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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Phoney War?

In today's Spec, columnist Andrew Dreschel characterizes the varying opinions about LRT, a "phoney war". (click here to see it, or buy today's print copy)   It appears that Dreschel bases this on his observation that the overt critics of the LRT design on council, which are identified as Clrs. Collins, Skelly and Whitehead, have not yet determined what they will do about their concerns. Thus, the lull equates to a "phoney war".

While we have tremendous respect for Mr. Dreschel and our friends at The Spec, and many times find ourselves in agreement, we don't see things the same way on this one.

To his credit, Dreschel summarizes what Clrs. Collins, Skelly and Whitehead are anticipating prior to them making a determination as to what form their concerns will take. And when you read that summary,  the take away seems to be that there are sound reasons why the councillors would elect to hold their next moves at this point. 

Dreschel's article is dead on, except for the phoney war label. With the stakes this high, words and actions have to be measured. Throwing grenades over the wall to see what might happen, is ordinarily not a good idea. 

The Hamiltonian
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22 comments:

  1. It's all but phoney. This is a very serious decision and I am watching to see if Jason Farr has the guts to change his mind and stop this. I agree with Skelly that LRT is archaic and we should not do this.

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    Replies
    1. Roads are even more archaic — they've been around for 2300+ years.

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  2. If I put a billion dollars on the table and told you you have to hang yourself to get the money, would you?
    Sorce

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    1. Using an analogy like that, we've been hanging ourselves for decades with gas tax money by building more roads and subsidizing suburbia.

      Delete
  3. Collins and Whitehead should move and second a motion to fund and install the network of transit-only lanes across the city needed to field-test their "BLAST first" stance. Otherwise it just looks like political cynicism. The City's Transportation Master Plan calls for the doubling of per capita ridership on the HSR by 2021. That will take a doubling of current service levels, which in turn requires a doubling of current budget levels/tax levies.

    HSR directors Hull and Dixon asserted that the target could not be reached without higher-order transit, and indeed that has been known by council for some time. If critics on council, having backed this play almost unanimously in dozens of votes over the last eight years, now want to change course, what's their credible alternative?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The City's Transportation Master Plan calls for the doubling of per capita ridership on the HSR by 2021. That will take a doubling of current service levels, which in turn requires a doubling of current budget levels/tax levies.

      Pipe dream.

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  4. The Eisenberger-Collins psychodrama in a nutshell:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamilton,_Ontario_municipal_election,_1994#Ward_Five_.28Red_Hill-Rosedale.29

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  5. The columnist's reference point, in case anyone is too young or disinterested in history to have caught it:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoney_War

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    Replies
    1. No reference to that in the article. Most people would read it as written. Not sure it changes anything.

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    2. If you read Dreschel for any length of time, you'll know that he is a student of history.

      It's the root of the term, if not explicit: That lines have been drawn but that full-force conflict has yet to occur.

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  6. "Throwing grenades over the wall to see what might happen, is ordinarily not a good idea."

    Paging Terry Whitehead…

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  7. Phoney usually means fake,which people would interpret as trivialize ng the issue. If AD was using it in another way he should have explained it. This is more about effective communication. The avg reader is not a history buff

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  8. And "war"? How would you define "war"? What does it usually mean to the average reader?

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  9. Skelly "argues, among other things, that LRT… [will] do nothing to tackle the more pressing problem of congestion on the Toronto-to-Niagara highway."

    In other words, we could see another Ward 7 by-election in 2018.

    http://www.hamiltonnews.com/news-story/6783224-ontario-pc-leader-patrick-brown-backs-mid-pen-corridor-revival/

    http://www.flamboroughreview.com/news-story/6783754-ontario-pc-leader-brown-expects-tories-to-win-flamborough-riding-in-2018/

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    1. The "tell" here is the reference to "congestion on the Toronto-to-Niagara highway" rather than the familiar "QEW". NGTA Highway" is the re-branded "MId-Peninsula Highway" and Skelly, a former Hudak acolyte, is delivering well-rehearsed talking points from her 2014 provincial run.

      http://www.thespec.com/news-story/4489707-tories-would-put-the-brakes-on-hamilton-s-lrt-plans/

      http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-votes-2014/q-a-tim-hudak-talks-lrt-mid-pen-highway-school-closures-1.2645312

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    2. Councillor Skelly also marks her position on the issue as if she were working at Queens Park, weighing it on a provincial (ie "the province is broke") or GTA issue (ie. "fails to reduce highway congestion") issue. Heaven forbid her constituents look to her to support issues on a ward or City level. In he grand tradition of Ward 7 predecessors Bill Kelly and Scott Duvall, she certainly seems to be auditioning for a third nomination berth for the provincial Conservatives. Funny hat someone so wedded to "value for money" rationales has already got one foot out the door.

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    3. Um… Bill Kelly ran federally for the Liberals and Scott Duvall ran federally for the NDP. But point taken.

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  10. with all that front page advertising revenue from the government of Ontario in support of LRT as his debtor, it becomes a challenge to expect anything objective from Mr.Dreschel. Entertaining, often insightful, but with strings attached.
    Can you imagine the difference in the byline if Mr. Bratina were still in office? Council would be described as fractured and dysfunctional, and it would all be Bob's fault. Not quite as easy to criticize Fred, the man who has staked his legacy on their shared vision. You wouldn't want the common folk asking questions about leadership at a time like this. A puppet show.
    And Mr.Farr is certainly becoming an interesting sideline. The more his confidence grows, the more skeptical I become. What is it about Ward 2?

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    Replies
    1. "Byline" is the author credit. You are perhaps thinking of "headline" or "subhead".

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  11. Get on the Olli bus. Nevermind laying down tracks that will be useless.

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  12. the number of people with a fetish for future unproven tech to solve todays problems is staggering. lets sit around and wait ten years for the new tech to solve our problems, but wait... ten years from now when we launch our fleet of new flying cars they will be on the cusp of being made obsolete by the new coming transporter tech that is only ten years away. and so on.

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  13. its a phoney war cause every councillor making noise about saying no the the money will fold like one of gilberts suits. in the end collins, whitehead and skelly against, everyone else for.

    ReplyDelete

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