No, seriously….off with their heads!

Hello there my little crackers! It turns out I have some free time this weekend so I am making plans. Does anyone have any ideas? A movie perhaps? Maybe take in a gig somewhere? How about pints on a patio? Whatever it is I choose to do this weekend I’ll have to take the TTC to the destination while risking a nose full of sweaty sewage treatment worker armpit aroma. One thing I won’t be able to do this weekend is look forward to the day when we get new streetcars and don’t have ride around on cobbled together old tin wagons that the Beverly Hillbillies wouldn’t even risk transporting the family possum on.

On Monday the TTC unanimously voted to approve a $1.228-billion contract with Bombardier Canada to build Toronto’s fleet of 204 low-floor, articulated light rail streetcars.The new streetcars were supposed to replace the 30 year old ones we currently risk our lives and rectal virginity on every day while going to work and were supposed to be able to carry twice as many passengers, accommodate riders in wheelchairs and carrying bicycles, and on hot July days when you are sweating like a hostage, provide a cool, air-conditioned ride. It was going to be freakin sweet. I say was because it turns out that our favorite infrastructure Minister George Smitherman apparently didn’t get a memo about it and says it isn’t going to happen.

Yesterday, Smitherman said Mayor David Miller made no mention of streetcars when they met last February and said that mayor Miller talked about Union Station and a Sheppard LRT instead.

Smitherman said “I do think that in these times you have to be a little bit careful about writing cheques that you don’t have the ability to back up,” Smitherman said. “And I did feel a little bit like the workers in Thunder Bay got an announcement from an entity that doesn’t actually have the financial resources in hand to back it up.”

He said the province understands the importance of new streetcars, but that the city has to establish priorities in its wish list.

“The reality is that there won’t be resources to do everything and accordingly it’s time for all of us to be very clear about what our priorities are,” he said.

The premier has also said “Who said anything about streetcars? “We’re trying to figure out where that ranks on the list of priorities.”

City and TTC officials attest to dozens of consultations with their provincial counterparts on this issue, going back months if not years. Council made the request for assistance in a unanimous vote months ago and the mayor repeated it in subsequent pre-budget “asks” to both the provincial and federal governments. If George Smitherman and Dalton McGuinty truly didn’t know anything about a $1.228-billion deal for 204 new streetcars they should at the very least be chased out of office by a pack gorillas hurling swine flu infected feces at them.

George Smitherman and his boss expect us to believe that while they are throwing around billions of dollars in stimulus funding that a) the TTC and the city didn’t even send them an email about the deal and that b) 300 new jobs for a Canadian company that would last for roughly ten years while providing the company with stability so renovate and expand it’s technology is actually a bad thing. He also seems to think that a green energy plan that is going to skyrocket energy costs by thirty percent on pesky things like your hydro bill, your employers hydro bill, the energy costs of every retailer who will then pass it on to the consumer and so on, shouldn’t include a transit system that will hold twice the amount of passengers it currently does who then might decide to take the TTC and leave their cars at home.

I had to dig around the dank corners of the internet this morning to find this story, this was not front page news. There was stuff about swine flu, the protest, how Chrysler is going tits up, how the Brits are sodding off from Iraq but nothing about an infrastructure minister says he doesn’t know anything about an infrastructure deal that was in the news four ^&%#ing days ago and WAS front page news that is going to cost $1.228-billion tax payer &^*!ing dollars.

It’s a terrifying state of affairs when a person with a blog has to use it to point out the fact that the media doesn’t exist for anything other than sensationalising stories about how a ham sandwich might give you the sniffles anymore and can’t even be bothered to illuminate the voting public that their first and second commanders are lying their asses off about not getting a text message about a $1.228-billion deal that would transform Canadas largest city into a place that wants people to drive fewer cars and the transit system morning commute into something that isn’t like a third world pilgrimage for hand outs of UNICEF wheat so you an feed your yak.

I took the streetcar into work today and it was so packed I literally missed my stop because I couldn’t get off of the %^&*ing thing. The guy standing beside my seat practically had his balls resting my forehead and his brief case was crushing my trachea. The streetcar had chunks of it missing due to rust, was old, falling apart and was serviced by what I assume was a drunken Slovakian mental patient who had no mechanical training with bits of pirated WWI zeppelin parts. The driver looked as though he had spent the night sleeping underneath Rosie O’Donnel and judging by the smell I think somebody aboard was eating an overcooked guinea pig. A new Bombardier streetcar to come to work on today would have been lovely.

Tonight I don’t expect the ride going home to be too much better. People will be stacked on top of each other and ruder than caged and prodded mountain lions. I’ll probably smell something resembling a person getting a hair perm in the septic tank of a slaughter house while eating gorgonzola cheese and the streetcar will be piloted by an Ork.

I remember when we got our current streetcars. I was a kid and I used to ride the old ones when I would visit my grandmother and she would drag me around the city so she could purchase some new devices to torture me with. Although the old ones looked cool, they were small, cramped and sounded churning munitions factory. When the city got the ones we currently have the rides around Toronto were great. Well, I shouldn’t say great. My grandmother was still kidnapping for trips to places that make all young boys recoil in terror like botanical shows and butterfly exhibits. On the new streetcars people had a place to sit, read their paper and didn’t look like they were contemplating a killing spree. The streetcars serviced the need of the size of the city as it was back then and it was just %^&*ing swell.

