Not Doug Ford

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For anyone that’s even remotely close to considering Doug Ford and the Conservatives, please check out this site.

To be honest, I just don’t get the current numbers.

I’ve always been opposed to the ‘modern’ rendition of the Conservative party (federal or provincial), primarily because they are now run by special interest groups (eg. Charles McVety). Of course, the Liberals and NDP aren’t too far off this accusation as well.

Ultimately, on a scale from 1-10 of detestable people, the Conservatives seem to be nailing it with perfect 10s every time.

What compels voters to support these people?

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Transit: A Superficial Evaluation

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Transit gets politicians excited like you wouldn’t believe: contractors to solicit bids from (and who will wine and dine them), lots of real estate expropriations and flexing of muscle, dreams of ‘productivity’, people streaming in and out of work ‘efficiently’, happily and blissfully ignorant of the monstrous taxes that will undoubtedly arrive shortly after the next train. Once it’s finished, that is.

OK … so I’m being a little cynical about transit, but we’re at a pivot point when it comes to transportation in North America. The following are coalescing to create a new phase of getting people around:

  • Intensification
  • The ‘pedestrian’, ‘cyclist’ and other commuter against the ‘car’
  • Delivery schedules
  • Automation
  • Conversion of old infrastructure to new technology-driven infrastructure
  • Removal of railways
  • Competition between commuters, (private) transporters (ie. cabs) and public vehicles

Maybe you’ve seen this meme:


This is what 48 empty buses looks like (give or take), clogging roads, especially during peak hours:


Imagine what 48 empty accordion (elongated) buses would look like!

You can make any argument using specious data, but when you compare facts with facts, every scenario makes public transit advocates look silly.

The reason why is that so many buses in Canada clog roads with public-purchased, diesel-sucking vehicles that are grossly underutilized.

And why is that?

Because we allocate the fuel rebate incorrectly. In Canada, fuel rebates are currently paid to public transit companies based on the number of buses on the roads times the total mileage covered times the amount of fuel burned.

In short, our public transit strategy is a major contributor to our carbon fuel problem, but we’re failing to ask tough questions about it, so we’ll just keep repeating the problem.

For example, the city of London, Ontario is asking the provincial and federal governments for roughly $400 million to fund a bus transit system that has already thrown up all over itself before it can even get the proverbial ‘shovel in the ground’. Estimates have skyrocketed every time non-advocates ask a couple of questions and the only money being spent is that which is going towards expensive private consultants, many of whom will be the primary beneficiaries of an approved bus system.

Ultimately, the system will neither be ‘rapid’ nor will it improve commute times for anyone in the city.

Many of the advocates point to the first picture above as their primary logic to ‘prove’ that more buses = less cars = more efficiency for all. What they don’t account for is seasonal and peak services, the fact that the entire plan is designed for one special interest group (students) and fails to service those potential riders who will use the system the most (eg. industrial employs working at factories dotted along the 401 and Veteran’s Parkway).

They also suggest that pivoting the discussion towards forward-looking technologies like shared rides, autonomous vehicles and other services will just result in more cars on the road.

However, a study by the Shared Use Mobility Center in the US found that private companies like Lyft and Uber were being used more in off hours as opposed to peak times, negating the failed logic in the first photo again.

And as we continue to allow sprawl to spread across some of the world’s greatest farm land, we only compound the issue with adding more empty buses to already clogged arteries.

Is there a solution to all of this? Certainly, subways and high-intensity transportation services coupled with putting an end to sprawl would be a good start. But advocates of bus systems argue that this is too expensive.

Also, smaller buses servicing smaller routes will address many of the current transportation issues facing devoted public riders: wait time, route-to-route coverage and flexibility.

Despite advocating for BETTER use of existing services, advocates still want us to use bottomless buckets of public money no one really has and roll the dice under the ‘if we build it, they will come’ and ‘if we build big and interfere with other transportation, people will convert’.

This may work when you’ve got the demand, but if you try to do this retroactively, it will fail.


If you’re up for another read, check this article out on Strong Towns about the ‘chicken/egg’ situation created by public transit.

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The NDP: Gaining, but in need of joining the 20th century

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The jump in the polls for the New Democrat Party, Ontario version, shouldn’t come as a surprise to most.

Kathleen Wynne is about as wanted as toe fungus. Ditto that for Donald Rob Ford.

For me, this leaves two seemingly viable options: the NDP and the Green Party of Ontario.

If the NDP are going to even come close to range on my radar, they need to join the 20th century … and quickly.

Here are just a few top-level suggestions:

  • Promise to put an end to divisive elementary and secondary school funding, especially when it comes to Catholic school boards
  • Focus on green energy issues and pushing Ontario forward as a ‘green-friendly’ jurisdiction
  • Push away (but don’t complete reject) your union affiliations. You need to at least pretend that you’re not going to be biased when it comes to teacher, professor, public employee negotiations
  • Electoral reform: promise to make this the LAST first-past-the-post election in Ontario
  • Alcohol sales: stop being so ‘Prohibition minded’ and push for broader access. Sales don’t have to be on every corner, but if you’re going to try to accomplish anything, promise to investigate the ties between Wynne and the handful of private licences that they’ve doled out
  • Finally, commit to a modest level of financial responsibility. Kathleen Wynne is out of control with spending and we have to stop mortgaging our kids’ futures!

So there you go! I hear a few of these catch phrases and I might just jump on the band wagon.

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Doug Ford Conservatives Likely to Run Biggest Deficits

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Mike Moffatt, a respected economist and London’s Ivey School of Business, has made some projections based on the Liberal, NDP and ‘Progressive’ Conservative campaign promises.

Of course, the losers are Ontario voters for ‘all of the above’ and he fails to include the Green Party of Ontario.

That said, here is a snapshot summary of the financials of Ontario’s parties:



This is a solid and reliable reminder for all of us that you simply can’t trust Conservatives to manage the public purse properly and dispels the myth that Conservatives are fiscally prudent.



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Pipedreams for Pipelines

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DeSmog Blog analyzes the flow of oil coming out of Alberta and via Vancouver and none of the data justifies the Constitutional battle we’re going to see as a result of disputes concerning the Kinder Morgan pipeline through Alberta to BC.

Just 600 barrels made it to China via the Port of Vancouver in 2017.

This is a drop in the ocean compared to the 13 MILLION that were shipped to California in the same year.

Let’s remind ourselves that American companies like Kinder Morgan have no qualms about potentially ripping Canada apart so that they can get what they want.

Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen.

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