Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fact #38: Rob Ford posed for selfies at the scene of a fatal accident


It's true. On September 30th, 2014 a woman was struck and killed by a streetcar on St. Clair West. Rob Ford happened to be in the area and remained at the scene while rescue crews arrived and tended to the victim. Rob also made calls related to the accident, including to TTC CEO Andy Byford.

While still on the scene, Rob also stopped to pose for selfies with onlookers. In one particular case the ambulance and emergency personnel are plainly visible in the background:

Why should I care?

The fact that Rob remained at the scene of an accident is not an issue (assuming he stayed out of the way of emergency workers). However, this incident raises yet more questions about his sense of judgement.

First, by calling the TTC's CEO about an (admittedly serious) accident, Rob shows that he still doesn't understand the difference between executive and operational roles. By skipping established notification procedures, Ford took up both his and Byford's time on a matter when neither were in a position to do anything. He also duplicated the effort (i.e., "gravy") of first responders who are specially trained and paid to manage accident scenes. Rob's actions on St. Clair are just like how he insists constituents should call him to get their potholes fixed rather than just call 311 directly, which is faster and more effective. The mayor's job is to make sure the city is running efficiently, not to pretend to run it themselves.

Second, posing for photos in front of an accident scene where someone has just died is mind-bogglingly inappropriate. That the accident involved city employees and a city vehicle makes it even more so. Rob could easily have said no to the photo, yet he did not. For Ford, the only thing that appears to matter is his celebrity (or failing that, his notoriety).

If it's possible to encapsulate the mayoralty of Rob Ford in a single photo, then this is it:
Rob Ford is the mayor who interferes with the work of city employees, adds no value and then vainly poses for photos with clueless admirers. Meanwhile, not thirty feet away, one of his constituents has just lost their life.

Ford more years indeed.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Ford More Weeks!


It's true. After a four-year campaign, Toronto is just four weeks away from the 2014 election. Voters across the City of Toronto, in Ward 2 and in TDSB Ward 1 are the only people who can make sure that the Ford Family goes 0 for 3 at the ballot box.

It's been quite the ride, folks, but now it's time to move on. Guaranteed.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Exclusive: Here's what's in Doug Ford's unreleased website


It's true. The "best webmaster in the world" has gone ahead and posted Doug Ford's website for the world to see... if you know where to look. Here's what's coming down the pipes (note that the site content may change between now and the "official" reveal).

We will annotate Doug's "facts" so be sure to check back!

Site extracts are below the break.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fact #36: Rob Ford was chauffeured to his crack binges by a city employee


It's true. In the police ITO (Information to Obtain) released on September 24th it was revealed that Rob Ford was driven to his sister's house on the night of the second crack tape by Jerry Agyemang, a taxpayer-funded city hall security guard.

Why should I care?

Remember when Rob and Doug Ford said that they would never be caught mis-spending a dollar of public money? That should make you feel good about the overtime you paid out to Jerry so that the mayor could hang out with his sister and get baked.

At least Ford didn't try to drive home wasted, which is what he used to do. Good times.

How do I know you're not lying?


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The 100k club

Today we passed 100,000 pageviews - that's about 600 per day since we started posting in March. Thanks for visiting, and here's hoping that we won't need to post anything else after October 28th!

Fact #35: This is what it looks like to lose control of City Council

(click for larger version)

The above chart shows the percentage of votes cast by each councillor that aligned with the ultimate vote outcome (i.e., they voted yes when the item carried and no when it failed, absences ignored) over the four years of council. The vast majority of councillors stayed in the 90-95% range over the four years, but as the chart shows there were a number of significant trends:

  1. In 2011 the Ford brothers were reasonably successful at pushing their agenda through Council, with alignment in the high 80s. They entered the term with a strong electoral mandate and an ability to achieve majorities, if not consensus, on their votes. However, note the telling fragmentation on council, with a number of councillors actively resisting the Fords' pressure tactics (these are the Paula Fletchers and Adam Vaughans). Note that the 2011 term includes December 2010.
  2. By 2012 the tide started to change against Rob and Doug. Their notorious strong-arming of councillors began to backfire, and their opponents were increasingly successful at achieving their agendas. Just one year after election the Fords had lost their control on council
  3. 2013 saw their remaining loyalists peel off and join the crowd. The crack scandal and subsequent stripping of mayoral powers meant that it was much easier to achieve consensus and get things done. Doug and Rob were now losing a quarter of the decisions.
  4. Note that by 2014 the two Fords had essentially given up, throwing contrarian votes seemingly for the hell of it. At this point their only kindred spirit was the morally reprobate Giorgio Mammoliti. 

Why should I care?

Remember when Rob Ford said that he could work with City Council? Those were fun times. Despite a significant electoral plurality and significant resources at their disposal, the Ford brothers utterly failed to push their agenda through Council. The result was two wasted years of disruption, protest votes and absenteeism. If Doug Ford wins the 2014 mayoral race, he has utterly failed to demonstrate how the outcome would be any different the second time around.

