Posts Tagged ‘ budget ’

“If you do something against the law in the RCMP … they change the law”

Posted on May 14th, 2015 Be the first to comment


“I find this provision almost Orwellian,” said Fred Vallance-Jones, an associate professor at the University of King’s College in Halifax and an expert in access to information law.

“It seeks to rewrite history, to say that lawful access to records that existed before didn’t actually exist after all, and that if you exercised your quasi-constitutional right of access to those records, well too bad, you’re out of luck.”

The government is setting a precedent to move retroactively on any record it doesn’t want exposed, Vallance-Jones said.

“That to me is the deeper concern.”

Michel Drapeau, a lawyer, former military colonel and access-to-information author, noted there has never been a charge laid under the Access to Information Act, let alone a conviction.

He said the rationale of moving retroactively to prevent a possible prosecution is “a dangerous and unwelcome precedent” that should be as unwelcome to the RCMP and the administration of justice as to freedom-of-information wonks.

“The optics of it are not good: ‘Oh, so that’s the way it works now?’ If you do something against the law in the RCMP, you’ve got your friends in high places, they change the law,” said Drapeau.

Filed under: Dispatches, Patrick Bay, Pictures

The bottom line

Posted on November 20th, 2013 3 Comments

Under Rob Ford:

 “This is the path the Fords have chosen, and it is clearly working!”
I Hate the War on Mayor Rob Ford

Filed under: Dispatches, Patrick Bay

Not even remotely truthy anymore

Posted on October 15th, 2013 1 Comment

As Rob and Doug Ford took to the airwaves to promote their continuing assholery in picking on exclusively one councillor for his vote (19 other councillors voted the same way as Ainslie — obviously they’re not singling him out!), in Rob’s most recent pet project (subways for Scarborough), the compounded stream of pure lies and disrespect for both voters (a.k.a. taxpayers), and just plain common sense hit new heights.

In fact, it can now be accurately, and without exaggeration, be stated that most of what comes out of Rob and Doug Ford’s mouths are complete and utter lies. And when, on the rare occasion that they manage to say something even remotely truthful and accurate, they still manage to fill their claims with all sorts of bullshit, derision, and spiteful hypocrisy. What the Fords say and what they do are more often than not exact opposites; just browse a bit through this blog — the number of examples is staggering.

Here’s just a smattering from the radio show:

Caller Paul from Scarborough challenged the Fords’ claims that the Scarborough LRT, the above-ground alternative to the subway, will lead to “ripping up roads” and all of the other deceitful fear mongering that the two Fords have been menacing Torontonians with. He accurately called them “liars”, and provided a variety of facts to back this claim. Turns out the environmental assesments have all been paid for and done, and most of the LRT route would cover the existing Scarborough Rapid Transit tracks (i.e. no ripping up of roads, etc.) The Ford “plan” scraps all of those years of effort and costs a whack of money (based on previous EA costs, $1 million seems like a conservative number), in favour of back-of-the-napkin calculations, seemingly done by a 3-year-old (though apparently no one’s seen it so that’s really just a best guess).

Doug’s dismissive response was to entirely ignore all of these facts and instead respond with the usual Fordian drivel, “Do you believe in a two-tier transit system?”. No facts, no reports (even skewed ones!) to his singular claim — nope, Doug just called Paul a “liar” and then proceeded to heap lie upon deception upon insult.

Doug also included Josh Matlow in his dis session, most likely because Matlow is one of those disgusting downtown “elites” who know how to count and read; according to the Fords, all Toronto newspapers and magazines are tools of the wasteful “elite” now that they’re questioning the brothers, so start burning your books, Ford Nation!

Ensuring that his brother wasn’t the only one publicly spreading incorrect / incomplete information, Rob added that the average household will pay $10 a year extra as part of a property tax increase (yet another topic demonstrating the Fords’ double-crosses). The numbers are actually closer to $38 per year for the next 30 years, and that doesn’t cover the cost of running the new line. I wouldn’t call this last part a lie — it’s entirely possible that this is simply just another example of Ford’s willful, bull-headed ignorance.

Continuing the radio program, Robbie went on to express his outrage at the expenses of Pan Am Games officials, which almost threatened to shine a ray of honesty onto the Ford administration until I recalled how completely unconcerned he was (and continues to be), when Pan Am organizers met with him and basically refused to discuss the costs of finding a mascot for the event. This would look pretty bad in and of itself, but it takes on Fordian proportions when you consider that Rob’s former hand-picked Chief of Staff Amir Remtulla has been Pan Am’s vice president for well over a year, and the guy in Amir’s position prior to that was none other than Nick Kouvalis, Rob’s previous Chief of Staff and the man generally credited with getting Ford the mayoralty. And this outrage-in-absentia isn’t uncommon for Fordo.

