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Massive Toronto poll shows city residents overwhelmingly against Ford cuts

Published on May 27, 2012 by in Toronto

possible cost cutting is against the wishes of the people of Toronto.  They have released ward by ward results indicating that support is down.

This biased poll was conducted and released to exert pressure on Councillors and future electoral candidates to undermine the support and sentiment toward an anti union bias.  popularity of the existing Ford.  The union knows that municipal politicians crave approval so that they can be reelected.  And reelected.  And reelected.  Etc…

The poll is being released prior to upcoming labour negotiations, as well as a provincial election.

This is the news release from CUPE local 79 – Sept 16

Want councillors to break with mayor to protect services

 

 

TORONTO- In the largest-ever public opinion poll conducted in Toronto, residents in every one of the City’s 44 wards said they want their councillors to vote to protect city services in their community even if it conflicts with the wishes of Mayor Ford. The poll also found that voters’ opinions of Ford had grown worse since the municipal election and that only 27 per cent said they would vote for him as mayor in the next election.

The poll of 12,848 residents of Toronto over 18 years of age was conducted on Tuesday, September 13 by Forum Research, one of Canada’s largest survey firm. It was commissioned by CUPE Local 79, Canada’s largest municipal employees’ union. The survey has a margin of error of ±1 per cent, 19 times our of 20

“We knew that the people of Toronto were opposed to the massive cuts to city services being proposed by the Ford administration because our members are on the front lines of many of those services,” said Ann Dembinski, President of Local 79. “They hear directly from the people who use those services, every day.”

“We commissioned Forum Research to find out how deep the public opposition to the cuts is and even we were surprised by the results. Toronto is united in rejecting the Ford agenda. The near-unanimity is really stunning.”

Key findings of the poll include:

• More than one half of Toronto voters say their opinion of Mayor Ford has “grown worse” since the municipal election (54%), and this includes one quarter (28%) of those who voted for him last October.

• Voters are twice as likely to say they won?t vote for Rob Ford in the next municipal election (60%) as to say they will (27%).

• Less than two thirds of those (62%) who say they voted for Rob Ford last time say they will vote for him again.

• Voters agree (59% “strongly”, 77% in total) that a local councillor?s duty is to protect city services rather than agree to Mayor Ford?s wishes.

“This poll is a wake-up call for those councillors who blindly support Mayor Ford’s quest to gut city services and privatize ‘anything that isn’t nailed down,’ to use Councillor Doug Ford’s words,” added Dembinski.

“Their political careers are on the line. They can either pay attention to their constituents or ignore their wishes in order to stick with Ford. If they defy their constituents in order to please Ford, they will be tossed out in the next election.”

Methodology

12,848 residents of Toronto 18 years of age and older were interviewed on Tuesday, September 13, using a random dial Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. The margin of error on a sample of this size is plus or minus 0.9%, 19 out of 20 times asking. In other words, if you asked all the adult residents of Toronto the same questions, their answers would be within 1% of those shown here, 95% of the time

Click to download PDF: Forum Research Poll shows Toronto united against Ford cuts to city services
Click to download PDF: Forum Research Ward by Ward Poll report

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ORNGE Air Ambulance Service

Published on May 27, 2012 by in Featured

Ontario taxpayers provide $150 million every year to Ornge for medical transport.
This is a company that pays high salaries and provides perks, purchased 12 helicopters when they only needed 10, owns 2 motorcycles that cost $50,000 and $100,000, and has a $15 million head office.

Coincidentally, Alfred Apps, former head of the Liberal Party of Canada was a legal advisor to ORNGE and instrumental in helping them make deals with the Ontario government…
Here is link to their website – ORNGE website

 
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The Don Drummond Report

Published on May 27, 2012 by in Uncategorized

Ontario is in a financial crisis.  Even Premier Dalton McGuinty recognized this, and hired Don Drummond to report on the sustainability of services in the province.  You can read the report here – Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services

In the report, Drummond talks about the Second Career program.