The city has grown a lot since back then and 204 new Bombardier streetcars that are twice the size of are what Toronto needs. Somehow the brain trusts at the TTC figured out (apparently miracles can occur) that a bigger more densely populated city needs a beefed up transit system especially if it wants to cut down on traffic congestion and that brown stew that hangs over our city that they call pollution and went shopping around for some newer, bigger cooler streetcars.

If you’ve ever tried to shop for a fleet of streetcars it’s not like driving one where you only use you feet and can dig a snot out of your nose while you’re doing it. You can’t just walk onto Honest Hanks used streetcar lot, take a few for a spin around the block then pick one out that didn’t at one time have a hookers corpse in the trunk and then drive off a happy customer, there’s a little bit more to it than that.

The mountain of paperwork and manpower that going into figuring out if you can even swing a purchase of this size is staggering, not to mention finding a few companies that can give you a bid and if their products are even compatible with the existing infrastructure of your city. Even thinking about considering the possibility that somehow maybe in the future if the stars align that such a move is even worthy of spending the time investigating it is a big hairy deal and people in all levels of government are going to have to not only know about it, but be kept up to speed as you proceed.

The two big whopper slaps in the face come from the media and the folks in charge themselves. Telling the voting public that as the minster of infrastructure that he had no idea this was even being considered and that four days after it was a done deal and reported in print, online and television that only then did he hear about it and it isn’t possible is bullshit of such magnitude it should make every voter in Ontario run into their work sheds and come out swinging bags of flaming anvils looking for vengeance.

This latest show of absolute contempt and abuse of power by George Smitherman should be enough to make every commuter in Toronto puke on their shoes. This man at least needs to lose his job immediately and preferably also banished down a cobra filled well. The premier has echoed this repulsive nonsense by saying he also had no clue at all that this had happened and now that days later there isn’t any money for it so tough titty. He figures everything is just fine with the state of transit in Toronto (I assume he doesn’t take the TTC much and prefers to rollerblade to work) and thinks it’s just swell to tell the voters that he not only wasn’t in the loop, but isn’t even sure he knows what a loop is. I can only assume these ass clowns think this is perfectly acceptable because the media probably won’t report it and will instead run a story about who Lindsey Lohan is showing her crotch to this week, and that would be a fairly safe bet.

The gutless pussies in the media (especially print) are having a tough time right now. They say that due to the internet and lost revenue from the economy being in the crapper that things are a bit icky for them right now. It seems that people aren’t reading the newspapers much these days and are finding other ways to amuse themselves when they aren’t dicking around on a Blackberry. The media treat issues that actually effect the public like minor curiosities and instead run stories about a dancing cockatoo.

It is a big deal to say to the public that the minister of infrastructure had no clue that this was going on. George Smitherman is telling us that not one person in his office had any idea this was going on or bothered to casually mention it to him at the water cooler one day. He is saying that in the four days it too for him to learn about it, he didn’t read a paper, he didn’t sit down and watch the news, he didn’t look at any internet sites like the Yahoo or MSN home pages that contain news snippets along side articles on what’s not and what’s not in the latest summer trends, he didn’t listen to a radio and he didn’t talk to anyone inside his office about anything happening that as minister of the infrastructure he would have a direct hand in. He is telling he knew nothing about anything related to his job, and that we should suck it.

When I was a kid and we got the streetcars that we currently have I thought they were cool as hell. They looked flashy and modern. They may have even had that new car smell. They were way bigger than the old ones and looked like something from Logans Run. When my grandmother would hold me captive and take me on journeys to buy me even more humiliating clothes so she could parade me around to her friends houses like a prized game cock and say thins like “doesn’t he look just like a sailor?” I still enjoyed the new streetcar rides. There was room to sit comfortably and practically everybody regardless whether they were seated read a newspaper which they would buy at one of the many news stands. Maybe if we had some new larger street cars so we weren’t maimed and mangled as if we were in the worlds most cramped prison rape, then people would be able to ride comfortably, leave their car at home and start reading newspapers during the ride again. If that were to happen maybe newspapers might go back to writing important informative stories about things like what the government is doing to them again and the voters could return to being informed and involved in their own lives. If those two things actually did happen (and I’m not holding my breath here) then when the government did cultivate a big fat lie people would notice and demand their heads.

It’s funny what would happen if we just a little more elbow room and the will to read the news again isn’t it?


~ by jeff on April 30, 2009.

One Response to “No, seriously….off with their heads!”

  1. […] Been a while since the last post. Apologies for those that actually visit the site. I hear the crickets. Truth is I’ve been busy reading these > poignant ramblings. Brilliant stuff there. Anyways, I felt compelled to plop something here and had  a look at some recent headlines coming from our trusted media via the Ontario government. Mmm. Oh here’s one that’s interesting – The Ontario Government is giving Chrysler 1.3 billion to help with their bankruptcy filing. Clearly this is a higher priority than say, um, perhaps, improving the public transit system in the country’s largest city? […]

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