So in case you missed that, Rob Ford not only knowingly allowed secret Pan Am spending to occur on his watch without lifting a finger (this doesn’t even include the number of times that the Games were before Council as votes, reports, etc.), but he personally appointed the people who he now feigns outrage at. Not that there’s any insinuations of impropriety, mind you — unlike Ford, all of the Pan Am executives’ bonuses were above board. And while I agree that the bonuses are quite exorbitant, it doesn’t address the fact that Rob and his brother knew about them for years and did absolutely nothing about them. Actually, that’s not 100% correct — Ford is directly responsible for ensuring that some of those people received the exorbitant bonuses.

The bullshit didn’t stop there.

Rob continued by telling guest sports commentator Mike Toth about the lessons he learned from coaching football — the importance of being on time — a wonderful example to teach newcomers to Canada what the word “hipocrisy” means. If that example doesn’t quite hit home, there’s always the follow-up statement that Robbie made on the radio show by repeating his claim that City Hall has a spending problem, not a revenue problem, and he calls bullshit on higher taxes and other revenue “tools”. What he actually meant is that he thinks you’re so fucking stupid that you won’t remember that he voted to increase property taxes by 1.6% all while simultaneously decrying any tax hikes, and at the same time hiking trasit fare and reducing services, championing massive police budget increases, cutting Councillor pay, wasting hundreds of thousands in unjustified firings, and millions in ass-backwards (some believe illegal) decisions … hell, I could go on for hours, but you get the picture.

It’s gotten to the point where that old joke has taken on a sad new gravity:

You know when the Fords are lying when they open their mouths.

Filed under: B Sides, Patrick Bay

Robbie exercises his rights

Posted on September 17th, 2013 2 Comments

It’s rare that is happens, says John Elvidge of the city clerk’s office, but sitting mayors do have the right to poke their noses into the various standing committees at City Hall, including sitting in on and taking part in votes, exactly as Rob Ford did on Monday night. It’s an executive privilege.

It’s the second time Ford has done this in a week, this time on the 2014 Service Level review for the Parks and Environment Committee. The Committee, which meets irregularly once every three months or so, makes decisions on things like spending on public parks, gardens, and outdoor programs.

The vote before the Committee on Monday included a number of potentially sizeable increases which were not spelled out in any detail that I saw, although considering the fact that only existing services were listed, it seems that the numbers should be straightfroward to estimate.

Regardless, Ford declared that the as-yet-unspecified amount was too much, voted the item down, and walked out before another motion was adopted to move everything under the purview of the 2014 city budget process. Dougie was also absent for this follow-up vote.

“We can’t have these lefties spending like drunken sailors,” Ford said after his rare appearance at the parks and environment committee.

Ford says a lot of things about money at City Hall.

Things like swearing that freezing property taxes is “job one” for his administration, a claim which he rescinds drastically and early on after being voted into office (actually defending a hefty property tax increase in the process). Then, after being unable to come up with any alternative ideas to fund various city projects, settling on optimistically championing a property tax increase, then a month later calling for a property tax freeze yet again. And all of it in the unabashed service of business, which Ford says is tantamount to working for the common man.

So when Ford says that he’s getting involved in cherry-picked committee votes to curtail leftie spending, or for the benefits of the taxpayer, or any of his other disproved, divisive, and derisive nonsense, let’s just say I’m very skeptical.

Filed under: B Sides, Patrick Bay

Toronto deeper in the doo

Posted on July 10th, 2013 1 Comment

The trusty Star reports today that Toronto has sunk deeper into debt under Ford:

Over the past two years, the city borrowed $1.5 billion to pay for capital costs — including transit equipment ordered by Ford’s predecessor — and repaid $700 million, thus increasing the debt burden by $800 million.

This doesn’t come as a shock, but it’s important to point out that the brunt of the burden comes from a couple of administrations ago, so it’s entirely fair to say that Ford inherited the problem.

But then he made it worse:

Ford has championed cutting the cost of government, scrapping the $60 vehicle tax shortly after taking office, and holding down increases in property taxes which are traditionally put toward capital costs, along with borrowed funds.

In 2011, on Ford’s insistence, the city froze property taxes. The next year he limited the increase to 2.5 per cent, in line with inflation.

About half of the borrowing was to pay for transit infrastructure, such as replacing worn-out vehicles. Other big-ticket infrastructure spending went to areas such as roads, parks and housing.

