Re: CNN dyingJun 20th, 2018
Here is a story illustrating just how convoluted it is-and often outright IMPOSSIBLE- trying to get anything done at Toronto Socialist Silly Hall.
Former Toronto Councillor and one time front man for the Rob Ford plan to extend the Shepard subway line has attacked the Toronto Sun for its stand on extending the Bloor/Danforth subway to Scarborough Town Centre. I present the letter from Chong, along with some comments of my own in brackets):
Sun blew it on the Scarborough subway. By Gordon Chong. First posted: Saturday, July 23, 2016 07:22 PM EDT
“The Little Paper that Grew” surprised and disappointed me recently with two editorials endorsing Toronto Mayor John Tory’s proposal to extend the Bloor-Danforth subway to the Scarborough Town Centre.
This instead of the LRT that has a signed agreement still in force with funding in place. Although the final “package” approved made the extension more palatable, it remains to be seen how much of it will actually proceed.
(Chong ignores the ugly reality-that the LRT will move MANY LESS people per hour than a subway-and at a SLOWER pace than a subway and that the LRT will MESS up existing traffic by taking away parking on main streets and this will harm local business-AND THE TAX BASE THE CITY NEEDS! And LRT will also take lanes away from cars thus reducing traffic flow. This is simply BAD social engineering and all part of the ill considered War On Cars! The LRT is a MODEST improvement over existing services while a subway is a MAJOR ADDITION and MASSIVE IMPROVEMENT since it will operate in its own right of way and not interfere with other transit such as street level busses and cars! And although it has a three times higher cost it ALSO HAS a three times HIGHER service life-with the ADDED bonus of carrying MORE people than LRT!)
My initial reaction turned to dismay when I read the more thoughtful editorials in the Toronto Star and Globe and Mail – especially those in the aftermath of the council vote. They were considered, detailed, and had not been worn down by the marathon of transit decisions, re-considerations and flip-flops.
Having been a fan, friend and supporter of the Sun since its inception in 1971, I was saddened over what I perceived to be a betrayal of its roots and the principled, conservative perspectives of its founders.
(I suggest that Chong himself is in denial of reality! An extension of the Shepard subway will result in major NEW riders coming in for the already over crowded Young St line. An extension of the Shepard line is not practical without that long planned for north/south relief line that has been talked to death by politicians. An extension of the Bloor line allows those people who are heading downtown to get onto either the Young or University lines-thus limiting the new pressure on the already overloaded Young line. Sun writers are simply giving into reality-there is No money for either a Shepard line OR a Bloor extension! But the Bloor extension might be a little more practical and easier to do. City Hall dreamers must understand that REAL action is not just needed-it is GROSSLY OVERDUE!)
Its two superficial editorials did not live up to those standards. On this issue, the Sun cheapened its reputation as “Toronto’s Other Voice”. It was merely another impulsive, cavalier Toronto voice. In its July 10 editorial, the Sun claims the extension is a “logical extension of the Bloor-Danforth line”.
It is not. It is a “nice to have,” but not a “need to have” extension. The Sheppard extension in both directions is a more logical one.
(Chong is dreaming in technicolour if he thinks there will be ANY extension of Shepard line-it probably won’t happen in his LIFETIME! NOR in the lifetime of his GRAND CHILDREN! Nor any extension of the Bloor line either! City Hall is stony BROKE and any seeker after transit news will be restricted to viewing fancy plans dreamed up by deluded Hogs who think that we will be satisfied with grand transit IDEAS that wont happen in our lifetime! Ad executive shills selling toys on Saturday morning kids cartoon shows present more truth and reality than Metrolinx transit plans!)
Downtown councillors along with planners -including celebrity chief planner, Jennifer Keesmat- have repeatedly called the short operating section of the Sheppard line “bad planning” because it is underused. It does not take a genius to realize it is underused because it is unfinished. It is supposed to go from the Scarborough Town Centre to the North York and Etobicoke Civic Centres.
That is the real “plot to deny Scarborough residents” who don’t have a subway.
That is the “ongoing culture war by downtown councillors on the suburbs and Scarborough in particular.”
(Chong is either ill informed or deliberately misleading us-there are 22 councillors from all parts of the city-the down town gang does not have a monopoly. But civil service Hogs DO have the monopoly! Rob Ford proved that the city could either continue to supply gravy to Hogs OR it could start on transit improvements. Socialist Silly Hall Loons have decided gravy for Hogs is more important than transit as Hog support is more important to politicians-which is why I have been saying since before Jackass John Tory got elected that there would be NO NEW transit built in Toronto during his term in office! Jackass Tory simply does not have the SPINE needed to stand up to Hogs!)
The Sun also says claims that the LRT option is fully funded are “utter nonsense” which is incorrect, despite Mayor Tory’s insistence that is the case.
A feeble attempt is made to justify the Sun’s position by dismissing the LRT proponents as comparing it “to some mythical transit project in Toronto that has come in on budget.”
(And yet-here we are almost a year later listening to the same gang of fools discussing cancelation of the LRT and the adding of ONE NEW LONE station on the Bllor line and it wont happen either for the usual bankruptcy reasobs!)
Then, it makes the banal observation that “costs always rise in capital projects between the initial proposal and the final cost.” Hardly a strong argument.
(Cost increases ranging from 25 percent to 100 percent are hardly BANAL!)
In its July 13 editorial, “Build the subway, stop the nonsense,” the Sun doubles down and, while acknowledging the obvious increase in costs of both over time, still calls the concern about costs a “red herring".
While I agree that council must “end its dishonesty, dithering and delay,” the Sun has fingered the wrong culprit when it comes to estimating costs.
It is the TTC and other proponents who routinely overestimate costs and still go over budget and miss deadlines.
(That’s odd-current MAYOR Jackass John Tory has stated that TTC staff and planners routinely UNDER estimate costs to make it easier to get projects stated-then hit Silly Hall later with `extras` so where is the over estimating?)
It is ridership estimates that are routinely underestimated and notoriously short-sighted.
(I ask of Chong: “WHO CARES”? The unfinished Shepard line carried twice as many riders in its first year as expected-if you BUILD IT they WILL use it! And they will do so in ways the dim wit planners did not expect! The public thinks and reacts much faster than govt planners and the truth is that it wont much matter in the end whether it’s a Shepard subway or a Bloor line that come to Scarborough-BOTH will be well used. ESPECIALLY once Silly Hall gets its ass in gear and builds a Young St RELIEF LINE!)
The arm-twisting that went into this final council vote was enormous.
I have been involved in the no-holds-barred world of political mixed martial arts since the 1970s both as a manager and politician. I have seldom seen the likes of this match.
It is my fervent hope that the Toronto Sun will find its feisty, but well-researched “other voice” for Toronto again soon.
(Yeah, and when they do they will call Chong ‘yesterdays man’! It is FAR LESS important WHICH subway plan is built and far MORE important that SOME DAMNED SUBWAY GET BUILT!)
(The sad truth behind the Chong tirade is that apparently he believes he is owed money-roughly twenty four grand! Chong was hired by Ford to begin yet ANOTHER study of the Shepard Line-and was told that he HAD A BUDGET-and a tight one at that! But Chong is a city hall pro and all manner of things go over budget at Silly hall and the money is found eventually. But NOT THIS TIME!)
(The Shepard subway was a Ford project and other city councillors took great delight in killing the study-so NO extra allowance for over budget Chong! And nothing for the Metrolinx donkeys who worked with him! Chong and his attack on Toronto Sun represents nothing more than sour grapes! And a certain ill displayed pique that Silly Hall will build NOTHING new while Jackass John is mayor