Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Toronto Pylon Service

Can someone explain why, whenever there is construction, or stop light maintenance, at least one police officer, if not two, are needed to hover around the workers, chat a little, wear the neon vest and do nothing police-like?

I see it all the time, all over the city. For over week in York Region, on Yonge just north of Steeles, every weekday morning there has been at least one, sometimes two YRP cruisers on the west side of the street, acting as pylons (although there are traffic cones available and being used) while a Bell Canada service van is parked and the worker goes about his business.

Seriously... we talk about police budgets... who pays for this? Is Bell paying for their worker to be 'protected' for now seven weekdays? The first day I saw them I thought the poor guy had been pulled over in his work van. Now |I see that these police officers have been assigned to sit in their car and.... what exactly? Insanity.

Then, just a few minutes ago at Neilson and Ellesmere, workers are adjusting the traffic lights and two cops in glowing vests are standing chatting. The lights are working. No one is directing traffic. They're all standing on a sidewalk where the electrical box is. Who's paying for their 'services'?

This is a regular occurrence on just about every road construction site. Surely there is a more cost-effective way to have done whatever 'job' the police in question are supposed to be doing. I'd have taken pictures, but in each instance I've been driving and I'm not inclined to whip out my cell phone.

I haven't been paying much attention to the mayoral race, perhaps this is an issue that has been or should be addressed.


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Liberal Confusion re: Nomination Process

According to the Toronto Star and other publications, Justin Trudeau says people seeking a Liberal nomination will be subject to questioning regarding conscience issues, and if they aren't in line with party thinking, they will be excluded from running in 2015:
Trudeau says that while the Liberal party has always tried to appeal across a broad range of the political spectrum when it comes to economics, he does not believe it’s too much to ask MPs to embrace the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It is, in fact, part of the screening process for new candidates.
“We check on a number of issues: how do you feel about the Charter of Rights and freedoms, how do you feel about same-sex marriage, how do you feel about pro-choice, where are you on that?” Trudeau said.
“And we make sure that the people who are stepping forward are consistent with the Liberal Party as it is now, as it stands under my leadership and under the feedback we’re getting from Canadians across the country.”
This morning I had a twitter conversation with Gerard Butts, a close policy advisor of Trudeau's, who seemed to be unaware of this fact. He stated on Twitter that it is not what a person believes that matters, it's how they will vote on the issue in Parliament.

Although Butts has been active on Twitter since I posed the question to him (twice) about whether potential nominees could declare themselves pro-choice and still be allowed to run for nomination or serve as an MP in the Liberal Party, *crickets*.

Butts' original Tweet tagged the National  Post:
The has also been told, repeatedly, that the policy applies to votes in Parliament, not personal belief, but has ignored that.
So it seems clear in his opinion, that under this new Liberal edict, that a person may follow their conscience (in their private lives) so long as they are aware they must vote along party lines if it ever comes to a vote. When asked directly if that was the case, he simply ignored the question. I guess he isn't as sure as he seemed to be.

Perhaps Gerard Butts believed the question had been asked and answered, but when his position is at odds with that of the Liberal leader, the Liberal position is about as clear as mud.

Regardless, I believe abortion is a conscience, not a rights issue and that people should not have to check their brains at the door of the House of Commons. Some people do that anyway.