On Monday October 15th, two political persons — Toronto Mayor David Miller and the Leader of the (Federal) Opposition Stéphane Dion — appeared before the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada (NEPMCC) at Toronto City Hall. Present were about fifty editors and publishers of ethnic media.
The first off the mark was Mayor Miller who has been beating the drum for more money, either from the federal government Conservatives (note: no serious demands from the provincial Liberals) asking them to hand out 1% of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to the cities or from a new land transfer tax in the city. He lost a vote by a small margin when one of his "cabinet", Brian Ashton voted against him (he was subsequently fired). The citizens don't seem enthused by idea and are passing the message on to the councillors.
The exception is for public transit, which is subsidized by provincial and federal governments everywhere else, but Toronto.
Another area of expense that has been unloaded to city by the province (this time the provincial Liberals were mentioned) was is court security. Courts are a provincial responsibility yet the security ends up with the city.
Miller has not offered to lift the "unions only" hiring policy that freezes out most workers from subcontracting for the city, nor has he offered to analyze each department's functional needs.
When Dion took the podium he opened with "I am honoured to be in a party where (former prime minister who started runaway government spending) Pierre Trudeau was leader and follow (former prime minister who continued government spending) Jean Chrétien as leader." That almost put me to sleep.
After Dion was ever so proud of Canada's trade with China Estonian Life asked him,” If boycotting South Africa worked at stopping human rights abuse would not the same apply to China?"
"Everybody was in agreement with the action against South Africa but nobody is in agreement with action against China so Canada cannot go it alone," replied Dion. The answer was confusing.
This tag team appearance was not the most memorable of NEPMCC events.
A political tag team or two for the price of one