Moving Forward(?)

 

In the past week, much of the world’s press (and most of America’s comedians) has been, in some way, focused on the movements and machinations of the Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford. And who can blame them? Taking your eyes off Ford, even for a second, risks missing something huge. But keeping a constant vigil can be a tricky proposition, especially with a loose cannon like Ford; when you’re paying attention, he disappoints, when you’re caught off guard, he drops bombshells. So it was this week when Ford strolled off a public elevator, not through his customary, protected back-door office entrance and, after playing the world’s strangest version of Jeopardy, finally owned up to smoking crack cocaine.

However, later that same day, Ford did a rope-a-dope and called a hotly anticipated press conference wherein he gave the most selfish speech in political history, simultaneously disappointing everyone and surprising no one. On the odd occasion when Ford bothered to mention the city he’s been chaotically destroying for 3 years, it was only in the context of his personal ambitions and desires. He hoped no one would have to go through what he’s gone through; he professed his love for his job; he expressed relief that this embarrassing chapter of his life was coming to an end. As baffling as it was galling, Ford once again proclaimed that he would go on doing the job he’d been elected to do (that he hasn’t really been doing for almost 2 years) and rejected calls for his resignation. Rob Ford, come hell or high water, would stay on as Mayor of Toronto.

I detailed my visceral reaction to the self-serving campaign launch scam that Ford pulled on the people and press of Toronto here.

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You Gotta Blame The Thing Up Here

Rob Ford greets well-wishers. (Photo credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)

If you follow Toronto politics closely enough, you might have started October 31st thinking it would be spent skimming hundreds of pages of court documents in a rushed attempt to be the first kid on your block to piece together the possible involvement of Toronto’s Mayor, Rob Ford, in the drug-dealing, violent life of his close associate, Sandro Lisi. How wrong you were.

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Porter Plans…the annotated version.

Sounding like an annoyed parent who’s tired of explaining the virtues of eating vegetable to his snotty kids, Porter posted a “Reality Check” on its site in which it tried to refute the arguments of No Jets TO, the most visible group opposing expansion at the island airport.

I have my own reservations about the expansion. I understand why Porter would want to expand (although I really wish they weren’t being so snarly about it); they’re a business and business want to grow. On the other hand, the city is a public space and the desire of businesses to expand cannot be paramount.

I had a few minutes to spare this afternoon, so I decided to work out some of my feeling about the proposed project by taking Porter’s reality check and marking it up with some thoughts. Some favour No Jets TO and other opponents of the expansion, some favour Porter. Overall I’m most interested in having a real debate about what the airport would mean to the city, both expanded, in its current form, and gone altogether.

Enjoy.

Click on the link to view: PorterPlans_Markup

Giambrone, Paikin and responding to responses…

There’s something about Adam Giambrone’s last second run for the NDP nomination in Scarborough-Guildwood that really bothers me. In a post that’s rightfully received a lot of traction on social media, Audra Williams (@audrawilliams) does the heavy lifting of describing why Giambrone’s surprise appearance in Scarborough feels so greasy. Williams spreads a wide net, highlighting Giambrone’s personal failings, his ethnicity (or lack thereof) and the failings of the nomination process. But for me, it’s all about a process that seems at best to have been gamed, and a worst, rigged.

Zach Paikin, a person who fits both the old (money) and new (sex/race) definitions of privilege wasn’t comfortable seeing his Giambrone besmirched in this way and took to the Huffington Post to respond. His response, which I’ll pick apart in this post, is an object study in how not to defend someone.

First, why are we talking about Adam Giambrone at all.

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Letter to the Public Editor (Updated)

To: Kathy English, Public Editor, Toronto Star
From: Joshua Hind
Date: 2013-Jul-05

RE: Toronto Star story, “Toronto car crash at Bay and Lake Shore raises questions about road safety”, originally printed 2013-Jul-04, online version edited 2013-Jul-05

Ms. English,

I write today to call into question the reporting of the Toronto Star and writer Andrew Livingston in the story entitled, “Toronto car crash at Bay and Lake Shore raises questions about road safety”. The story in question not only fails to present the facts about the collision in any great detail, it also gives the reader the false impression that the pedestrians involved in the accident either share the blame for the collision, or were perhaps the cause of it.

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You Know Who…

I had a thought the other day when pondering the totality of the mess that is Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. Moreover, I was thinking about the massive amount of media resources dedicated to covering Toronto’s embattled chief bottle-washer and the fatigue that both the press and the electorate might be feeling come election time, next year. Will anyone have any energy left to care about the election? Will voter fatigue help or hurt Ford’s ambitions for re-election? Will the media still be able to cover the Mayor effectively when he’s done such a good job of setting the pace of coverage over his term?

While considering that, my mind drifted to Harry Potter. Specifically, Harry’s arch-nemesis, Voldemort.

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No Currency: Canada’s Abortion “Debate”

Author’s Note: This piece was originally written on Oct. 10, 2012 for a segment on my CKUT radio program in Montreal. It appears here in a modified format. You can hear the original radio segment HERE

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The most recent re-ignition of the abortion “debate” in Canada arguably began in April of 2012 with the unveiling of the members motion we now know as Bill M-312. If passed, the motion, written and sponsored by Stephen Woodworth, the lawyer and Conservative MP for Kitchener Centre, would have opened a discussion to determine the moment when a fetus becomes a human being. According Mr. Woodworth, the “law” currently states that a fetus is not a person until, as he phrases it, “the moment of complete birth”.

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The Last Action Items

http://www.joshuahind.com/Audio/LastActionItems_mixdown.mp3

To Download, right click on the player and choose “Save Link As” (Mac) or “Save Target As” (PC)

Today I broadcast my last Action Items segment on my last edition of the Friday Morning After. On this week’s segment, we look at today’s meeting between the Prime Minister and native leaders that may or may not happen. We give some perspective to the Attawapiskat audit and we go back in time to cap off the Action Items with a Greatest Hit.

The Royal Commission on Missing Royal Commissions…

http://www.joshuahind.com/Audio/ActionItemsPodcast_2013-01-04.mp3

To Download, right click on the player and choose “Save Link As” (Mac) or “Save Target As” (PC)

On this week’s edition of The Action Items, after realizing that no one needs to hear another commentary on Idle No More from a middle class white guy, I go in search of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.

For more information on the Friday Morning After, go to ckutmorningafter.wordpress.com