki, Karen Stintz, and John Tory (if he runs). But yes, that might change a bit as the campaign unfolds, new people enter, etc.

          • OgtheDim

            As long as there is no “agreed upon list” like there was last time that the major media companies created for their own convenience. Some of the “undercard” candidates last time were better then the agreed upon candidates (Rocco Rossi…shudder)

  • Melissa Goldstein

    You missed one. The garbage strike was not “costly.” Quite the opposite: it actually saved the city $33.2 million. http://wx.toronto.ca/inter/it/newsrel.nsf/7017df2f20edbe2885256619004e428e/c0191513997d95c58525764000598590?OpenDocument

    • OgtheDim

      Not denying that, but surely the cost was not just to the city.

      Has there been a study of how much productivity was lost by people having to line up to ditch their household garbage, for example?

      Or people not being able to access services (you know, that thing we all complain that Ford doesn’t want people to access)?

      People didn’t exactly enjoy that time.

      • Melissa Goldstein

        Not denying your points either, but given that Ford generally only acknowledges direct financial costs (and even then conflates and confuses costs to the city with costs to residents), I don’t think it’s fair to demand an accounting of indirect and non-financial costs in this case.

        I mean, with regards to garbage collection Ford only talks about it in terms of its cost and possibility of strikes. He never even mentions things like the quality of the service or the impact of lowering wages on residents and the local economy.

        • selonmoi

          Indeed. And if we’re going to talk about lost productivity, maybe someone should try to measure the impact of Ford’s various shenanigans on Toronto’s productivity over the past three years. I bet it would far exceed that of garbage strikes in the previous four.

          • OgtheDim

            Heck ya.

            But its almost like when we discuss things of the past, we have to seperate them from comparing to the clusterfuzz that is the Ford Era.

            Before the Ford Era
            Ford Era
            After the Ford Era

            Otherwise we end up being as myopic as Ford.

      • playtheguitar

        Standard deflection.

        People, of which I am one, determined a time that was convenient to go dispose of garbage – probably not when they were en route to their job, but during weekend hours or after work when their hours are not considered part of any productivity equation.

        Far too much is made of this five week period of inconvenience. It was likely more inconvenient not to have any power or running water for eight days during an ice storm.

        • OgtheDim

          Well it would be deflection if I supported Ford. Which I don’t.

          You got through it fine. Heck, me too, as I rent.

          Many didn’t.

          Should I point out to you all the articles in the Star etc. at the time complaining about the smell in the parks and of garbage on the streets and of people having to wait in line for hours?

          A lot of people were ticked off. And, unlike an ice storm, it was a man made event that people felt the need to blame somebody for.

          And, yes, there was a cost to that beyond that of the city.

          • playtheguitar

            People were annoyed about the garbage strike, sure. But I don’t believe that your second swing at the story has elucidated how a bad smell, or citizen annoyance carried any cost.

            You don’t like Ford, but you seem to make a lot of excuses for him, which I find odd.

          • OgtheDim

            Greyness happens.

            This particular issue is not an excuse for him.

            The garbage strike happened. It was messy. It cost people time and money. People didn’t like it. It was the biggest thing people had their heads when they went to vote for Mayor.

            And there is a subtle little bit of revisionism being attempted by people to sweep that under the rug.

            I’ve argued before that the anger from that strike is what eventually brought us to have Rob Ford as mayor. (Unless people think 25% of the downtown core voted for Rob because they secretly hate streetcars).

          • playtheguitar

            Right, right… you can’t quite explain how the garbage strike cost anyone any money, it just did. Because you say so. And that strike and the resulting costs, you say, is the explanation for why some people voted for Rob Ford. It couldn’t be because Ford promised to cut spending, lower taxes, trim government, derail a gravy train, etc. etc.

            It’s more of your excuses for Rob Ford, while claiming you don’t support him. Just like your “quibble” that by claiming victory for the planning/policy decisions made before him, he’s only doing what everyone does. Is that so? Isolate a single claim made by David Miller that Mel Lastman was actually responsible for. It should be easy to recall since you claim it was your job to monitor government press releases.

          • OgtheDim

            Yes, because, you know, I keep a data base file of all that Newswire stuff from the middle of the last decade just so that when I’m on the internet, I can refute people and tub thump about who hates Rob more and in a more appropriate manner.

            And I also keep a running scorecard of thumbsup on Al-jazeera and on here and on the Globe and Mail site just so I can combat those people who think I’m not up to snuff as far as being a disliker of Ghadaffi and Rob Ford.

            At last count, i’m at +3485. …oh 3486… because somebody just liked something I posted on the Globe this morning.

            I even got an app for that. Its SOOOOOOOOO cool to be able to know how you are doing in politicsville….although I wouldn’t suggest you buy the power ups…..Facebook makes them darn expensive.

            Meh……if you think standing in line for hours doesn’t cost people money, that’s your issue. And, if you think the garbage strike had no affect on that election, that’s your opinion. Many disagree.

            Greyness happens. Deal with people who don’t like Ford who disagree with you over history.

          • torontothegreat

            “I’ve argued before that the anger from that strike is what eventually brought us to have Rob Ford as mayor.”

            Or that David Miller didn’t seek re-election…

      • torontothegreat

        As @playtheguitar:disqus has tried to point out to you, but you’ve obviously missed, is that “lost productivity” doesn’t mean what you think it means.

        Not being able to cut your lawn is NOT lost productivity

        Lost productivity is a MEASURE OF PRODUCTION, as related to ECONOMIC ACTIVITY not personal time management.

        • OgtheDim

          Wow…..so you assume that people who had to ditch garbage just were waiting to go home to cut their lawn.

          What do you think homeowners do? eat, sleep, take out the trash and do the lawn?

          Some of them paint, do yoga, deal with sick relatives, voted for Joe Pantalone, are CUPE members, spend endless hours wondering if the Leafs will ever win.

          Look, I get the meaning of productiviy. I just disagree with it.

          First, most entrepreneurs will tell you that work happens whenever and…yeah…having to stand in line for garbage drop off is a detriment.

          But, more importantly for the rest of us….time is finite. Wasting that when you don’t have much is kinda grating. I’m reminded of the comedy sketch about the guy who only has 10 minutes to live and spends most of it in an elevator because some kid decided to push all the buttons. Of course its not the same, but it is a pain when you have to stand in line for an hour or so to get a public service done because somebody is having a labour dispute.

          That’s why I began this sidebar with asking if anybody had looked into productivity loss.

          We have a limited amount of time, and I hope everybody gets to do stuff more then spending some of it in a lineup waiting to take your household waste to the back of an arena .Denying there is a cost to that socially and economically is like denying that waiting for a bus doesn’t affect you. Of course it does.

          And it bugged people.

          Now, did I vote based on that? No. But some people did. And does that strike still resonate in this city? Yes.

          So, yeah, when somebody says there wasn’t a cost to that strike, I pipe up and go “Hey, wait a minute.”

          • ShabbaRich

            such precious irony that someone so concerned about wasting time spends so many hours writing comments that nobody reads

          • dsmithhfx

            Take out the trash!

          • torontothegreat

            Some of them paint, do yoga, deal with sick relatives

            All of which is still not lost productivity.

            voted for Joe Pantalone, are CUPE members, spend endless hours wondering if the Leafs will ever win.

            WUT?

            Look, I get the meaning of productiviy. I just disagree with it.

            Ahh, now we’re getting to the bottom of this. Judging from the first quote I’ve highlighted above? No, you still don’t understand what productivity is.

            Secondly, you haven’t qualified that statement previously, so while the rest of us are communicating in the accepted version of the English language, you aren’t.

            Which only leads me to believe, that when you’re wrong you’re still right – does that remind you of anyone?

            First, most entrepreneurs will tell you that work happens whenever and…yeah…having to stand in line for garbage drop off is a detriment.

            While I agree it’s a pain in the ass, it’s not any more a detriment to an entrepreneur as anyone else.

            But, more importantly for the rest of us….time is finite. Wasting that when you don’t have much is kinda grating. I’m reminded of the comedy sketch about the guy who only has 10 minutes to live and spends most of it in an elevator because some kid decided to push all the buttons. Of course its not the same, but it is a pain when you have to stand in line for an hour or so to get a public service done because somebody is having a labour dispute.

            dafuq?

