Posts Tagged ‘politics’
Good. From the Toronto Star‘s Betsy Powell:
The tongue lashing city councillors gave police last week over controversial paid duty was the latest sign of the Toronto Police Association’s waning influence at city hall.
Members of the executive committee took turns ripping into the fact thousands of highly trained — and paid — Toronto cops have an iron grip on lucrative off-duty assignments.
“I think many councillors are fed up with this,” Councillor James Pasternak told reporters. “The paid-duty officers are costing in the $30 million range, they’re using taxpayer-funded motorcycles and squad cars and horses and uniforms which we incur the cost of replacing while they’re moonlighting and it’s just not right.”
For TPA president Mike McCormack, such talk is the new normal.
He recently sent a don’t-stick-your-neck-out letter to union members that said political leaders care more about “special interests” than backing frontline officers.
In NOW Toronto, Salvator Cusimano reflects on the failure of SmartTrack and argues that new transit plans need to be actually innovative, sustainably as well.
As a seven year-old train enthusiast, I would beg my dad to take me on the non-stop GO train from Oriole Station to Union for fun. I studiously followed transit developments in the city, including the Sheppard Line’s seemingly interminable and ultimately disappointing construction.
Then SmartTrack came along during the last municipal election promising relief without the quagmire of construction – more trains, fewer Sheppard Lines. I was entering Dundas West station one morning when a woman handed me a navy pamphlet with green and white lettering. It proclaimed that if I voted for John Tory, I would soon be able to reach Union Station in less than 10 minutes, instead of the minimum 30 I knew I was about to spend balancing in a crammed subway car and staring at a system map bearing a black void where the much-discussed Downtown Relief Line was supposed to be.
Fast-forward and a much scaled-down version of SmartTrack has now been approved.
If SmartTrack was as flawed as some observers claimed, how did Tory win?
Students and practitioners of innovative design suggests that Tory won because voters wanted innovation, and Smart Track seemed to offer it.
Innovation doesn’t simply mean “new technology.” Designers define it as a process that starts with defining a challenge and identifying possible solutions and then putting these ideas to the test by creating low-fidelity prototypes that they try out, discard, and rework over and over again. With each iteration, they learn what works, what doesn’t, and how they might get it right, failing many times, cheaply, to eventually get it right is better than getting it wrong after spending big.