It’s also important to note that borrowed money costs more in the long run than a one-time tax hike. Borrowed money is simply deferred taxation and comes with the additional burden of interest and who-knows-what penalties. In other words, it means higher taxes down the road (unless Ford’s magical public-private partnership ever appears).
None of this is news to people who follow Ford’s meanderings through politics, but it doesn’t doesn’t take into account examples of other money that Robbie and his brother have squandered since they took office. When all is said and done, the damage will be palpable.
Filed under: Dispatches, Patrick Bay

Rob Ford demands higher taxes

Posted on June 28th, 2013 Be the first to comment

Oh, you haven’t heard? Rob Ford not only wants your taxes to be higher, he’s outright demanding it!

Earlier this week the province announced that they would be cutting $50 million per year in transfer payments, which were intended to level the playing field for Toronto which often ends up shouldering more than its fair share of the whole country’s costs.

Seems like Robbie would be happy with that, no? I mean, apparently the city’s running a healthy surplus so it doesn’t seem like it’d missed much. Plus, isn’t this a perfect example of cutting back on waste?

Yes, it is waste according to Ford. That money is, after all, going to people who are just leeches on the system:

“People are not going to live free at Toronto Community Housing. I don’t care if you two years old, 20 years old or 200 years old, you’re not going to live for free”

Oh, except it’s not waste when it’s the Province that cuts support and not him. No, then it’s quite a different thing:

“A cut of $150 million will put a serious strain on our ability to provide these vital services to the most vulnerable residents.”

Additional transfer payment cuts are coming down the pipe in the not-too-distant future, about which the Fords haven’t made a peep.

I think it’s pretty clear what we can glean from this obvious hypocrisy; Rob Ford doesn’t give a fuck about “vital services” (he wouldn’t even bother to get his facts straight on the issue), or supporting the taxpayers, or arguing with the province to reduce taxes if they’re cutting payments, no, Rob Ford wants tax money to stuff the swollen pockets of his own administration. And that money comes from you and me, the taxpayer, and judging by the fact that Fordo was keen to raise property taxes, it would be no problem to raise taxes elsewhere as long they go directly to him to waste.

Spend $400,000 on an information campaign to close King Street to traffic and potentially make life a little nicer for taxpayers? Outrageous! Blow $3,000,000 on information to justify hacking and slashing the city budget (irony aside), to make life a little more miserable for taxpayers? That’s money well spent!

How’s that for gravy?

I’ve already gone into detail about how Ford, despite his many claims, is not interested in creating jobs for Toronto, didn’t seem too bothered at the thought of hefty pay raises to Council, and has at this point wasted and cost taxpayers vast swathes of money, even if you factor in all of the initiatives he’s put forward to reduce taxes, etc.

Oh sure, you can point the fingers at every level of government with this accusation, and you’d be right. But no level of government is as brazenly and openly hypocritical about it — it’s abuse coupled with insult.

Then, just so you don’t forget what outright dicks both brothers are, frère Doug goes and blames provincial leader Kathleen Wynne for the Catholic School Board’s dismissal of Rob from coaching football, insinuating that she went all the way to Etobicoke on some sort of bizarre personal vendetta against them, all the while taking continuous potshots at her.

And if that wasn’t enough, the Fords have their buddy and logistics guy (i.e. personal driver and helper monkey), David Price, calling into radio shows and newspapers, misrepresenting himself and hollering about how beloved both brothers are and how much “Ford Nation” is standing behind them — this while Ford office staff continue to drop like flies. Yet another example of reality (the truth), versus what the Fords say (bullshit).

The rule of thumb with the Fords seems to be basically this: what we say is the exact opposite of what we do, and if you dare point this out, or any of the other facts surrounding our shady dealings, we will attack you with every fiber of our being.

Ford says he wants lower taxes, meaning he demands higher taxes.

Ford says he wants subways subways subways, meaning he doesn’t want mass transit at all.

Ford respects the taxpayer. Yeah, right.

Filed under: B Sides, Patrick Bay

Loud and clear

Posted on June 10th, 2013 Be the first to comment

It has become more or less a sick joke with the so-called “right” these days; marking occasions such as National Public Service week while simultaneously, and very publicly, destroying the very things they’re there celebrating; just like Ford’s speech at International Freedom of the Press Day, made shortly after he announced his open war against all the “maggot” media.

One might almost call it a perfect example of irony if it wasn’t so disgusting.

“I want to extend my appreciation to all federal public servants who serve with dedication, professionalism and commitment to the interests of Canadians,” Harper said in a statement issued Sunday.