            That’s why I began this sidebar with asking if anybody had looked into productivity loss.

            Wait, so is that by YOUR definition? You can see how confusing this could be to someone that understands how math and language work, right?

            So, yeah, when somebody says there wasn’t a cost to that strike, I pipe up and go “Hey, wait a minute.”

            And expect people to say: “That is not how lost productivity works”. If they don’t, they are probably just as ignorant as you, so fill your boots!

            I mean seriously, have you read your own post?

  • Kenn Kirby

    great job – keep it up and keep him honest.

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    “Moody’s rating of Toronto’s credit has not changed since 2002, when Mel Lastman was mayor.”

    Moody’s rating for Toronto went from Aa2 under Lastman to Aa1 under Miller. Not a significant improvement, but an improvement.

    (Our AA rating with DBRS hasn’t changed since Lastman, but our rating with Standards & Poor went from AA+ (Lastman) to AA (Miller), a slight decline. In other words, Ford hasn’t done anything whatsoever to change the city’s credit rating, but there were changes under Miller.)

  • Alex

    Rob Ford is more suited to be ‘trailer park supervisor’ somewhere.
    He is not doing a good job as mayor.

    • HotDang

      “I am the liquor, Sandro.”

  • Sean_Marshall

    Wonderfully done. Why people would pay $100 in good money to see what amounts to a poorly written, uninspiring, dishonest speech by one of the most disgraced sitting politicians in North America is beyond me. But then again, I don’t move in the same circles as the members of the Economic Club of Canada.

    • dsmithhfx

      He told so many lies, they had to refund the admission.*

      *this may be a lie.

  • Torontomec

    It would be nice to go and hand out fact checker info out at all his appearances.

    • JanMac

      Or how about a bullsh*t meter that howls every time he lies.

  • OgtheDim

    No fan of Ford by any means, as people on here know.

    But I do have one quibble with the gist of some of the points in relation to his claim of stuff done by Miller.

    Every single pol trumpets as their work stuff that was planned under their opponents who preceded them but is being done now. I had the job of monitoring government press releases for a time, and they all did and do this.

    Its what they do and to expect otherwise is overly wishful.

    Now, that doesn’t excuse Ford’s basic message of “THAT GUY WAS EVIL I TELLS YA!” But, claiming the past as your own is not going to change when Ford goes.

    • TorontoistEditors

      Entirely true and fair – which is why we’re going to do this at least once per candidate. It’s (hopefully) a useful exercise, to see overall how political rhetoric lines up against reality, even absent Ford’s extreme liberties.

  • wklis

    Wouldn’t the $100 (or whatever) a plate be written off as a business expense? But only if you have a business. If you actually “work” for a pay-cheque, you normally can’t. At least you get a meal out of it.

  • WanderingPenguin

    I’d like to toss this in as well: if you are going to say that something has gone up by X number of dollars every year, then you cannot say it has gone up by a consistent, equivalent percentage each year—and you most *certainly* cannot say that the percentage has been “compounded”. So the line, “(t)hat’s a 5 per cent increase in spending compounded each and every year,” (following the part about “the City’s annual operating cost [increasing] by an average…of $394 million each year) is also kind of a lie. Once a dollar figure has gone up by 5%, the next year (if the increase is the same amount in real dollars) the percentage of the increase is, of course, *lower*.

    Unless, you know, I’ve completely forgotten my high school math—and that’s certainly a possibility. Anyone?

  • selonmoi

    Fantastic job, but I’m going to quibble with #40:

    Nope. Heck, the Ontario land transfer tax is higher.”

    Granted, Ford’s claim that “Toronto has the highest land transfer tax in Canada” was phrased ambiguously, but I think it can be reasonably assumed to mean “the land transfer tax paid in Toronto is the highest in Canada,” not “the land transfer tax levied by the City of Toronto is the highest in Canada.” Your statement disproves the latter but not the former.

  • http://joeclark.org/weblogs/ Joe Clark

    HTML does not have the structure you need to mark up a fisking like this properly, and Disqus won’t let me use a marked-up list, but:

    ¶ Orange and red are a poor colour choice since 4% to 8% of your male readers will have trouble distinguishing them. (Try green and blue.)
    ¶ There are actual superscript numerals in Unicdode (⁰¹²³⁴⁵⁶⁷⁸⁹); use those.
    ¶ I would at least put a period after numbers in footnotes.
    ¶ Footnote numbers, like quotation marks, follow periods and commas.

    I don’t see why this couldn’t have been achieved with successive BLOCKQUOTEs.

    • FinStockton

      I wish we had more people in Toronto like Joe Clark: people who indiscriminately critiqued articles within their realm of expertise.

      I’m not being sarcastic, I’m serious. Joe Clark criticized something I worked on once and it forced me to learn a bunch of new things and I’m better for it. I’ve never met him but I know he’s the readability/accessibility *don dada*. . .

      • tyrannosaurus_rek

        This is the first time I’ve seen Clark criticize something without loading it with insults and condescension.

    • Christopher Bird

      With respect to the successive blockquotes idea – I tried that in the initial draft and it was unwieldy and ugly.

      • http://joeclark.org/weblogs/ Joe Clark

        And did you put them inside an ordered list, viz OL LI BLOCKQUOTE?

    • torontothegreat

      I actually agree with Joe Clark *mind blown*

      • dsmithhfx

        Still waiting for JC to launch his own, exemplary news blog so he can link to dazzling paragons of bespoke html. Call it “WWJD?”

  • playtheguitar

    One small quibble with the transcript of the speech. It actually began with an unintelligible mumble and then Ford’s default conversation starter, “anyways…”

  • Whaaa… ?

    Fantastic article… thank you!

  • http://www.HitTheRoad.ca/ hittheroadca

    You know, I’m kinda glad we have this right wing mayor rather than an actually effective right wing mayor.

  • torontowoman

    Awesome. Thank you. RoFo’s lies and half-truths need wider media coverage to convey the REAL damage he is doing our city.

    • bobloblawbloblawblah

      When I hear Stintz or Tory prattle on about how people want the “Rob Ford Agenda” only without the drama, I cringe. They are, I assume what you mean by effective right wing Mayors(or could be). While they aren’t stupidly ideological like Ford, I find it scary they think everyone wants the snake oil that Ford was selling. I hope the center right candidates don’t spend the next 8 months trying to be the “Rob Ford that doesn’t smoke crack in a drunken stupor”. Toronto deserves better.

      • vampchick21

        They’re using that in order to lure in Ford Nation. Not because they think any of Ford’s ideas are worthwhile.

        • Pseudanko

          What ideas? Slogans aren’t ideas.

          • vampchick21

            Exactly.

  • Alex2

    This should be manditory reading for all journalists covering Rob’s future stump speaches. In fact make a slide of it and just simply show it at the political gathering.

  • Alex2

    Rob is a mental midget

  • AllanG

    You missed one:
    “Do you want your garbage privatized throughout the City and not have any labour disruption? That’s up to you to think about. One thing is clear: for as long as I am mayor of Toronto, we will never, ever face another costly and disruptive garbage strike.”

    The private garbage collectors are unionized. So they could go on strike in the future. Privatizing is no guarantee of avoiding strikes. For example, York Region and Ottawa, both with privatized mass transit, have suffered very long strikes.

    • Sean_Marshall

      Ottawa? OC Transpo is publicly owned and operated. But York Region Transit is contracted to three separate companies.

      • AllanG

        Oops. My mistake. I have edited my earlier comment. Thanks for pointing that out. Not sure why I thought so.

    • Don

      “…we will never, ever face another costly and disruptive garbage strike. And I will never, ever take another drink of alcohol. Uh….oops.”

  • AllanG

    Excellent reason to vote for Ford. Take out a billboard. I suppose if Harper did have that level of scrutiny and you saw what a liar he was, he’s also have your vote sewn up. It’s a good thing the “I love liar” demographic is not enough to carry Ford in October. He’s finished.

  • goodjobs

    excellent article. I hope people show up to debates and point out the lies right to his face as well.

  • iSkyscraper

    Fantastic piece, should be required reading for any stupid fuck who believes the “well, aside from the drinking and the crack, Ford’s the best mayor ever!” line.

    Thank you for taking this insult to intelligence to task.

