August 2013


When the going gets tough

This summer has been a tough one: I got my dream job, I lost my dream job; I spent a month jobless; my mum was in the hospital for a month and I didn’t know if my mum would make it; I went six weeks without getting paid; I developed an allergy to gluten, which I figured out after a lot of vomiting; and my bio-dad threatened to sue me for the second time. All of these things made for a tough month and a half. Now I’m at a new job that I love, working on brands and clients that really excite me, my mum is on the mend and finally home, I’ve got a handle on my allergy, I got my first pay cheque from my shiny new job this week and bio-dad is ignoring me again. So things are on the upswing and I made it out alive and smiling.

The reason I managed to keep smiling was Boyfriend: he declared depression, “not an option.” He told me that I was smart and a new job was just about the corner, he sat with me as I cried about my mother and my fear of losing her, he insisted we only eat at places that were accommodating to my allergies and he applauded my response to my father’s email. When I thought that my life was falling apart he reminded me that things get tough sometimes but that doesn’t mean that we have to wallow in a pile of sadness until it leaks out of our eyes. I’m paraphrasing, but in all honesty he was my rock.

This kind of support is something I’ve never experienced in a relationship. When I didn’t want to talk about my feelings he just sat there until I let it out. Sometimes that meant tears, sometimes that meant grunts and half sentences flowing out of the mouth of a terrified girl. Not once did he turn me away when I needed him.

The day I signed the contract for my new job Boyfriend and I had plans for dinner, which we were going to do at my house, but after hearing my news that immediately changed to, “We’re going to celebrate Wild Shannons.” Because it had probably been four weeks since I had any good news to share with him and good news is always worth celebrating.

Today is the first day of August and summer may be winding down for most people, but for us this month is summer. We’re planning road trips, BBQs, jet-ski races and anything else we can think of. I don’t care what we do though; we could spend the day on the beach or watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix and it wouldn’t matter to me because I’ll be with my best friend.

I can’t find a word that covers all the feelings I have for Boyfriend so I will use the only one I have, the hopeless inept, grateful. I am so incredibly, wildly, amazingly grateful for everything he’s done for me and I hope that we’ve built up enough karma that the rest of this year will only be filled with wonderful things.

Political spin and subway propaganda

Despite the Liberals committing close to $1.4 billion for the subway in Scarborough, Mayor Ford is out on the campaign trail with PC candidate Ken Kirupa claiming that Liberals don’t back subways and dismissing Mitzie Hunters claim of being a subway champion as a “bunch of malarky.”

The issue comes down to who to believe? As far as I know Mr. Kirupa does not smoke crack, does not hang out with drug dealers, but like Mayor Ford he claims to want subways although he has never been part of the push for subways in Toronto.

I do know that Mitzie Hunter is a transit advocate, and have heard her speak dozens of times as CEO of Civic Action on the need for regional transit.

Rob Ford claims that Conservatives will build subways but to date the only money that has been dedicated to the Scarborough subway has come from the Wynne Liberals, and it doesn’t appear that Ford has managed to get any financial commitments from the Federal Conservatives. This seems extremely odd, since most large infrastructure projects across Canada are split 3 ways between, city, province and the federal government.

Winston Churchill once said “The farther backward you are able to look the farther forward you are likely to see.” I would add that good governing is about making hard decisions for the long-term. Bad governing occurs when politicians make short-term decisions to gain votes.

Unfortunately the provincial Conservatives have demonstrated bad government over the past two decades. Starting with the Mike Harris government, like Mayor Ford they offered immediate tax cuts, but ignored the long-term impacts. Their decision to sell highway 407 to balance their budget was a lesson in complete short-sightedness. The Harris government sold the 407 for only $3.1 Billion, estimates three years later valued it at well over $12Billion.

When it comes to subway and transit expansion what worries me most about the provincial Conservatives is their history of short-term decision making. Take the Harris government decision in 1995 to halt the extension of the Yonge line to Downsview as well as the Eglinton subway project. Current leader Tim Hudak was a key player in the Harris government when the Eglinton subway line, estimated to cost $2.6 Billion in 1995, was cancelled and buried in. Today we are paying close to $8.2 Billion for the Eglinton crosstown line.

The short-term decision to cancel transit expansion projects across the GTHA by the Harris government created the gridlock we have today. The C.D. Howe Institute estimates that gridlock is costing residents and businesses well over $12 Billion per year.  The Progressive Conservatives have a long history of short-term decision making that have costly long-term impacts on Ontario residents and businesses.

So today if Rob Ford reaches your door and promises that Conservatives will deliver subway expansion ask him why they cancelled it in the 90s, and why the federal Conservatives haven’t come through with any funding — and check to see if his eyes are glazed over.