This is, of course, anti-Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who is doing his damnedest to make Canada’s civil service into a glorified form of slavery, something he’s trying to do to the rest of Canada too because, after all, it’s the absolute highest ideal of the neo-Con business model / government. No, seriously, I defy anyone to name a business that wouldn’t want its workforce labouring for free and cowering in fear at the whims of the owner(s), and that’s what Ford, Harper, and the rest of their slimy cronies, have been pushing for loud and clear.

This is all being done under the manufactured banner of austerity which the politicians have made quite clear will only be saddled on the regular, average taxpayers while they themselves can be free to “misplace” billions of dollars of our increasingly hard-earned money. On top of this, it’s painfully obvious that the government is not in any way interested in making the civil service more effective and they sure aren’t interested in reducing any waste. Regardless of how much they lie in public, it doesn’t take much to put these facts together and to determine what their intent is.

Filed under: Dispatches, Patrick Bay

The lies of Rob Ford

Posted on January 15th, 2013 Be the first to comment

Just when you think you’ve seen every form of stupidity that Rob Ford can muster …

Yesterday, for example, Rob Ford voted against the new city budget. Well, technically, not the whole budget, just the part that he himself had put in there!

Yeah, that’s not a typo — Ford actually voted against a part of the city’s budget that he pushed to get have included. The specific part in question has to do with the 2% property tax increase that, if you recall, he vehemently “guaranteed” year after year would be completely eliminated (just one of the many of Rob’s boldfaced, ignorance-laced, and denigratory lies).

Of course, being Ford, he reneged on that little campaign promise almost as soon as he was done telling pinkos where they can stuff it, but he kept on maintaining that he was doing everything he could to keep it at reasonable levels. Those ended up being exactly what they were prior to when he took office, so in effect Rob Ford has managed to completely fail on this end.

Just like his much-vaunted lies about all of the gravy at City Hall that never materialized, Ford has once again flown his true colours as an unabashed liar, and a bumbling buffoon of an unabashed liar at that. I mean, if this last-minute vote against his own measure is some sort of half-assed attempt to control the “optics” of his awful mayoralty (unsurprisingly, despite what the Toronto Sun says, with the help of useful idiot monkeys like Giorgio Mammoliti), he must be depending on citizen’s abject ignorance of what he’s been up to as late as last week, or he’s depending on them being so thick as to believe the crap he’s pushing.

Then again, this is Ford Nation we’re talking about here, the same small group of knuckle-dragging troglodytes who claim that black is white, up is down, “gravy” is everywhere at City Hall, Ford saves the city money (instead of costing everyone money), Toronto taxpayers is a group that only includes them (hence they are the only ones with the right to an opinion), and so on and so on. No, I wasn’t joking when I called them severely mentally ill — how else could you keep swallowing Ford’s blatant and fetid shit all this time and continue to call it candy?

Filed under: Patrick Bay, Why I'm Right

McGuinty wants privatize Ontario services (just like the amazing 407 deal)

Posted on June 18th, 2012 2 Comments

I know I’ve spent a lot of time pissing on the Conservatives and Harper, but it’s become exceedingly obvious that the Liberals are just more of the same, the same broken system of bipartisanship designed to keep us all arguing on the ground instead of looking at the houses of power and seeing the truth of the corruption and lies being peddled there.

I say this because of Dalton McGuinty’s latest revelation that his budget, which he wants the NDP to guarantee in writing to vote for, includes a section that would privatize ServiceOntario. In case you’re wondering what this agency does, here’s a quick rundown of everything that would fall into private hands:

  • Driver’s licenses, plates, and stickers
  • Birth certificates and newborn registrations
  • Death certificates
  • Marriage certificates
  • Business licenses
  • Personal property liens
  • Hunting and fishing licenses
  • Government address registrations

All this even as, in the same budget, McGuinty’s government boasts about how they’ve saved $1.5 billion last year. So how do they justify it? With the claim that Canada is poor because of the 2009 recession, and we need to cut cut cut! This is probably thanks to Harper (may I have a second helping, sir?), even though the Liberal’s own website strongly suggests this is not the case.

In any event, the Libs are holding up the construction and almost immediate sale of highway 407 as the type of resounding success that privatization can bring. I’m sure anyone who takes the 407 is familiar with just how amazing it is to be under the yoke of a private agency that can revoke your driving privileges. And wasn’t it the Libs who took the 407 to court to try to break that contract? And, what a wonderful example to hold up anyways…the fact that it cost over $100 billion to build, land acquisitions and all, and was sold for just over $3 billion for a quick $1.5 billion “profit” for the Conservatives that wasn’t really a profit at all.