  • sol_chrom

    We’re well past the point where the fact that the brothers lie is news. While this is a valuable exercise from the point of view of keeping the record straight, it’s not going to make much of a difference in terms of prying away his core supporters. They don’t give a shit what’s true or false, only that their boy is sticking it to the haters and the downtown elites. Facts and evidence make no difference.

    The folks at the Economic Club and the Board of Trade will recognize this bullshit for what it is. Those who identify as members of the Nation, on the other hand, aren’t going to change what passes for their minds, and the daily geyser of lies and embarrassing videos won’t make any impact on that.

  • Alison

    He may be lying, but what he’s really doing is telling people what he knows they want to hear. His audiences want to believe him.

    • bobloblawbloblawblah

      Sort of like a cult. Y’know, Jim Jones…..just don’t drink the Kool-Aid.

      • dsmithhfx

        Gatorade and vodka. The worst that can happen is you’ll grab at someone’s ass, fall down, wave your arms about and wind up on youtube*.

        * Disclaimer: you could also be caught smoking crack in a drunken stupor.

  • OpportKnocks

    That’s great Sandro. After the election you will still be able to enjoy a vodka and gatorade together in the park near his momma’s house. Assuming you aren’t already convicted or don’t rat him out about that little “extortion” thing. How is the pretrial process going anyway?

  • vampchick21

    You are why we can’t have nice things.

  • Doug Earl

    Wow actual journalism in the city of Toronto! How refreshing.

  • zozm

    Wow, what a colossally ignorant (in every sense of the word) way to start off a speech … call your host Rihanna when her name is Rihannon lol

  • bobloblawbloblawblah

    “…he can’t even have a drink without some one watching him”

    Well, there’s a reason for that y’know. Ford has spent much of his time over the past few years partying like an out of control frat boy. He’s the guy who ran on the slogan “Respect For Taxpayers”. Spending a good deal of his time power drinking with unsavoury characters was not part of his job description and is hardly respecting the people paying his salary. You go ahead and vote for him because you want to “stick it to the elites” as they say on talk radio but the media are merely doing their job. Any other politician acting like Ford does would get treated the same.

  • WhisperJetMyAss

    Then it’s no surprise that Porter sponsored the event. #Lying Defined.

  • Markuu

    For instance, Ford defines “saving” as not spending money that you hypothetically assume other people might have spent, if they had been elected mayor instead of you

    …except that from history we know that if you have a David Miller-esque lefty nut mayor, they will spend every cent they can and more.

    • tomwest

      “if…” means what follows is hypothetical.

    • OgtheDim

      Or we could have a wingnut guy who never read a budget document before he was mayor but who was willing to spend every cent we get for the next 50 years from development fees and then more in the way of an added parking tax to build a couple of km of subway along Sheppard .

      What…..you don’t remember the first debate where Rob’s subway with no plan got voted down?

    • vampchick21

      Ok, please explain what is wrong with using public dollars for public purposes.

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      David Miller left Toronto with a surplus of around $350,000,000. Ford spent it all to cover the gaps in his own shoddy budget.

    • HotDang

      For instance, Ford defines “saving” as not spending money that you
      hypothetically assume other people might have spent, if they had been
      elected mayor instead of you

      Which is a strawman argument, and not something to be bragging about.

    • Pseudanko

      …except from history we know that Miller spent less than Ford as the article you’ve chosen to display your ignorance by commenting on just showed.

  • laurie66bay

    Its pretty undeniable that Ford has reduced the growth of government in Toronto. Spending may have increased, but by far less than it had been doing in the past.

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      He’s reduced the size of the government by not hiring replacements and leaving countless tasks undone. That’s like reducing the crime rate by ignoring reported crimes.

      Spending: please read notes 8 and 9. Net spending has increased at basically the same rate as it did under MIller, but that’s on top of Ford’s failure to secure the additional funding (which allowed for additional spending) from other levels of government as Miller had before him. To summarize: he’s increasing spending while decreasing revenue, i.e. spending a greater chunk of what’s at his disposal.

      • laurie66bay

        Not hiring replacements is just the thing to do if the city has too many workers. And if certain tasks are not needed, why do them? Government has neither the money nor the skills to do everything in society and often, the less it does the better off everyone is. Your analogy to the crime rate just doesn’t fit logically. A better analogy would be reducing the crime rate by not funding programs that have shown to promote crime (eg, programs that increase family breakups, or unwed mothers, etc)

        • tyrannosaurus_rek

          Leaving work undone isn’t evidence the work doesn’t need to be done.

          And what programmes does the city fund that force people to get divorced or get pregnant?

          • laurie66bay

            Its long been shown that welfare programs tend to create long term dependance rather than encouraging people to get off it. Also, certain welfare programs pay more if a woman has more kids out of wedlock, and less if there is a (actual) father in the house.

          • vampchick21

            Damn fictional welfare queens!

          • laurie66bay

            there are none so blind as those who will not see, and can pass the bill to someone else to pay. Methinks you are getting your welfare check as well and thats why you protesteth.

          • vampchick21

            Awww…aren’t you super cute with your baseless sense of self-superiority and your kneejerk judgements on those that don’t agree with you that Ford is the bestmayoreva! However, I should point out that it does nothing but deeply underscore how much of a worthless waste of space you truly are.

            Fact is, I work, full time, with an excellent salary and benefits package, and no sweetheart, its not evil CUPE union work either. It’s good ol’ private enterprise, a major global consulting firm.

            But you go right on ahead thinking non-Ford loving people are evil pinko latte sipping lefty downtown elitists who cash in welfare cheques if that helps you get up in the morning.

          • laurie66bay

            Lol. I certainly don’t think Ford is the bestmayoreva. The sad thing is that he is probably better than the people who are trying to run against him and is certainly better than the steaming pile he replaced.

          • vampchick21

            Ok, fine. Please to explain why on earth you think that. because frankly, that’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard.

          • tyrannosaurus_rek

            You could have just said “none”.

          • vampchick21

            But that would deprive her of her only hobby, making assumptions without actual facts and ignoring anything and everything that’s not glowing praise of her extra special hero.

    • HotDang

      Wait until we all start paying for the Scarborough Subway cost overruns and operating costs. In the long term, Ford will have made a much bigger dent in taxpayers wallets than Miller ever did. Just another lie from the biggest pathological liar in town.

      • laurie66bay

        Since when have leftists ever cared how much stuff cost?

        • HotDang

          1. Don’t use the word leftist. It reads as a puerile insult mimicked from shock jock pundits. It paints with an overly broad brush and makes your criticism come off as arrogant and asinine.

          2. Of course left leaning people always care about government waste. Generally speaking, left-leaning people believe that a government that provides a wide range of services is more benefit to society than low taxes on the upper class.

          That doesn’t mean that we believe that the goverment should waste money. That’s not a logical connection to make. The opposite makes more sense. Someone who believes in the value of government services will want to see the money well-spent because they see the value it provides.

          • laurie66bay

            There’s a reason why leftist is perceived as an insult. Because people understand what it means. Incompetence, elitism, and failure.

          • MaryL

            So you can’t reply to the points of fact raised, eh? This is my surprised face.

          • vampchick21

            There is a reason idiot is perceived as an insult. Idiot.

          • tyrannosaurus_rek

            I expect a competent reply to my question below then.

          • laurie66bay

            You’ll get nothing, and you’ll like it. Just like all the welfare bums who are getting cut off.

          • tyrannosaurus_rek

            You claim “leftists” don’t care how much anything costs but can’t refute the first example where “leftists” are fighting for a cheaper (in the short and long term) and more appropriate plan than the self-declared fiscally responsible “right”, who don’t mind putting you on the hook for a few decades to pay for something the city doesn’t need.

            There’s an old saying for situations like these: put up or shut up.

          • vampchick21

            Translation, you got nothing.

          • Pseudanko

            If incompetence, elitism and failure are left-wing traits, then Rob Ford must be somewhere way to the left of Che Guevara.

        • tyrannosaurus_rek

          Tell me, which “side” has been arguing for the cheaper-in-every-sense Scarborough LRT (fully paid for by the province), and which for the hideously expensive subway-for-the-sake-of-a-subway (paid for with tax hikes against Torontonians)?