A recurring theme in this report is the need to base policies and programs on a defensible evidence base. Employment and training programs are currently not strategically organized nor consistently evaluated against labour-market success factors, clear targets or performance measures linked to outcomes. Labour-market information must be improved in two respects.

 First, Ontario must improve how it tracks outcomes. Most program measures focus on service indicators (e.g., clients served, satisfaction) as opposed to outcomes. While client satisfaction and throughput are important, they are no substitute for measures of success such as employment duration, wage level and growth, and so forth. Key success indicators should be chosen based on best practices in other jurisdictions and from current literature. Indicators will likely vary by training program but every effort should be made to avoid minor differences to minimize administrative costs and allow for comparisons across programs. Regular evaluation of program performance using the collected data should be undertaken to inform future changes that will continually improve effectiveness.

Second, data gaps limit Ontario’s ability to effectively target investments in labour-market programming at a strategic level. While the Labour Force Survey reports monthly on those currently working, there was until very recently no equivalent survey about jobs that need to be filled. A better understanding of employment gaps could shed light on how to make employment and training services more effective.

 
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Ontario Second Career

Published on May 27, 2012 by in Uncategorized

Looking for a second career in Ontario. The Ontario Government has increased the program from the original projected number of 20,000 people for retraining to 60,000 people to be trained for new careers.

And the McGuinty government is proud of this increase.  The Ontario government is helping laid-off workers get back to work.

Here is what they say on their website – Support: Second Career is not a loan. It’s money that the Ontario government is giving away to people who have been negatively impacted by the economy. It’s there for you so take advantage!

You may qualify for up to $28 000, or more in some cases, to pay for tuition and expenses such as:

  • Books
  • Living expenses
  • Help caring for dependents
  • Travel & Transportation
  • Disability supports
  • Other living and training costs

From the 2008 budget -

New Skills for New Careers

This Budget announces $560 million over three years for skills training to:

  • introduce a new Second Career Strategy to help workers affected by job loss train for new careers
  • expand apprenticeships and improve equipment for student training
  • support effective integration of newcomers in the job market
  • support workplace training.

This skills training investment builds on over $1 billion in annual spending for Employment Ontario, the Province’s training and job service, as well as over $400 million in annual spending for employment supports for newcomers and social assistance recipients.

This program is a failure on a number of levels.  First it is indicative of the economy of the province continuing to decline, so instead of looking at the reasons for this, they continue to treat one of the symptoms.  They have built a whole industry of former government employees administrating this program through a variety of government funded agencies.  This is a make work project on its own.

Meanwhile, underemployed people put their lives on hold waiting months to find out if they can receive funding for education.  These are people that could apply for student loans and get back to school now if they want training and education.  This automatically causes a drag effect on the economy.  Able bodied people that could be working or going back to school sit and wait – and continue to collect employment insurance.

This program was originally set up during the bailout of the car manufacturers.  With layoffs, the government felt that they had to provide a vehicle for former auto workers to be retrained and get back to work.  The execution was flawed from the outset.  Laid off workers received packages, then were able to collect employment insurance,  It would be two years before those that the program was planned for, would actually be in the system to be retrained….

 
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City of Toronto Grants

Published on May 27, 2012 by in Uncategorized

The City of Toronto had an operating budget of $9.383 billion in 2011. They gave away close to $50 million in community grants. Click here for a list of the grants given by the City of Toronto in 2011  City of Toronto grants 2011

 
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14th Annual “Teddy” Government Waste Awards Winners

Published on May 27, 2012 by in Uncategorized

OTTAWA, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) today held its 14th annual Teddy Waste Awards ceremony, giving well-deserved recognition to the worst of the worst in government waste. CTF federal director Gregory Thomas hosted for the first time as Master of Ceremonies today at the black tie news conference on Parliament Hill. The CTF’s pig mascot Porky the Waste Hater joined lovely and charming guest hostess Catherine handing out the coveted golden sows.

