THE LATEST FORUM RESEARCH POLL BRINGS GOOD NEWS FOR MAYOR JOHN TORY – HE’S LEADING

The latest Forum Research poll shows that JOHN TORY is far ahead in his race for a second term as mayor of Canada’s largest city. 56% of decided and leaning TORONTO voters support Mayor Tory in his re-election bid. He also has a 56% approval rating.

Forum Research president Lorne Bozinoff says the main challenger JENNIFER KEESMAAT’s message is not resonating with suburban TORONTO voters. They really like what Mr. Tory has done as mayor during the past four years.

Election Day is Monday, October 22nd.

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PLAYING POKER WITH DONALD TRUMP – DID CANADA WIN OR LOSE IN RE-NEGOTIATING NAFTA?

<THREE AMIGOS, editorial cartoon by BRIAN GABLE, Globe and Mail>

CANADA’s two largest newspapersThe Globe and Mail & the Toronto Star – have analysed the new NAFTA agreement, finally written up after 13 months of tough negotiating.

The Globe and Mail, Canada’s National newspaper, assigned three reporters for a Report on Business – “How Canada Won, and Lost a Trade Deal”

1. – Canada’s red line was Chapter 19 from the start, to protect this country “from any capricious actions by an economic superpower 10 times its size.” The US agreed.
2. – The US guaranteed it would exempt Canadian autos from future tariffs, below a specific quota. The Americans raised the quota to 2.6-million vehicles from the current 2.3-million.
3. – The US dropped or softened four protectionist demands Canada found most abhorrent – including the Buy American demand; Chapter 19; and the 50% US content requirement on autos.
4. – Canada conceded on “every conventional trade irritant of the past decade: dairy, pharmaceutical patents, favouring BC wines over imported ones in that province’s grocery stores; and the airing of Super Bowl commercials.”
5. – Canada agreed to a clause designed to discourage its pursuit of a trade deal with China.
6. – Tariffs on Canadian steel (25%) and aluminum (10%) would remain in place for now anyway.

The Toronto Star – with more readers than any other Canadian newspaper – came up with “Real Deal or Raw Deal: What We Got in USMCA”

1. – Supply management was the only Canadian no-go zone breach.
2. – Canadian cultural industries will continue to be protected, including digital space.
3. – Canada will grant US dairy producers access to 3.59% of its dairy markets.
4. – Hand-crafted Indigenous textiles and apparel can be eligible for duty-free treatment – first time in a Canadian agreement.
5. – Movement of business people and immigrants remain unchanged – no new or expanded rights for professionals.
6. – Each of the three countries will “only support implementation of international environmental agreements to which they are a party.”

<THE NEGOTIATORS – Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. March 5, 2018, REUTERS/Edgard Garrido>

TORONTO CITY COUNCIL’S TRUANCY LIST HAS BEEN COMPILED FOR THE 4-YEAR TERM ENDING IN 2018

<Upper left – Michelle Holland; lower left – Giorgio Mammoliti’s vacant chair; lower right – Mayor John Tory; PHOTO – Steve Russell, Toronto Star>

With a Municipal Election due on October 22nd, TORONTO City Council has released the numbers of those who skipped council meetings.
1. Giorgio Mammoliti (Ward 7, York West) – missed 48.7% of 1,048 votes in 2018
2. Michelle Holland (Ward 35, Scarborough Southwest) – missed 42.1% in 2018

Over four years, the same two councillors from the inner suburbs were also on top. Giorgio Mammoliti 43.1% & Michelle Holland 37% of 4,526 votes cast over 46 meetings.

Councillor Stephen Holyday (Ward 3 Etobicoke Centre) took the prize for missing no votes in 2018. Over four years, he missed only four.

“HOLD YOUR BREATH: A SONG OF CLIMATE CHANGE” BY BOB HICOK

The water’s rising
but we’re not drowning yet.
When we’re drowning
we’ll do something.
When we’re on our roofs.
When we’re deciding between saving
the cute baby or the smart baby.
When there aren’t enough helicopters
or news crews to circle
over everyone. When sharks
are in the streets. When people
are dying. When people
with wine cellars
are dying. We’ll build dams
and dikes, put stilts
on our V-8s and golf courses,
cut down anyone
who cuts down a tree,
paint our Jesuses
green, we’ll grow wings, we’ll go
to the moon. Soon.

BOB HICOK is the author of nine collections of poetry, including “Hold”, out in October from Copper Canyon Press.

A TYPICAL PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT – WASTING PILES OF MONEY & ATTACKING TORONTO

<“IT’S GOOD TO BE THE KING . . . NEXT!”, editorial cartoon by GRAEME MACKAY, Hamilton Spectator>

Premier DOUG FORD plans to slash nearly half of all TORONTO city council seats before the municipal election on October 22nd. That would mean going from 47 councillors to about 25. Ward boundaries would then match federal and provincial ridings.

Ford is also cancelling regional chair elections in Peel, Niagara and York regions.  A dozen councillors support Mr. Ford’s plan.

<‘SURPRISE!’, editorial cartoon by DAVID PARKINS, Globe and Mail, July 30th/2018>

<“IT WAS THE LOGICAL NEXT STEP.”, editorial cartoon by THEO MOUDAKIS, Toronto Star, July 31/2018>

CANADA’s federal government says it will do whatever it can to protect TORONTO from the “vindictive and destructive” actions taken by Doug Ford and his administration. ADAM VAUGHAN , Liberal Member of Parliament and Parliamentary Secretary for Urban Affairs, says Ford is plunging TORONTO into chaos at a time when it needs stability the most.

Vaughan said the proposal is “reckless, irresponsible” and tosses TORONTO into a political storm when it needs leadership on critical files such as asylum seekers, gangs & guns, transit & housing. Vaughan went on to say Ford is taking these actions because “he doesn’t like Toronto” and accused him of “breaking” the city.

<PHOTO – Adam Vaughan/The Canadian Press>

BLAYNE LASTMAN, SON OF FORMER MAYOR MEL, HAS 2ND THOUGHTS ABOUT RUNNING FOR MAYOR

You do the Hokey Pokey
and you turn yourself around
That what it’s all about.
<Former Mayor MEL LASTMAN (l) and his son, BLAYNE>

MR. LASTMAN is planning to put his support behind current mayor JOHN TORY in the upcoming municipal election on October 22/2018.

SHOCKING NEWS, BUT NOT SURPRISING – DOUG FORD’S HYDRO DISMISSALS WILL COST NEARLY $14-MILLION

Ontario Premier DOUG FORD has been saying that dismissing the electrical utility’s CEO and board is cost-free. A Globe and Mail analysis reveals the departures will cost nearly $14-million. Ex-CEO MAYO SCHMIDT will receive $9-million and board members a total of $4.9-million.

Shares have dropped as analysts worry political interference will negatively affect the company. – Globe and Mail, July 13/2018

ABOVE – ‘The $9-million man, MAYO SCHMIDT, chose to retire instead of resigning after about six months on the job, and will get close to the $10.7-million he’d have received in severance, along with stock options.  His pension of about $163,000 annually and benefits remain intact. – from columns and reportage in the Toronto Star, July 13/2018