    • Naseem

      And on inflation adjusted terms, spending has gone down. It’s undeniable yet these leftist creeps repeat their lies over and over.

      • laurie66bay

        Truth means nothing to them. Lies are just a tool.

        • Pseudanko

          You realise you’re defending a sef-confessed liar, right? A guy who has been caught lying in every public pronouncement he’s made for over a year. That this comment applies to him more completely than any other Canadian politician in history. And that includes Brian Mulroney, an extremely low threshold. Talk about idiocy…

          • tyrannosaurus_rek

            It’s only wrong when someone on the left does it, duh.

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    Maybe you should have read beyond the second annotation.

    • vampchick21

      Too many words he didn’t understand.

    • Stephen Smash Badger Baker

      Ya, when it’s clearly a slanderous piece of misinformation I don’t give the author the time of day. I went a couple past and it is just rhetoric, Nothing newsworthy or factual. but thanks!

      • tyrannosaurus_rek

        As long as you’re content to look the fool.

      • vampchick21

        And thus sums up the thought process of the venerable Ford Nation. Surprised? I’m not.

      • Pseudanko

        That’s a pretty succint description of Ford’s speech, and his entire platform – slanderous… misinformation… rhetoric… nothing newsworthy or factual.

        • Stephen Smash Badger Baker

          Thanks pseudo-intellect, you really flipped that on me.

          • Pseudanko

            No trouble zero-intellect, you make it so easy.

          • Stephen Smash Badger Baker

            Oh, you have ZERO intellect :). Sorry bud! My bad.

  • wendysmithtoronto

    Well done Torontoist. I propose a button / t-shirt / poster campaign with a picture of Ford and the word LIAR in huge Helvetica type across his face. Or what about a ROBFORDisaLIAR campaign, with flyers distributed at his public appearances detailing his lies at earlier events? (These campaigns most effective, I think, if NOT connected to any particular mayoral candidate, but simply run as a public information service.)

  • grinning dog

    I like the sound of that, “After the Ford Era”.

    In a couple of years we’re going to look back at 2010 to 2014 and say, “Remember when Rob Ford was mayor and his asshole brother pretended to run the city? Wow, that was a crazy fucking time.”

  • CaligulaJones

    Shhh. Poor bashing is only bad when rich people do it. When hipsters do it, its ironic. Or something.

    • dsmithhfx

      Last I checked, Rob Ford ain’t poor.

      • CaligulaJones

        Last time I checked, “trailer park” is used mostly in the pejorative sense, which is bashing the poor. Ford’s wealth is irrelevant to the subject. Alex’s use of it is.

        But thanks for playing.

        • dsmithhfx

          If you’ve ever heard Rob Ford railing in Council against funding services for the poor…

          Um, never mind.

          • CaligulaJones

            I’ve heard Rob Ford railing in Council against funding PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING.

            Still, I don’t get how Rob Ford’s being rich allows the Alexes of this world to, as anon would have it, backhand poor folks.

            Or is the hypocrisy of the progressives/liberals/left, who on one hand use the poor for cannon-fodder for their politics, and on the other make fun of people in trailer parks, confusing you?

          • tyrannosaurus_rek

            Why don’t you ask Alex (or The Alexes) what he or she meant instead of taking Anon’s word for it and running off?

            The conservatives/right are pretty hypocritical when it comes to the poor too, scapegoating them for crime (and pretty much all of society’s ills), then pushing legislation to further marginalize and punish them for being poor.

          • CaligulaJones

            Because Alex and anon haven’t been back, and I was answering dsmithhfx?

          • vampchick21

            I thought it more along the lines of Trailer Park Boys instead of actual trailer parks.

          • CaligulaJones

            …and the manager there wasn’t exactly a paragon of virtue or intelligence, was he?

          • vampchick21

            Bingo.

          • CaligulaJones

            Well, I think it would be hard to differentiate the dig at RF from a dig at trailer park denizens in general, but I’ll concede the point, until Alex gets back.

            I see where people could get the picture, though:

            Mr. Lahey:
            Who is this park, or even in the whole world, doesn’t have problems? Who
            doesn’t have a drink too many times once in a while and maybe even
            winds up passed out in their own driveway, pissing themselves? Who
            doesn’t drink too much sometimes or who doesn’t have a puff from time to
            time? And who doesn’t have problems with the people they love? This is
            our home. This is our community. I am Jim Lahey, and *I am your trailer
            park supervisor!*

          • vampchick21

            It’s almost poetic, isn’t it?

  • Naseem

    What an idiotic article. He mispronounced a woman’s name, and that’s a lie? You guys are complete idiots. Spending has fallen in inflation adjusted terms, but because you idiots can’t understand that but only nominal growth, that’s a lie? Increased development costs are a tax hike? That’s just displaying your utter stupidity. Charging for previously free zumba classes is a tax hike? CUPE doesn’t agree with the city’s stated savings on garbage and we should take CUPE and you seriously? And so it goes with much of your criticism. Newsflash: If Rob Ford can stay relatively clean until October, he’s going to be re-elected. And you thumbsuckers can complain to yourselves for another four years.

    • ThisAintCanada

      “If Rob Ford can stay relatively clean until October, he’s going to be re-elected.” What a ringing endorsement, eh?

      Actually – speaking of “idiotic” – the only things more idiotic than the Ford family is the “folks” who vote for them.

      Tubby is toast.

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      Ford didn’t account for inflation when moaning about Miller’s average spending increase either, but that doesn’t seem to bother you. (Increases under Miller were on par with those under Lastman from 2001 on, by the way, so singling out Miller is dishonest too.)

      The rest of your post is a mix of spite and foolish pride in not comprehending what was actually written.

    • Christopher Bird

      Spending HASN’T fallen in inflation-adjusted terms. The net budget in 2011 was $3.58 billion. In 2013 dollars, that would be $3.65 billion – but the 2013 net budget, as we pointed out, was $3.71 billion. So spending has increased greater relative to inflation, which isn’t surprising on account of the city’s population increased and more services were necessary.

      And ultimately, any money taken from citizens to pay for services is revenue taken by city government from taxpayers. Whether that money comes from property taxes or from user fees is ultimately just semantics. The money still comes from the general populace.

      • Naseem

        Who do you think you are fooling? A) 3.58b in 2011 is 3.68b (2.75%) in 2013, not 3.65b (1.96%), but more importantly the budgets were made at the beginning of the year. The 2010-2012 inflation total cumulative rate was 4.5%! And I wonder if you can comprehend that thousands of annual housing completions (and hence new taxpaying properties) can increase revenues (and spending) without increasing taxes?
        And, no, it is utterly false to say that property taxes and user fees are ultimately the same. The biggest hike in ‘user fees’ was from development charge hikes. Every normal city tries to make this a profit centre because of the extra services that are entailed from new developments. And who paid the most development charges? Here are some examples – Bazis (Yonge & Bloor), Concord Place (Vancouver, HK), Tridel (Vaughan Del Zottos), RioCan (40% foreign ownership) etc etc. So now a leftist like you is crying for the 1% out of town billionaires? Development charges should be hiked further as Toronto grants more density. But I guess you would be opposed to that in your zeal to try and attack Ford.
        Or is charging a subsidized fee for previously free Zumba classes also a tax? What you dismiss as ‘semantics’ is a lot more complex than you admit.

        • Harry Weiss

          Poor.

          Focusing on one user fee is dishonest – and for some reason you think that gouging property developers is ok while raising taxes isn’t. Strange. You do know that these fees are supposed to be used to improve area infrastructure (parks, schools, etc) to reflect the increase in local population – yet Rob Ford has raided that to balance budgets first and provide these services second.

          I’ll take it that you are fine with huge increases in water and waste management rates, both of which must be paid like taxes and have gone up well over inflation.

          I’ll take it that you are fine with cutting City Services, even though Rob Ford promised to not do this.

          No doubt you are standing with Rob Ford and his mysterious $50 million in savings he has been asked for for two months yet even now can’t provide.

          Who do you think you are fooling defending this failure of a Mayor?

          • Naseem

            The unemployed liar Harry Weiss returns for more, like a little puppy. I’ve kicked your @ss so often at the Toronto Sun website but you want more. Well, first you must show that you are employed or own a business (and panhandling and mooching off relatives isn’t a business). I have given you a ‘detailed fact’ (by your lying definition) that you are unemployed. If you could get off the couch and work, you might be able to find a woman and become a productive citizen. You lie as naturally as you breathe, pogeyman.

