Friday, July 31, 2009

Public shut out of Toronto city council debate of terms to end strike

Toronto’s city council decided this afternoon to bar the public and media from their meeting after a city manager refused to answer questions in public about what sort of tax increases, if any, might be expected if council ratifies the deal.

This is so typical of the David Miller administration of the city: tax payers and media barred from hearing the debate of the terms and consequences of the mayor’s capitulation to the 30,000 striking city employees.

And, how about this?

Earlier today we heard that the deal with the unions includes amnesty for those who committed vandalism and other unlawful acts while on the picket lines. Mark Ferguson, the union president of CUPE Local 416, cried triumphantly when addressing his members:

“The City wanted to terminate and prosecute those few who got a little excited on the picket lines. We made sure of amnesty for everybody involved.

“What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!”

Vegas perhaps, but this is Ontario, Canada.

When did David Miller become our chief law-enforcement officer? By what authority can he offer amnesty for any law-breaker? I understood that the police determined whether charges were to be levied, not the mayor. This is interference in police matters by an elected official and is wrong from any point of view.

Acts of vandalism and damage to property is a crime against society, and are serious offences that should be dwelt with by our police forces. And, now that Mayor Miller has obviously instructed the Toronto police service to overlook such offences committed on the picket line, Premier Dalton McGuinty should make sure that the OPP looks into the matter to determine if undue influence was brought to bear by elected officials.

Here’s what I believe happened.

Mayor David Miller wanted his union buddies to get the very best deal they could, but had not the balls to do it out in the open. So the mayor made public an offer that he knew the unions would not accept, figuring that a strike would be short-lived as residents called for him to end the work stoppage. Miller could then rush in to save the day with the much-enriched offer he wanted the unions to have in the first place.

But the mayor miscalculated. The residents of Toronto took his public statements and promises at face value and hunkered down to wait out the strikers. Miller never guessed that would happen. And as he saw the public mood turning against the union workers, he had to step in and save their skins.

Now he has to sell this tainted deal to 22 of his fellow council members. But not, of course, with the media and public listening in. This deal would never stand public scrutiny and Miller knows it. Better to force it through in private and “spin” it to the public later as a fait accompli.

The whole deal stinks as much as the streets of that unfortunate city.

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© 2009 Russell G. Campbell
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  1. ...and you expected a different outcome...???

  2. This should be a Human-Rights complaint for Barbara Hall because
    various Minority-groups were Assaulted and spit on for the Income-Status or gender .

    David Miller and CUPE DO NOT have the power to Suspend the Charter Of Rights within the 416 Zone of Toronto , in Fact, some Criminals with CUPE were from the 905/647 area .

    It's bad enough that Miller ordered Chief Blair to allow Babies to be used as Human-Shields
    during the Dangerous Pro-Terrorist march onto the Gardiner highway after assaulting some Police ,but Blair also fails to stop the overt Nudity in the Pride parade which is right in front of little boys on the route.
    Child-abuse is wrong no matter what the form is, but in the new Toronto anything goes and if you oppose it you are a Islamophobe/Homophobe/Unionophobe and on and on.

    Our Charter Of Rights was not given to us by CUPE or David Miller , so how dare he try to absolve all the CUPE goons of their Criminal actions to assault taxpayers by telling us that CUPE is above the law .

    I smell a Federal Inquiry with the RCMP waiting to arrest Politicians for aiding and abeting in a Criminal Cover-up to bypass the Courts ,Miller also used Tax dollars to appease workers and he lied about what he knew and when he knew it.
    The GST and Income Tax Laws a federal and under the RCMP power to arrest people.

    I wonder if taxpayers will now spit on Politicians at City Hall and slash the tires of the odd car in the parking area for Councilors.

    I wonder if Miller would feel the same about the Amnesty for those Goons if it was his Mother's car damage or if she was spat on and verbally abused????
    Thank God that my sisters and mother aren't relying on Miller to protect them from thugs and goons .

  3. You have a valid point Mr. Campbell - the Crown Prosecutor is usually the final arbitrator of whether or not charges should be laid in a criminal matter. Is David Miller the new Justice/Solicitor General for Ontario or Canada. Dalton and the Prime Minister must be thrilled to have him in cabinet. When you are the mayor of Toronto you are all things to all citizens. What a dangerous man.

  4. True, it might have happened exactly the way you described. And thanks to the strike, Miller's career of a municipal politician is probably over.

    Best, Elli.