How do I know you're not lying:


Source Data:

Councillor 2011 2012 2013 2014
Ainslie Paul 91% 88% 94% 94%
Augimeri Maria 77% 93% 92% 94%
Bailao Anna 91% 96% 96% 97%
Berardinetti Michelle 94% 94% 96% 95%
Carroll Shelley 81% 92% 91% 92%
Cho Raymond 84% 94% 95% 95%
Cole Josh 88% 94% 94% 93%
Crawford Gary 93% 94% 94% 95%
Crisanti Vincent 94% 94% 92% 94%
Davis Janet 77% 91% 91% 92%
DeBaeremaeker Glenn 83% 94% 94% 95%
DelGrande Mike 89% 85% 84% 87%
DiGiorgio Frank 91% 92% 90% 93%
Doucette Sarah 81% 93% 93% 94%
Filion Jon 76% 92% 94% 94%
Fletcher Paula 75% 92% 92% 92%
Ford Doug 88% 82% 75% 74%
Ford Rob 87% 78% 75% 68%
Fragedakis Mary 78% 92% 94% 94%
Grimes Mark 85% 87% 92% 93%
Holyday Doug 89% 82% 82%
Kelly Norman 91% 88% 89% 93%
Layton Mike 81% 93% 93% 95%
Lee Chin 90% 95% 95% 96%
Leon Peter 91% 95%
LindsayLuby Gloria 91% 94% 93% 94%
Maloney James 96%
Mammoliti Giorgio 89% 87% 84% 70%
Matlow Josh 86% 94% 90% 92%
McConnell Pam 78% 92% 93% 95%
McMahon Mary-Margaret 86% 95% 94% 95%
Mihevic Joe 81% 93% 93% 95%
Milczyn Peter 92% 92% 94% 94%
Minnan-Wong Denzel 88% 88% 90% 88%
Moeser Ron 86% 91% 91% 92%
Nunziata Frances 91% 92% 90% 95%
Palacio Cesar 93% 94% 93% 94%
Parker John 90% 90% 87% 90%
Pasternak James 92% 94% 94% 92%
Perks Gord 79% 91% 92% 92%
Perruzza Anthony 79% 92% 91% 92%
Ramkhalawansingh Ceta 95%
Robinson Jaye 93% 93% 93% 94%
Shiner David 89% 88% 87% 88%
Stintz Karen 91% 96% 94% 93%
Thompson Michael 93% 92% 95% 94%
Vaughan Adam 77% 91% 91% 94%
WongTam Kristyn 79% 92% 92% 94%

Monday, September 15, 2014

Fact #34: Doug Ford had the worst (non-medical) attendance record at City Hall


It's true. Doug missed 2,319 out of 7,813 votes in City Council, for an absence rate of 30%. That's almost one in three votes where Doug didn't bother to show up. The only councillors with worse records were Ron Moser and Giorgio Mammolliti, both of whom required extended time off for medical reasons.

(click for larger version)

Why should I care?

Nothing says dedication to your job and to your city like skipping a third of what you were hired to do. Maybe he donated those votes to charity?

How do I know you're not lying?


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Fact #33: Rob Ford's 2010 Transit Plan - Promises Made: 14. Promises Kept: 0


It's true. Rob Ford's 2010 Transit Plan made a number of promises, that ranged from taking credit for existing plans to outright fantasy. As his campaign team prepares to release their 2014 version, here's a look back at Rob Ford's transit track record:

Transit (By 2015):

Promise Kept?
By 2015 we will complete the Sheppard Avenue Line as a subway line. This
will include 12 km of new track and up to 10 new stations between
Downsview and Scarborough Town Centre. Cost: $3 Billion.
Sheppard is proceeding as planned as an LRT.
By 2015 we will extend the Bloor-Danforth Line to Scarborough Town Centre.
This will run on the elevated SRT platform and will connect to the Sheppard line at Scarborough Town Centre, completing a “closed loop” making travel across Toronto much easier. Cost: $1 Billion.
Federal/provincial funding has been promised for the SRT to be replaced by a 2-3 stop underground subway extension. The route and details have not been finalized, and the official plan still shows an Eglinton LRT extension. Assuming this goes ahead, construction won’t begin until 2018, so completion by 2015 is pure fantasy.
Where we cannot afford subways, we will use clean buses. Combining Express and Collector buses will improve transit service along major arterials. Zero net cost. Cost to purchase and operate new buses will be offset by savings from reduced purchase of streetcars, sale of existing streetcars and reduced streetcar system maintenance.
No clean buses have been purchased. The purchase order for new streetcars has not been reduced.
We will improve traffic flow downtown by removing some streetcars.
Streetcars on downtown arterial streets will be replaced with clean buses that provide the same capacity on the same routes. This will make the system safer and more accessible for all users. It will also improve traffic flow. Zero net cost. Cost to purchase and operate new buses will be offset by savings from reduced purchase of streetcars, sale of existing streetcars and reduced streetcar system maintenance.
No clean buses have been purchased. The purchase order for new streetcars has not been reduced.
BY 2015 we will introduce Smart Card technology for fare payment. Use of smart cards will reduce operating cost, improve our ability to measure and adjust the system to meet demands of a growing ridership and enable the TTC to set adjustable fares. Cost: currently included in TTC budget.
TTC had already adopted PRESTO, so Ford is taking credit for other peoples’ work.

