Posts Tagged ‘politics’
The Toronto Star‘s Ben Spurr reports on what could be a big problem for the TTC.
A review of the TTC’s procurement policies is raising red flags about the transit agency’s ability to manage expensive capital projects, detailing billions of dollars in cost overruns and oversight practices that fall below public-sector standards.
The report, which will be debated at Wednesday’s TTC board meeting, was authored by consulting firm KPMG. The company examined nine capital projects that the TTC launched over the past decade-and-a-half and had combined initial estimated costs of $5.1 billion. Of the nine, six incurred inflated expenses that together totalled $2.9 billion more than original estimates.
They included the Toronto York Spadina Subway Extension, whose cost soared over from $1.5 billion to $3.2 billion, and the Leslie Barns streetcar facility, whose price jumped from $345 million to $507 million. Three of four smaller-scale capital projects KPMG studied also saw budgets rise above initial projections.
The report, which council commissioned in March 2015, determined that the TTC is operating at a “low-standardized level of maturity” in the delivery of capital projects. That’s below KPMG’s benchmark for public-sector organizations. KPMG scored one TTC department as operating at an “informal” level, which means the consultant found that projects lacked documentation and standardized policies.
Bloomberg’s Thomas Penny reports on an interesting-sounding strategy for the United Kingdom’s Labour Party. Could it work?
London Mayor Sadiq Khan will call on his Labour Party to use elections to run cities across Britain next year as a springboard to defeating Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative government.
Speaking at the party’s annual conference in Liverpool, northwest England, Khan will say that effective local government can prove to voters that Labour is ready for power nationally. Current national polling shows the main opposition party, which has been split by a leadership battle, as much as 15 percentage points behind the Conservatives, suggesting Labour would be heavily defeated in a general election.
Mayors “can demonstrate that we can make a real difference to people’s lives,” Khan will say Tuesday, according to extracts of the speech released by his office. “With Labour in power, we can prove we are ready for government.”
Khan, who was elected in May and has the biggest personal mandate of any British politician, will say the re-election of Jeremy Corbyn on Saturday has “decided” the question of the party’s leadership and activists must concentrate on winning power instead of infighting. The mayor, who supported the leader’s challenger, Owen Smith, will say the party owes it to the most vulnerable in society.
The Toronto Star‘s San Grewal tells an inspiring story.
Call it a victory for the little guy.
Saturday’s historic announcement to kickoff Mississauga’s monumental Inspiration Lakeview project, with 26 hectares of newly created conservation land connected to a 100-hectare mixed-use community to house 20,000 residents next to the city’s waterfront, should never have happened.
“It started before 2006,” Councillor Jim Tovey said during a boat tour Saturday around the site, just offshore and on the edge of the city’s border with Toronto. Elected officials from every level of government were on board.
The Lakeview project will feature a mix of commercial, residential and cultural buildings on the western side of the site, which will be connected to a man-made 26-hectare conservation area featuring meadows, a forest, wetlands and trails on what is currently still part of the lake.
Tovey spoke about how before becoming a councillor in 2010, he and a group of local citizens organized themselves, partnering with a University of Toronto expert, to unite residents against the powerful forces pushing for a new gas-fired power plant where the giant coal-fired Lakeview generating station had stood for almost 50 years.
At the time of the plant’s demolition in 2007, the province had a plan in place to simply replace coal with gas, with an ally in former mayor Hazel McCallion.
Even before the plant was torn down, “We wanted to create the Lakeview legacy project,” Tovey said. The push to get rid of the plant seemed incomprehensible in a province whose thirst for electricity could barely be quenched. But Tovey and others knew demand in the area was actually beginning to decline, with the loss of manufacturing and renewable energy sources coming online.