The CTF’s signature waste award, the Teddy, is named after Ted Weatherill, a former federal government employee who was dismissed in 1999 for his outrageous expenses. Each year the CTF hosts the Teddy awards to recognize the governments, public office holders, government employees, departments or agencies that most exemplify runaway government waste.

“Taxpayers can cry, we can shout and we can stamp our feet when we hear some of these outrageous stories,” said Thomas. “And we can laugh. Some government waste is so ridiculous, it deserves to be ridiculed. The Teddy ceremony is the highlight of awards season for many Canadians.”

Federal Teddy Winner: Agriculture Canada Tobacco Transition Program: $284 million

“And the Federal Teddy goes to Agriculture Canada`s expensive tobacco boondoggle, said Thomas. “A program set up to pay farmers to get out of the tobacco business that ended up doubling the number of tobacco farmers.

Links:

http://www.agr.gc.ca/cb/index_e.php?s1=n&s2=2009&page=n90105

http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_oag_201111_03_e_35935.html#hd4d

http://www.betterfarming.com/online-news/audit-takes-aim-tobacco-buyout-4672

Provincial Teddy Winner: Alberta MLA’s “best committee ever”

“And the Provincial Teddy goes to…21 Alberta MLAs. These greedy politicians get $1,000 per month to serve on a committee that hasn’t held a meeting since 2008,” said Thomas.

Links:

http://taxpayer.com/sites/default/files/Reversing-the-Kowalski-Legacy.pdf

http://www.assembly.ab.ca/committees/privilegeselections/index.html

Municipal Teddy Winner: Montreal’s invisible snow snowplows

“And the Municipal Teddy winner is…the City of Montreal and its fleet of imaginary snow snowplows,” said Thomas. “Motorists and pedestrians need speedy snow removal service after the snow falls, not before.”

Links:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWzbEn-aXMQ

http://m.en.canoe.ca/news/CNEWS/Canada/2011/12/21/19154601.html

http://maisonneuve.org/pressroom/article/2011/dec/9/maisonneuve-exposes-rampant-bid-rigging-montreals-/

Lifetime Achievement Teddy: Gilles Duceppe

“Mr. Duceppe lost his seat in Parliament,” said Thomas.  “But he’s still collecting $140,765 every year for life from Canadian taxpayers, the gift of a grateful nation for a lifetime of devoted service to trying to break it up. That’s after his Bloc collected $23.5 million from taxpayers and his put the party’s executive director on the Parliamentary payroll.”

Links:

http://taxpayer.com/sites/default/files/CTFMP-PensionReport-WEB.pdf

http://www.livresquebecois.com/livre.asp?id=isdisdyabobfpesa&/0/le-bloc-quebecois-20-ans-au-nom-du-quebec/marie-france-charbonneau

Other nominees included:

Federal – Department of National Defence: $2 billion since 1998 for four used submarines still not in service.

Links:

http://www.lookoutnewspaper.com/top-stories.php?id=596

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2011/10/27/submarines-british-nuclear.html

Federal – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency: $190,000 to subside donuts made with pure lard in the province with the highest obesity rate in Canada.

Links:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2012/02/23/nb-health-council-report-obesity.html

http://www.acoa-apeca.gc.ca/eng/Agency/mediaroom/NewsReleases/Pages/3294.aspx

Federal – National Capital Commission: $5.2 million for seven portable skate shacks on the Rideau Canal that sit unused 337 days a year.

Links:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/story/2012/02/24/ottawa-rideau-canal-closed.html

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/story/2011/11/13/ott-rideau-canal-chalets.html

Provincial – Yukon: Supreme Court Justice Vital Ouellette: $15 million order to build a school for 41 French-speaking students in Whitehorse.

Links:

http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/07/28/court-orders-yukon-to-build-15m-school-for-41-francophone-students/

Provincial – British Columba: BC Hydro for paying $42.3 million in performance bonuses to 99 per cent of its employees.