Roadways (By 2014):

Promise Kept?
We will keep and maintain our Expressways. The Gardiner Expressway, Don Valley Parkway and Allen Road/Expressway will be maintained,
without tolls, as key components of our transportation infrastructure. Cost:
managed within current budget.

Road maintenance was already part of the budget. The plan to revitalize the Gardiner was passed in March 2014, but Ford missed the vote because he was in rehab. No tolls have been implemented.
We will clear up the $250 million backlog in road repairs. We will return Toronto’s roads to a state of good repair that can be maintained by normal
annual operations. Cost: $250 million.
We will synchronize the city’s traffic signals to improve traffic flow. We will complete the installation of SCOOT technology on all signalized intersections, improving traffic flow throughout the city. Cost: $50 million.
In June 2013 council approved an $11m purchase of synchronization equipment for 1,000 high-priority intersections over three years. There are no plans to change the entire city.
We will make critical road improvements to improve traffic flow. We will invest up to $400 Million to address major problem areas by connecting disjointed roadways making other changes to reduce congestion. Cost: up to $400 million.
No progress on new connecting roads or problem areas. The Six Points Kipling/Dundas/Bloor intersection rebuild is proceeding, but that will actually slow down traffic.
We will make parking rules easier to understand. By simplifying signage on city roads and introducing color-coded curb painting in pilot areas, drivers will better understand when and where they can park their vehicles. Cost: managed within current budget.
Signage rules have not changed. A curb painting pilot was completed in 2013 but a report on its efficacy has not been published, and no plans to make the pilot permanent have been introduced.
We will manage roadwork to minimize traffc disruption. We will require utility companies to make permanent road repairs where possible after digging up streets to reduce pavement degradation and minimize “follow-up” road closures. We will create a Central Roadwork Coordination Centre to improve coordination of work by public and private entities that interfere with traffic on city streets. We will require more roadwork be conducted during off-peak hours, including nights or weekends in non-residential areas. Cost: managed within current budget.
No material changes to policies or processes have been implemented. No roadwork coordination centre has been created (the Major Capital Infrastructure Coordination (MCIC) division already exists at City Hall, and predates Ford’s mayoralty).

Trails and Bicycles (By 2014):

Promise Kept?
We will build a comprehensive network of bicycle trails across the city. This will include 100 km of off-road bicycle paths along rail and hydro corridors, ravines and valleys. This system of dedicated 2-metre wide, paved trails illuminated with street lamps will provide a safe, convenient “backbone” for bicycle transportation across Toronto. Cost: $50 million.
Bike trails continue to be built, but nothing resembling this promise has been completed. An implementation plan was approved in 2013 but it only sets priorities, not funding or actual construction. Proposed construction does not match Ford's description.
We will build 100 km of pedestrian paths alongside the bicycle trails.
Walking, jogging and running are inexpensive, effective recreational activities that
encourage physical fitness. We will provide a well-lit network of safe, connected
paths for runners, joggers and walkers. Cost: included in the bicycle trails cost.
Pedestrian paths continue to be built, but nothing resembling this promise has been completed. An implementation plan was approved in 2013 but it only sets priorities, not funding or actual construction. Proposed construction does not match Ford's description.
We will create some on-road bicycle lanes where they make sense. Where the community supports them and where they do not impede traffic flow, we will create on-street bicycle lanes and complete some critical connections
in the city’s current bicycle network. Cost: $5 million.
The city’s on-road bicycle network continues to expand. In 2011 Ford voted against bike lanes on Richmond/Adelaide, but he did vote in favour of extending the Bay Street bike lane in 2013.

Why should I care?

Rob Ford talks about "another promise made, another promise kept." If he says that, you can pretty much guarantee that he's lying. The 2010 plan also shows how a well-staffed campaign with professional advisors can still put out a plan that is completely unrealistic. The only thing Ford missed in 2010 was a promise to power his clean buses with unicorn farts. Four years later his campaign is a shambles and completely lacking in policy experts. Whatever he and Doug draw up on the back of a napkin will likely surpass his first effort.

How do I know you're not lying?

The winner of the #RobFordIn140 contest is @trixiepicasso!

At their request, we have made a $25 donation in their name to the Toronto Wildlife Centre. Thanks to everyone who contributed and voted!