          • Harry Weiss

            There you go again. Why argue or refute facts when you can just attack – the Ford Nation way on display. This just shows everyone here that when it really comes down to it, there is no real argument. You can call me a liar all you like, but I can prove you are wrong and you don’t even life a finger to demonstrate why I am lying. This seems to happen over and over, despite your claims.

            I have no interest in proving anything to you, and don’t really care if that bothers you. That fact that you are so wrong, and cling so tenaciously to it, does amuse me though.

            Now try and contribute, and answer the points I raised.

          • Naseem

            A disturbing detailed fact: ‘Harry Weiss’ is an unemployed lying parasite who leeches off society. He lies as naturally as he breathes

          • vampchick21

            You are why we can’t have nice things.

          • Naseem

            This statement of yours should be framed. A perfect summary of the parasitic left. Blaming others for their misfortunes in life and their low standing. Never taking responsibility for their low status and lack of accomplishment. Maybe people look down on you because you dress like a clown. Maybe you’re a failure because of your lack of education (mindlessly voting up on obviously wrong things). But instead you blame your low status on the successful citizens. You’re a loser simply because you are a loser and it’s your fault only. And you’re darn right I won’t let you and your ilk take our hard earned money so that you can get free nice things. You are a parasite on society and I’m glad you’ll never reproduce or if you do, your drug-addict children won’t.

          • vampchick21

            Awwww…you hurted my pwecious wittle feewings! I has a sad now.

            But seriously, I’m pretty sure what you are accusing myself and one or two others of around here is actually what you are accusing yourself of. You should look into therapy to help you get over your low self worth. Once you learn to love yourself, others will love you back. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll stop voting for an alcoholic, drug using, lying, bullying waste of skin.

            Or you could move to the US. I understand that there’s a whole movement of poorly educated, frightened, marginalized people who will believe any BS tossed their way by rich politicians who pretend to give a crap about anyone but themselves.

          • Naseem

            Nice try but your jealousy and failure are clearly exposed when you talk about ‘rich politicians’. Hope your next nose ring and face piercing make a statement other than that you’re a marginalized lunatic.

          • vampchick21

            You’re a one trick pony and a generalizing idiot. You bore me. You also know absolutely nothing about any of us anonymous internet posters. But I can play that childish little game too. Get out of your mother’s basement, lose some weight and stop cuddling with that body pillow with the picture of the anime schoolgirl. Throw out your fedora and stop watching My Little Pony.

            There. Are your pwecious wittle fweewings hurted?

            Go bother someone else now.

          • Naseem

            OK, I’ll play that game too since I know nothing about you but I’ll try to describe you in more detail. And I’m just guessing, you realize, just guessing only from the insulting way you answered my posts. So this is just conjecture only and only describes a fictional anonymous character. Any resemblance to a real person is hereby denied and unintended.
            Here’s my complete guess: You’re an overweight 40 something pathetic sad woman, a smoker, yellow teeth, divorced (surprise, surprise) from a man on drugs, scream a lot, childless, recently remarried to a guy, a marriage of convenience that will likely only last a couple of years when he tires of your ugly face and selfish personality, a failure as a part time stepmother, likely living in the Parkdale area. You are a heartless, cruel shrew who gladly sent her old relative to a lousy nursing home because she wanted to shack up with a new guy. Obsessed with Ford like her bitter old maid friends and jealous of rich people.
            Was I close? Should I be more specific?

          • Harry Weiss

            “play that game too”? It’s ALL you do. She was mocking you.

            In the end with these boards, it only matters what is said and doesn’t matter who the person is saying them.

            And this is why you don’t do well here, or anywhere else.

          • vampchick21

            You try so hard! I suppose you should get something for that. But then again, you’re just a worthless little troll. Go play in traffic.

          • Naseem

            :)) I was right on the money with a jealous loser like you. And I was going to be much more specific if you had asked. But I guess we’ll save that for another time. In the meantime, don’t jump from your condo when your new hubby dumps your sorry, worthless, ugly, dimwitted ass and you’re left alone with your cat.
            And, most importantly, don’t forget to vote for FORD more years in October!

          • Harry Weiss

            I agree. The angrier and more belligerent and off topic he gets the more he admits he has basically failed. I love how he seems to make up a whole life story for anyone he dislikes, just to deflect from the point.

            I love this quote “Blaming others for their misfortunes in life and their low standing. Never taking responsibility for their low status and lack of accomplishment.” – That IS Rob Ford exactly. Oh the irony!

            What a fascinating horrible little man.

          • vampchick21

            He failed because he has NOTHING. He actually can’t logically support any valid reason for supporting Rob Ford. So all his has is his fallback, tired old tropes. He has nothing and is nothing and frankly, I’m done with him. Save your sanity.

          • Harry Weiss

            Wrong again, assumptions without facts seem to be what you deal in.

            And you failed, once again, to address the point. I wonder if all this ‘unemployment’ stuff is just to cover that you can’t really back up what you say.

        • Christopher Bird

          I was using the Bank of Canada’s inflation calculator, which I am going to go out on a limb and say is more authoritative than “yelling guy on the internet,” and it says that the 2010-2012 total inflation rate was 3.15 percent, not 4.5 (and 2011-2013 is a 2.08 percent hike, not a 2.75 percent hike). I honestly have no idea where the hell you’re getting your numbers from.

          • Naseem

            Chrissie, I’m getting numbers from this alternative, strange website called Statistics Canada. You may not have heard of it – it actually contains facts that the Bank of Canada relies on. And, wonder of wonders, it actually has inflation by city. I feel generous and will give you the link, but you’ll need to do some math, which is likely above your pay grade. And so, stupid Chrissie, thank the ‘yelling guy on the internet’. Care to answer anything else in my post?

            www dot statcan dot gc dot ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/econ45a-eng.htm

          • Christopher Bird

            That’s the consumer price index, which is separate from monetary inflation (which is the only relevant measure of inflation when comparing spending levels and adjusting for inflation – there’s no such thing as “regional inflation” for a national currency). The CPI merely explains cost-of-living increases, which is why it’s sub-divided by region.

            You simply have no idea what you’re talking about. None at all.

          • Naseem

            Wow! You just used above the Bank of Canada inflation calculator (twice) which is based on national CPI to attempt to contradict me, and now you say you have no idea what you are talking about because you should have used monetary inflation instead? Do you know how stupid you sound? Do you?
            But, no, moron. We use the CPI as a deflator for spending, GDP, taxes etc. I don’t know where you get your nutty information (much like your lies about Canadian unemployment calculations), but it looks like you are grasping at straws as a last desperate attempt to have any shred of credibility.

          • Naseem

            Since I won’t be receiving an answer from you to my post 16 hours ago directly below because what you wrote is gibberish and a complete lie, let me fill readers in on what monetary inflation was (and which is NOT used to deflate spending – a complete lie): each of M1, M2 and M3 growth (or inflation as you call it) was in the DOUBLE DIGITS in the time period 2010-2012. So Mayor Ford should be your greatest hero if those are the inflation numbers you postulate. But you don’t know monetary inflation from unemployment calculations from CPI from a hole in the wall. Chris Bird is a complete ignoramus on economic statistics. And he writes that Ford is stupid – well, look in the mirror, buddy.
            Also, nice site you run here, Chris. Nice censoring & deleting my comments which destroy your childish and dishonest babblings. You’re so very confident that you need to censor. Good luck with that this year and in your life.

          • tyrannosaurus_rek

            Go back to the Sun‘s site, jackass.

          • Harry Weiss

            You have led the topic away, in typical style. Ford’s claims on how many jobs he has created have been turned into a discussion on Money Supply and Inflation. Rather off topic.

            Perhaps you can explain how Mayor Ford has any credibility on the subject of job growth – his boast that his administration has created jobs is utterly false. It’s typical politicking on the part of Ford, and his claim was a lie – making the article written by Chris correct.

            That, after all is the subject here.

            As has been explained to you before, your unnecessary tendency towards abusive language, especially when you have been shot down in your claims, is likely what gets your posts deleted. If you would try to be more civil and respectful, you would do better. Just a suggestion.

