Why is it that Toronto City Councillor and mayoral candidate Jane Pitfield always seeming to be stepping into "it" with her pronouncements on her campaign trail? Maybe because she is speaking with logic which has not been heard on the local municipal political stage for a long while.
Pitfield, for instance, just recently suggested that a 9 % salary increase for councillors when the city has had a cost of living increase of 2 % is "outrageous". This would be a reward to a city administration that has driven up spending by 21 % ($1.3 billion). But Mayor David Miller has organized a "blue ribbon" panel headed by former Liberal (from the days of former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, under whose watch the sponsorship scandal occurred) minister Brian Tobin to calculate the pay increase. Talk about putting the fox in the henhouse.
Then Pitfield suggested a strategy to cure the city's "homeless, panhandler" problem, taking example from England and New York, which have solved their predicament. Remember — this is the same social policy dilemma that Miller, when campaigning for mayor said he'd sweep away with his broom. Miller has only managed to clean up Nathan Phillips Square. It took her three attempts to put the motion on the order paper.
The issue which really managed to land Pitfield into "it" was the audacity to suggest that there should be no unions in municipal government because they are an essential service. This pronouncement came on the heels of the illegal, impromptu transit strike that ground the city to a stop for two days. The money made by a clerk at city hall is considerably more than made for equivalent work on civilian street. The unions now control city hall and it is impossible for them not to get what they want from management — ie. Miller.
Maybe Pitfield needs to re-teach the people of this city the language that once made Toronto great.
Pitfield a refreshing sound from the past