Please Bail Out Toronto

May 19, 2010

The European Union is going to put up trillions of dollars to bail out Greece.  Why?  Because the Greek government has been spending beyond their means.

The Greek government can’t seem to control itself and its workers don’t help.  Government workers don’t show up for their jobs.  Workers expect to retire earlier than other countries, some reports are that government workers can retire as early as 53 years old.

All pay – no work is a great thing for anyone who doesn’t have to do the paying.  That was mentality that brought down Communism: “give me pay but don’t hold me accountable!”

The social safety net is not a safety net anymore.  It is an entitlement.

With the G20 leaders coming to town it got me thinking about the City of Toronto.  Toronto has the same problem as Greece.

We recently had a garbage strike because the workers were threatened that they would get less than 18 days of sick time a year.

The scam is that Toronto city workers have no intention of taking the sick time.  They just wanted to be paid double for up to 18 days a year.

Obviously we have been hiring sickly people to collect garbage.  They have had trouble lifting the heavy bags and now refuse to do so.

We are now required to wheel our trash to the curb in specially designed bins (that we were required to pay for ourselves as surcharges on our city water bills).  These bins are to be hoisted by lifts on the side of trucks because the sickly employees are not fit enough.  Instead of being paid for sick time, perhaps a fitness program would be more effective.

Banking a sick day means you get paid to work and paid to not work the same day.  Banked sick days apparently now amount to a $250 million liability for the city of Toronto alone.  Who knows what other government workers feel entitled to the same treatment.

Its workers not only feel an undue sense of entitlement, they have a serious relationship issue with their customers, the taxpayers.  One ridiculous example has been the transit workers who have been sleeping on the job, arrested for DUI and assault.  The transit workers union decided to hold some events to show they had community support; it turned out the opposite happened as people lined up to lambaste the transit workers for their arrogance and poor service.

City hall has counted on increasing transit ridership to cover their lack of ability to provide adequate access roads into the city.  No new access has been created in the 25 years I have lived here.  Just more speed bumps.

But the City of Toronto has more problems. The workers are just a symptom of other greater problems.  The City can’t seem to balance their budget.  The City is running a huge deficit and spends all its time squabbling with little actual action or results.

A sea change is needed at city hall.

Let’s be inspired by Greece’s problems.  This is to recommend that we call on the neighbouring city of Mississauga to bail us out of this budgetary quagmire.

Mississauga doesn’t have trouble with their budget.  Their crusty 88 year old mayor, Hazel McCallion, has things in order while the Torontians scramble around creating more featherbedding and budgetary bleeding.

Help Mississauga!

Can you come in acting like the IMF and set Toronto straight?

Get Toronto’s services back on track.  Get the taxes under control.  Be the outside agent of change that brings reality back to the squandering ways of an unmanageable chaos.

And if Mississauga can’t make it, how about the IMF?  Or maybe the G20 leaders can pay their way and leave us a large bag of unmarked bills and a willingness to have civil servants who are both civil and servants to the public.

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