          • Naseem

            No, you unemployed tool, the subject here is spending. Try to keep up, dumbass. And the reason I get deleted is because you pushed flag on the posts criticizing you. You are a thin-skinned liar and a loser in life. That’s why you are alone and unemployed. Let’s countdown on how long this post takes to be deleted.

          • tyrannosaurus_rek

            You’re an obnoxious troll, bugger off.

            Try deleting my reply, since you think it’s possible.

          • Harry Weiss

            No, the subject is Rob Ford’s lies. The article is quite clear. Your original claim about spending has been removed, unfortunately.

            Perhaps you really have no idea how Disqus works, so I will explain. Site administrators evaluate posts that are flagged – and it is they who decide whether to remove a post that has violated site rules. I have no power whatsoever to remove your posts, and in fact I think your posts should remain as fine examples of how Rob Ford supporters conduct themselves.

            Your wrong guesses about me continue to amuse me. I haven’t been involuntarily unemployed since the 1980s, and even then it was a short period. My wife and daughter would certainly disagree that I am alone and single.

            But then again you make lots conclusions based on zero facts – likely why you are defending the long list of Ford’s lies above rather than being objective.

          • vampchick21

            waaaaa!

  • ThisAintCanada

    I hear the Economic Club has offered refunds to those lunch guests who couldn’t stick around until Rob escaped from the elevator. But they were the lucky ones.

    The refunds should go to the saps that stayed, eh?

    • vampchick21

      It’s refunds for everyone actually.

      • ThisAintCanada

        Good to hear. Too bad Torontonians can’t be refunded the past three and a half years, eh?

      • ThisAintCanada

        Whew. Thank goodness, eh?

  • candolf

    I love this so much.

  • Naseem

    Another doozy lie by you torontist economic dolts: You don’t know the difference between job growth and the unemployment rate. Think about it long and hard and you might begin to realize that you idiots are complete amateurs.

    • candolf

      C’mon Neil. Be nice. You know you’ve been outfoxed here.

      Fact checking. It’s what’s for dinner!

      • Naseem

        What in the world are you talking about?

        • nevilleross

          The same question applies more to you than it does to Candolf.

    • Christopher Bird

      We know the difference between job growth and the unemployment rate quite well. Politicians (of all persuasions, be they liberal, conservative or what have you) love to talk about job growth because it almost always sounds good: “we added X,000 jobs this month” always sounds good coming out of a politician’s mouth, whether it’s Rob Ford or Barack Obama or whoever, really. People like hearing about new jobs.

      The problem with job growth is that it’s fundamentally a dishonest metric to measure employment growth, because in any situation where you have an expanding population (and Toronto’s population has expanded faster than most places in North America over the last couple decades, because we’re a growth city), the expanding population will in and of itself generate new jobs because a larger population means more people needed to provide the same level of goods and services to that larger population.

      Economists refer to this sometimes as the “baseline job growth number”: if a population is growing X percent yearly, then it needs Y jobs simply to keep employment level stable and prevent unemployment from increasing. In short, outside of a serious recession, if you have population growth there is ALWAYS going to be some job growth.

      Typically, when a politician talks about how “we added X jobs” in the last month/year/term of elected office, he doesn’t mention that X jobs doesn’t factor in the jobs that would have been generated by population growth anyway. That’s why unemployment rate is a more honest guide to total job growth.

      And unlike other political concerns where the question of whether Rob Ford understands a given aspect of governance is undetermined, there’s no real question that he understands the difference between unemployment rate and overall job growth numbers – because previously, he used to claim (falsely, on multiple levels) that he had dropped unemployment rates from 10 percent under David Miller to 7 percent under himself. Except that wasn’t true – and now that unemployment in Toronto is rising, Rob Ford isn’t talking about the unemployment rate any more. Now he’s talking about job numbers, because he wants to make his bad record sound good – and because he thinks you’re stupid enough to believe him.

      • Naseem

        a) you’ve just admitted you lied and KNEW that you were lying. You’ve just admitted that what Rob Ford said about job growth was true. That you call yourself a journalist is a joke.
        b) why don’t you give us the baseline job growth number if you want to criticize Rob Ford’s fact of job growth
        c) I’m not sure where you’ve copied these paragraphs from, but the unemployment rate is not a more honest guide to job growth as we see clearly in the US right NOW and as recently commented on by no less than Fed Chairman Bernanke. You see, stupid Christopher, the unemployment rate has dropped in the US more because of a declining participation rate rather than the few jobs created. I won’t educate you on economics 101, but suffice it to say, you have no legs to stand on in your idiotic criticism of this part of Rob Ford’s speech.

        • Christopher Bird

          Our point is simple: Rob Ford is pointing to jobs numbers and saying that they demonstrate the “economic boost” his policies have given the city. But that’s bull, because the jobs numbers aren’t indicative of any sort of economic boost: in fact, unemployment has RISEN since he took office (if only slightly). You’re demanding that Rob Ford be given a “true” for saying something that, by any reasonable standard, is deceptive. That’s ludicrous.

          I don’t know offhand what the baseline job growth number is for Toronto. Doing some back-of-the-envelope math, it’s be along the lines of taking the 200,000 new people in Toronto, removing the over-65s and under-18s that compose about 28-30% of the population (call it 30 percent, so 140,000) and then extrapolating that, given the 9.4 percent unemployment rating in Toronto in 2011, to maintain that figure 90.6% of the new Torontonians should be employed – or 126,800 over the three years. Under Ford we’ve fallen short, which is why the unemployment rate has risen from 9.4% to 10.1%.

          As for the US unemployment rate, it’s always been problematic as an indicator of economic participation not because unemployment rates are a bad way to measure total employment, but because the way the US measures it is dissimilar from the way Canada measures it: the US has multiple unemployment rates and the one traditionally most reported on in the media and referred to by politicians is the U3 rate, which measures people who are unemployed but who have looked for work in the past month. This is what Bernanke was referring to when he discussed the declining participation rate: when workers get discouraged and give up looking for a job out of hopelessness, they drop out of the U3 rate. However, the US has multiple other unemployment rates that incorporate workers who are discouraged, underemployed workers, etc. and these are very valid and useful statistics; the U3 is just the most widely used in the United States because it always has been (mostly because politicians from both sides of the aisle like to point to the U3 rate as proof of American superiority over other countries who measure their unemployment more honestly).

          However, Canada has no U3 rate; we’ve always just measured unemployment by the traditional “everybody who is not working a full-time job” metric, which means our unemployment measurements, while often depressing, at least have the virtue of accuracy.

          Finally: Jesus Christ, but you’re a whiny little asshole, aren’t you? I’ve done nothing in my replies to you other than be as factual and respectful as possible and your responses have been inflammatory and abusive – to say nothing of the fact that you’re frequently wrong about very basic facts that are easily checkable against third-party sources. You sure as hell aren’t doing Ford Nation any favours.

          • Naseem

            Again, you have admitted you lied and won’t acknowledge your lies. You don’t have a clue as to what you are saying, you economic moron. For all your fancy calculating about Toronto, you simply should have used the participation rate. It’s on the exotic, fancy site run by StatsCan. Your description of Canada’s unemployment rate methodology is an OUT AND OUT LIE. You are an utter disgrace. Canada uses a participation rate too and it counts part time jobs (though the methodology is somewhat different and more conservative that the US comparative rate, but easily translatable). You have just written a long-winded lie and I guess that’s how you try to obfuscate your ignorance and lies. You are simply a disgrace and should be ashamed of yourself. Do you even realize the garbage you’ve just written?

            As for my tone, let me refer you to the tone you used in the article “It’s never been clear if Rob Ford is lying about the difference between the City’s gross and net operating budget, or if he is simply too stupid to understand it.” Silly me, a first time reader of this site, for continuing the tone you began. I didn’t know that you were exempt from name-calling for this is the tone you write in. Stupid ignorant Chrissie, reap what you sow.

          • Harry Weiss

            Just a suggestion: calm down and try to speak rationally, and stop calling people liar when they are not. That diatribe was just disgraceful.

            You aren’t fooling anyone.

