Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rats don’t vote

With this strike on in Toronto, we may end up with the plague, but at least we’ll get rid of McGuinty and Miller.

A poll shows that 80% of Torontonians want Premier Dalton McGuinty to legislate our striking city workers back to work. Astonishingly, Dalton seems content to let the strike run. I’m embarrassed to say I voted for this guy.

Windsor has put up with a strike by city workers for more than two months. But if Dalton didn’t have a chauffeur to drive him around, he’d know Toronto isn’t like Windsor. We’re not known for our patience.

Two months! That will take us right through the summer. That’s two months of no swimming pools, no summer camps, no daycare. Two months of garbage stinking and rotting in the streets. With such a feast laid out, our rat population will quadruple. The premier seems to have forgotten that rats don’t vote.

I give Dalton a week to stop dithering. Then if he hasn’t brought in back-to-work legislation, he’s toast.

Mayor Miller is already gone – he just doesn’t know it yet. Before the strike started, our NDP mayor’s approval ratings had already sunk to 43%.

To date, his response to the strike has been to come down heavy – not on the strikers, but on voters. He’s established a zero tolerance policy for garbage dumping. It’s a $380 fine, he’s warned us repeatedly – a $380 fine that can go up to thousands if you’re really messy.

Why the heavy hand? Because as soon as the strike was announced, people started dumping garbage in parks. They didn’t even wait for a missed pick-up day. Why? Because we’re ticked off.

Of course this is terribly misguided, Torontonians shouldn't dump garbage in parks. We should bring it straight to the steps of the Legislature, to City Hall, and to the offices of the two CUPE locals that are on strike, at 110 Laird Drive and 34 St. Patrick Street.

We now have 20 official temporary dumps / rat-breeding grounds, but in the first days of the strike, well-behaved Torontonians took their trash to transfer stations. They learned their lesson quick. Strikers wouldn’t let them in. The strikers blocked access completely or allowed one person in every 15 minutes, causing two-hour waits.

Were the strikers arrested for public mischief, as you or I would be? Don’t be silly.

But what about ticked off people who left their garbage bags at the entrance to a blocked transfer station? That’s a $380 fine, please. Ka-ching!

I doubt Torontonians will wait till election day to show our displeasure. People imagine that a couple thousand angry Tamils were a problem – what with blocking the Gardner Expressway and all. Ha!

Wait until there are mountains of garbage rotting in the street, and see what happens. There are two and a half million people in this city and none of them very patient.

Note: This piece previously appeared on Dust My Broom

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