Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ford Mad

There's too much resemblance to be coincidence
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who campaigned on tightening the city's budget and slowing down that darned gravy train, has come into a bit of a quandary lately.

It seems that the City of Toronto's budget is coming into a bit of a shortfall revenue. Ford, who promised some major cuts to spending in the city after years of splurging by former Mayor David Miller and Council, failed to really make any headway into trimming the city's budget, and indeed failed to, you know, do anything of substance, minus a few gimmicks here and there.

So the ever thrifty Ford has gone cap-in-hand to the province to ask for an injection of $150 million for the city in the upcoming budget. Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and his finance minister, Dwight Duncan, gave a quite trite response: no. Why? Because quite frankly, the province is already facing a revenue shortfall itself, and unless Toronto is going to collapse because of the lack of the $150 mil, they're not going to shell out money with the deficits they currently have. They're already spending huge amounts to help fund many of the city's transportation and infrastructure anyways.

As you can imagine, this did not please Rob Ford. To the point where now, Ford is claiming that Toronto, which is apparently "Ford Nation," is going to turn against the McGuinty Liberals by the next election at his insistence, if he does not get this money. That's right - Rob Ford threw a hissy fit. Who thought that could happen?

Anyways, I personally view the threat in the context of the likelihood that Ford would have probably campaigned against McGuinty anyways, so what does it matter? Its not a secret that Ford is closer to Tim Hudak's Buck-a-Beer PC's than he is with the Ontario Liberals, who essentially threw everything they could at him during the 2010 election to help George Smitherman, a former cabinet minister, win. The threat is essentially hollow.

I also doubt that Ford is the new Danny Williams. He's a popular guy, I'll give him credit for that, but he's not that popular. He may help the Tories strengthen their position in their traditional areas of support, but if the current polls are an indication, that was going to happen anyways. And I mean, what's the election slogan going to be - "anything but Liberals?" Because he wants the NDP in? The PCs are his obvious allies, and I gotta tell ya, I don't think they'll do as well in T.O. as they hope, Ford or not.

In the meantime, if you see a giant green thing tearing down from Nathan Phillips, just get out of its way. It'll hit you like a gravy train.

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