Look, I get it, all of you who have been calling these people “Fiberals” have, I admit, been far too kind about your monickers, but just don’t delude yourselves that by being on the other side (ergo the Conservatives), is any better. The government at all levels (I’m sure I’ve mentioned my municipal government more than once), seems hell bent on robbing citizens blind for the benefit of the banks. A global deficit, after all, is impossible if the same money lent out is what’s owed — that’s just elementary logic. The only way that the whole world can owe an approximate $200 trillion is if someone either stole that amount, or loaned it out fraudulently (they never had it to begin with), and is now expecting payback. And I dunno know about you, but the government only ever takes my money, never gives me any, so I sure as hell wasn’t on the receiving end of any such “loan”.

The fact that politicians are all mentioning that the “new” deficit is going to come from Europe where it was caused by banks lending out money they didn’t have (with much help by Government laws and regulations), and then expecting payback for cash literally created out of thin air (look up “fractional reserve banking” if you need an explanation), indicates a strong collusion, probably even big kickbacks (but how would we know? The banks control the money supply!) Besides, haven’t governments been handing over taxpayer money to the banks by the billions to solve this “problem”? How’s that been working out?

So doesn’t it just make perfect sense to go in exactly this direction more and more? Then, when we can’t pay our “debts” anymore, the banks can just privatize everything and then get ready for some genuine old-school slavery (or feudalism if you like, and if we’re lucky). And the government can be expected to back them all the way.

Filed under: B Sides, Patrick Bay

Harper and Ford create economic crises, not solve them

Posted on May 29th, 2012 2 Comments

There are still people out there who believe, despite all evidence to the contrary, that Stephen Harper and his greasy conservative cronies like Rob Ford are good for the economy — that they solve the economic messes left behind by their predecessors and, through tough budget cuts and austerity, will reverse the course of those freewheeling pinkos that left the holes under which we struggle.

Except it’s not true.

It’s not even close to true.

In fact, it’s the exact opposite of the truth — Harper and Ford directly caused the budgetary deficits they calculate today, either through deception or through massive amounts of irresponsible spending. Everything they accuse their opponents of doing is precisely what they themselves are doing. And they’re two-faced, deceptive assholes about it to boot.

In the case of Ford, his term started with a hefty $350 million surplus left over by David Miller. Oh, you didn’t know? Well, you wouldn’t if you bought into Ford’s lies and didn’t bother to read any news at the time. A year after taking office, Ford was running a $774 million deficit and blaming it on his predecessor. Ford’s administration has managed to cut the losses he created to yet another surplus totaling $90 million, and it’s expected to be about the same as that left by Miller when he left by the end of this year.

In other words, Ford’s “deficit” was a complete and utter lie he used to justify his ravenous cuts to city infrastructure and his attacks on unions and public services.

With the case of Harper, the situation is a bit worse. In the Prime Minister’s case, what started as a $12 billion surplus left over by a stingy Paul Martin has now been deflated to a $33.4 billion deficit last year. At present, that deficit is running at $23.5 billion and is expected to grow before year’s end. But just like Ford, Harper is using the crisis he created to cut jobs, services, and any semblance of what makes Canada great.

Let’s be clear about what’s happening here: both Ford and Harper directly, willfully, and purposefully created economic crises in order to push through their destructive agendas on the Canadian population; everything from social programs to old age benefits to employment.

These so-called “leaders” are straight up criminal scammers who won’t rest until they’ve subjugated the populace to the whims of their corporate masters (no doubt they, like banker crony Tony Blair, will benefit from their collusion).

The mega-banks that, through fractional reserve banking, create money out of thin air (this is no exaggeration), to lend out to governments who play ball, which in turn tax citizens and subject them to austerity in order to pay back these made up loans. Did you know that that same money could’ve been borrowed from the Bank of Canada at 0% interest? Seems sensible, then, to borrow that cash from banks at a much higher rate of interest while giving them the legal authority to lend out money they don’t even have (how else do you lend out $1000 when you only have $50?).

Doesn’t it?

Yet this is precisely the program that both Harper and Ford subscribe to, at one level or another.

See, if you and I started lending out money we didn’t have and then expected to be paid back — with interest — we would be jailed for fraud. When the Prime Minister and his buddies do it, it’s represented by their scumbag compatriots as just the best thing for Canada since sliced bread. Oh, and by the way, the taxpayer will be responsible for all debts by the Canadian government. And if you don’t like you debt bondage, it’s off to jail for you!

What a sick sick joke.

Filed under: B Sides