Link:

http://www.bcauditor.com/pubs/2011/report8/bc-hydro-audit-rate-regulated-accounting

Provincial – Ontario: ORNGE Air Ambulance Service: $25 million unaccounted for and a police investigation unfolding.

Links:

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1136628–25m-in-ornge-money-unaccounted-for

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1126222–ornge-paid-lawyers-11-million?bn=1

Municipal – City of Winnipeg, Manitoba: a $5,000 grant to notify citizens in winter if it is slippery outside.

Links:

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/City-to-launch-daily-walking-condition-bulletin-139459138.html

Municipal – City of Calgary, Alberta: $25 million and counting for the 15-month overdue pedestrian Peace Bridge that doubles as a public art display.

Links:

http://www.calgaryherald.com/entertainment/Architect+denies+culpability+Peace+Bridge+woes/6195884/story.html

Municipal – City of St. Albert, Alberta: $280,000 to buy a Starbucks, to compete with taxpaying St. Albert small businesses.

Links:

http://www.stalbertgazette.com/article/20110713/SAG0801/307139983/0/sag

-30-

For further information please contact CTF federal director Gregory Thomas at 613-234-6554 (office) or (613) 205-8409 (mobile)

 
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Councillor Expenses

Published on May 27, 2012 by in Uncategorized

Toronto City Councillor office expense budgets were lowered to $30,000 this year.  Much of the budget is used for self promotion.  Stronger rules and parameters are needed to outline acceptable expenses.  We will be going through each and every expense and will have all of the information posted here.

The first star this year is Glenn De Baeremaeker.  He overspent his budget by $1,000.  No wonder.  He spent $5,446.37 on compost and $3,192.75 printing and delivering flyers about it.  Over $8,000.00 on crap….

Stay tuned for the rundown here.

 
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Bully Manager Misused Public Funds

Published on May 27, 2012 by in Uncategorized

Public Sector Integrity Commissioner Mario Dion found that a Manager for Human Resources and Skills Development Canada misused public funds.  He falsified travel claims, purchased massage chairs and television sets and used government equipment in his private business.

The report states the following:

Results of the Investigation

The investigation found that:
• The Manager contravened the Financial Administration Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. F?11, by failing to have properly exercised delegated financial authorities under that Act.

• The Manager misused, on several occasions, public funds and assets by:

o approving inappropriate purchases such as personal massages;
o purchasing equipment such as flat screen televisions that were not used;
o paying for lunches for employees;
o claiming for monetary travel benefits when the Manager had not travelled;
o claiming for personal vehicle mileage when the Manager used a departmental
vehicle; and
o using government equipment to conduct personal business.
• The Manager’s actions and omissions constituted gross mismanagement through the
failure to:
o follow Treasury Board directives;
o follow departmental policies and procedures;
o respect the principle of fairness in a staffing action;
o ensure the privacy of staff and clients;
o respect the fundamental rights of staff;
o protect the security of information; and
o treat staff with the respect and consideration that are embodied in the values and ethics of the Department.

The full report can be found here: Findings of the Public Sector Integrity
Commissioner in the Matter of an Investigation into a Disclosure of Wrongdoing

 
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Fraud Costs City Close to $1M

Published on May 27, 2012 by in Uncategorized

Jeff Griffiths, Auditor General of Toronto, released a report in February that said the city was defrauded of at least $939,000 in 2011.  The City has recovered $60,000 so far.

In many instances, city employees falsified logs or claimed to be sick while they were working a second job on city time.  The largest financial loss found was $675,000.00 paid to a contractor for inflated invoices or no work at all.  The employee was receiving kickbacks. Read more…

 
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Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment is giving away tickets to avoid paying taxes.

Published on May 12, 2012 by in Uncategorized

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment is giving away tickets to avoid paying taxes.

MLSE owns the Leafs, Raptors, Toronto FC and other entities and gave away tickets and claimed them as charitable donations.  Taxes would amount to over 3 milion dollars according to the provincial government.

 
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