          • Naseem

            An interesting detailed fact: ‘Harry Weiss’ is an unemployed lying parasite who leeches off society. He lies as naturally as he breathes

          • Still_Waters3

            I’ll admit straight away that I am no economist. However, Ford had no problem using the dropping unemployment rate a few months ago to trumpet how he was responsible for that and it was proof that he was creating jobs in Toronto. He even took sole credit for creating the trend of new businesses and jobs coming back to Toronto, a trend which actually started in Miller’s second term. Now, when the same unemployment rate is shown to be rising, he ignores that and uses a different number to prove the same thing, that he’s creating jobs. There may be a completely rational relationship at work here that a scholar of economics would be able to explain about this apparent conundrum, but whenever Ford has been asked to explain it, he doesn’t. Maybe he just wants it to be the secret of elite economists like himself, while poor ignorant folk like me should just take his word for it because, you know, his word is his bond. He never lies…

          • Naseem

            Again, you have admitted you lied and won’t acknowledge your lies. You don’t have a clue as to what you are saying. For all your fancy calculating about Toronto, you simply should have used the participation rate. It’s on the exotic, fancy site run by StatsCan. Your description of Canada’s unemployment rate methodology is an OUT AND OUT LIE. Canada uses a participation rate too and it counts part time jobs (the methodology is somewhat different and more conservative than the US comparative rate, but easily translatable). You have just written a long-winded lie and I guess that’s how you try to obfuscate your ignorance and lies. You should be ashamed of yourself. Do you even realize the garbage you’ve just written?

            As for my tone, let me refer you to the tone you used in the article “It’s never been clear if Rob Ford is lying about the difference between the City’s gross and net operating budget, or if he is simply too stupid to understand it.” Silly me, a first time reader of this site, for continuing in the tone you began. I didn’t know that you were exempt from name-calling for this is the tone you write in. Reap what you sow.

            As for the very basic facts that I’m supposedly wrong about, care to share any? I’ve asked you below yet you don’t elaborate. You’re a big talker, and very long winded, but short of actual facts.

        • Harry Weiss

          Naseem, before you demand details from others, how about providing some yourself? Rob Ford has provided exactly none to back his employment claims.

          Read the post clearly – he in no way said that Rob Ford’s claims were true. That means that you are calling him a liar and “idiotic” when he did not lie and was not “idiotic”. Very dishonest.

          I dispute your rather simplistic view of the US Labour data – you ignore that the aging population in the US, with a huge growth in retirees is a major reason why participation rates are dropping.

          • Naseem

            Detailed fact: ‘Harry Weiss’ is an unemployed lying parasite who leeches off society. He lies as naturally as he breathes.

    • Pseudanko

      Yeah they do, they mentioned it in the article you didn’t read.

  • Ignatius Jayendra

    Rob ford will get elected again. To bad Toronto Star, unions and left wing can’t do anything about it

    • Elcoguy

      It is the greed of rednecks like you that caused this moron to be elected. We will make sure that never happens again.

  • Ignatius Jayendra

    I rather have limited service and more money in my pocket. I dont care about over paid union workers. I know people hiding their income and agreeing for cash deals.

    • vampchick21

      You are why we can’t have nice things.

    • Dinah Might

      Let’s say cutting a service puts an extra $2 in your pocket annually. Then five years from now, you need that service—will you be able to buy it for $10? Unlikely.

      Whether unions are overpayed or not is another issue. We shouldn’t punish people who need certain services, if we determine the people providing it are overpaid.

    • nevilleross

      I hope that when you get sick (mentally or physically) and are having problems, the extra money in your pocket will pay for any help that you need.

  • LelaG

    You’ve done a good job pointing and counterpointing Ford’s speech.
    Now, would you do exactly the same on the same speech under a different name: David Miller? And compare your commentary and counterpoint?

    • linked1

      Yes I’d like to see it. It would reveal just how clear headed and intelligent Miller is compared to this rube.

    • vampchick21

      Has Miller done a recent speech other than when he tore up his TFC tickets? Or are you demanding that they dig up an old speech of Miller’s and do above, because, you know, big meanies hurting Ford’s feelings?

      • dsmithhfx

        Feelings? He’s comfortably numb.

  • vampchick21

    Yup, they do. Those that can read that is. See newer comments above. Still don’t like facts and reality though.

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    “F*** [sic] you very much,”

    Nice mirror you have there.

  • Naseem

    Just by quickly eyeballing torontoist’s supposed lies, one sees how many of the criticisms themselves are lies, and Rob Ford was right. While I don’t expect the authors’ twisted minds to change, readers should know that the leftist lies will be challenged in the election campaign, and you won’t get away with it. For example:
    #9&10 – everyone knows that tax increases have been lower under Ford than Miller. Your criticisms are irrational lies. Property tax hikes are running at half of Miller’s average.
    15- why don’t you tell us the acute shortfall the city begins with EVERY year and how the budget was then balanced? Do you think people don’t read?
    21 – the planned debt over the next decade is indeed less than what city officials had planned. How can you dispute that if it is on the city’s web site? Ford didn’t say that the debt is not going up, rather the planned increase is WAY less than when he took office. You guys show that you don’t understand basic economics.
    26- bigger and faster don’t make airplanes or cars or subways not airplanes or cars or subways. LRTs only distinction of note is the dedicated rights of way – but numerous definitions of LRTs (which you can google) say they are streetcars with Rights of way.
    37- see my post below. Job growth and the unemployment rate are two different things. You see, brainiacs, the city and its work force are growing.
    40- Torontonians pay both Toronto & Ontario LTTs. So Ontario’s alone can’t be bigger than the combined Toronto & Ontario LTTs. You are really twisted morons – it is simple math – you must have missed that lesson in school.
    42- the Toronto LT tax rebate for first time homebuyers is only on the first $400,000. You torontoist leftists are OUT AND OUT LIARS.
    45- Did you morons miss the Executive committee meeting last week where millions were added to the budget for a zoo, library hours, extra meals etc. Ford’s speech was after that. You torontoist leftists are OUT AND OUT LIARS.
    See my posts below for other torontist leftist lies and twisted allegations in this article.
    I don’t intend to change the minds of these dedicated leftists here, but you should know that responsible, hard working Torontonians are ready and going to call out your lies, no matter how many times you repeat them.

    • Dinah Might

      #26: By your logic, a Boeing 747 is just a Cessna with right of way.

      • Naseem

        So are you telling us that they both aren’t airplanes? Gee, we better change our education system.

        • Dinah Might

          You’re the one saying that Cessnas are jumbo jets.

          • Naseem

            ?? I’m saying they are both airplanes. Do you dispute that?

          • Dinah Might

            1) Cats and tigers are both animals.
            2) Cats make good household pets.
            3) Therefore tigers are also good household pets!

            Similarly, LRTs and streetcars are both rail-based vehicles, but to insist they are the same thing is gross oversimplification. If you don’t get that by now, I can’t help you.

          • Naseem

            You’re actually proving my point, but are too dim to realize it. A tiger is the largest cat species. A Cessna and a Boeing 747 are still both airplanes, and an LRT (do you even know what it stands for?) is still a streetcar with added features. Their features might be and are different, but your logic (if I can call it that) doesn’t hold water. Sorry, I can’t help you.

          • Dinah Might

            Might as well say that a Panzer tank is just a VW bug with added features. Light Rail Transit is not just souped-up streetcars; if anything it’s more like a scaled-down subway.

            http://www.torontoenvironment.org/campaigns/transit/LRTfaq

          • Naseem

            Oh, you want to duel with website citations? And you bring one from a left wing group? You’re very funny.

          • Harry Weiss

            The citiation is an accurate one and a good one, despite your attempt to dismiss it.

            An LRT line is not the same as a streetcar line. A dedicated LRT route is faster and less encumbered by traffic than a streetcar route – making it far superior and clearly different.

            Please read about this, and know what you are talking about next time.

          • Naseem

            Unemployed freak ‘Harry Weiss’ with his ‘detailed facts’. The ‘detailed fact’ is that you are unemployed and you can’t disprove it.

          • Harry Weiss

            No, a detailed fact is that an LRT and a streetcar are very different things. I even explained why to you.

            Yet, you abandon all pretense of arguing whatever point you were trying to make – and instead obsess on what you imaging my employment status to be. Is this really all you are? If so I am happy that you show Ford Nation off so wonderfully.

            It’s sad, Naseem – and you are showing everyone here you just run away from real arguments.

          • Naseem

            A detailed fact: ‘Harry Weiss’ is an unemployed lying parasite who leeches off society. He lies as naturally as he breathes.

          • vampchick21

            It really is all that he is. You’d be better off not wasting any further energy on him.

          • Harry Weiss

            I know, but horrific car crashes capture the attention in exactly the same way… you are probably right though…

          • nevilleross

            A better ‘detailed fact’ that none of the commenters or Torontoist’s moderators have glommed on is that you are most likely a paid troll, one of millions employed by right-wing organizations to come onto progressive sites/blogs and make nonsense statements.

          • Pseudanko

            Well, we’ve extablished that the right wing hero who is here to save the day is a flat-out liar, so let’s go with the guys who can actually count for a change, shall we?

          • James

            both airplanes that operate differently, have different ranges, different speeds, different capacity, different costs – in short completely different in all ways except that they are both airplanes.

            can you really be that ignorant

          • Harry Weiss

            Yes, Naseem is really that ignorant.

          • Naseem

            Next time you cry about my insulting you, you unemployed single parasite, remember all your up votes for name-calling posters which denotes approval of name-calling, and this post.

          • Harry Weiss

            Insults and personal attacks seem to be the main part of your posts, rather than substantive points. I call you ignorant on this issue because you have displayed it, over and over again. However, I have also tried to educate you, and all you do is call names and run away rather than discuss.

            Displaying a total lack of knowledge on the issue of LRTs, combined with a refusal to even discuss facts presented, is ignorant and I stand by what I say.

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      Re: 9 – This has nothing to do with property taxes specifically, so why are you mentioning it?

      Re: 10 – Ford is claiming credit for keeping Toronto property taxes the
      lowest in the GTA, but that has long since been the case.

      Re: 15 – Normally the ‘opening pressure’ of a shortfall is addressed with
      surpluses from the previous year. Surpluses which Ford spent, down to the last penny, in 2011, after vowing to put an end to the practice (while still taking credit for getting in a budget that didn’t require much in the way of tax or fee increases). In 2012 he needed a one-time reserve to fill the gap.

      Re: 21 – Ford didn’t say the rate of increase in the debt would drop, which it very well may, but that the planned debt in total will drop. This is not true and conflicts with city staff reports.

      Re: 40 – Ford didn’t say Torontonians pay the highest LTT (we do), he said Toronto’s LTT is the highest LTT in Canada (it isn’t).

      Re: 42 – Ford wasn’t specific about how much his doe-eyed new homeowners are spending (or being deprived of spending) either. But by failing to mention the rebate he paints a misleading picture. That’s lying.

      Re: 45 – Ford’s claim is that after council sidelined him they revised his budget, which is untrue: Ford’s budget, with its ‘plucked from thin air’ property tax increase of 1.75%, was never under consideration.

      Reading comprehension: get some.

      • Naseem

        Reading comprehension?

        9 – “the city raises” – try reading

        10 – read their comment and then mine and see what I was addressing. Don’t change the subject.

        15 – read their comment and then mine.

        21 – read my comment again. I didn’t say rate of increase nor did Ford. He spoke of a specific planned debt level. Both my comment and Ford’s are correct. It’s on the city web site in the budget discussions with fancy coloured charts that you might grasp if you can’t grasp numbers.

        40 – What nonsense. “Toronto has the highest LTT in Canada. We are the only city in Canada that hits homebuyers with a municipal land transfer tax as well as a provincial one.” That is exactly what he said. Don’t try and twist his words.

        42 – you actually are trying to dispute this? Stop deflecting from the truth.

        45. Now try addressing what I actually stated.

        Reading comprehension? Yes, you should get some.

        • tyrannosaurus_rek

          Re-read everything and try replying honestly instead of from your knee-jerk ideological position.

          • Naseem

            As expected. Pathetic reply.

          • nevilleross

            Pot, meet kettle.

    • Harry Weiss

      You seem to have accepted the majority of the points above, which is telling.

      #9 and 10 : The article was referring to the Net operating budget increase – not just taxes. You are changing the subject.

      15 – You ignore the depleted cash reserves, as well as the extraordinary measure of implementing a 0% budget increase for all departments. Your point seems to suggest that this is normal, and it is not.

      21 – The planned debt is a projection, becoming more inaccurate as each year is projected, and doesn’t take into account the huge bag the city will be holding for cost overrruns on Ford’s vanity project the Scarborough Subway.

      26 – Ford’s own words from last year show he has no idea what an LRT really is. His assertion that it is a “fancy streetcar” is without merit. Your point does nothing to show Ford told any kind of accurate truth.

      37 – Ford quotes total number of employed people to make his argument, which is of little use. He uses neither Job Growth nor the Unemployment rate to make his position.

      40 – Ford’s words were inaccurate – Toronto does NOT have the highest LTT in Canada. Ontario’s IS higher. Your attack is just foolish.

      42 – The assertion that First Time Homebuyers get rebates is accurate. They made no claim as to details, and Ford claimed they do not (which is proposed and not currently in place yet). You called them ‘liars’ when it is you who are wrong.

      45 – You misunderstood this completely. Ford complained about the estimate used to make the budget in executive committee, making it out to be a wild guess, when it turned out to be very accurate. Another failed point by Rob Ford. And yet another call of ‘liars’ when it is you who are wrong.

      So the bottom line is the only twisting of things here is really carried on by none other than you. You ignore what Ford said, you change the subject instead of staying on point, and use insults to cover it all up.

      Hard working Torontonians are ready to call you on your fibs too. Disgraceful.

      • Naseem

        A proven detailed fact: ‘Harry Weiss’ is an unemployed lying parasite who leeches off society. He lies as naturally as he breathes

  • Pseudanko

    Butbutbutbut unions. That’s pretty much all they got.

  • Naseem

    Censorship – this is how the left works. Chris Bird is embarrased and caught in huge lies (about spending, unemployment) and so he must cover up by deleting my posts. You will stay in your low levels forever.
    Here was my original post Chris deleted:
    What an idiotic article. He mispronounced a woman’s name, and that’s a lie? You guys are complete idiots. Spending has fallen in inflation adjusted terms, but because you idiots can’t understand that but only nominal growth, that’s a lie? Increased development costs are a tax hike? That’s just displaying your utter stupidity. Charging for previously free zumba classes is a tax hike? CUPE doesn’t agree with the city’s stated savings on garbage and we should take CUPE and you seriously? And so it goes with much of your criticism. Newsflash: If Rob Ford can stay relatively clean until October, he’s going to be re-elected. And you thumbsuckers can complain to yourselves for another four years.

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      Repeating yourself doesn’t make it true.

    • Harry Weiss

      I give you points for trying, not so many for learning.

      Namecalling is a sure way to show you have no real point to make. You keep doing it.

      Newflash: Rob Ford isn’t going to stay clean, he has a serious substance abuse problem and it will not go away. He also will likely be defeated (my guess is there is a 50% chance he will finish third, and a 50% chance he withdraws after his arrest for drug charges), largely because he is a Mayor who complains more than gets things done. His personal issues, deep and wide ranging as they are, bear quite a lot on his poor performance as Mayor and will continue to do so until he leaves office.

    • Dinah Might

      Browse the comment sections on Torontoist and you’ll find plenty of disagreement. Repeated insults are what get your comments deleted, not your political views.

      Chris Bird didn’t lie, and I doubt it was Chris who deleted your comments. They have administrators for that.

    • vampchick21

      Quit whining like a baby and try stating your point of view like a big boy. You know, without the insults and name calling and general sense of hysteria over someone daring to pick on your super special mega hero.

  • Punned_It

    Instead of the Downtown Relief Line they should have called it the Suburban Express. The whole point is to avoid the transfers at Yonge and University. Thanks to extending the subway, if there is increased ridership as many expect, that transfer is going to become even more hellish.

    Of course, if you can’t explain to Rob that an LRT isn’t a streetcar, you can’t explain that the Downtown Relief Line is not for the benefit of the folks downtown.

  • Harry Weiss

    Great article, shows very well that Rob Ford’s speeches are basically just politicking at the expense of truth.

  • christinaarcher

    Rob Ford cannot add, subtract, or read. He doesn’t know what he is doing, but ignorance is no excuse.