More of a case for Toronto’s deamalgamation
by The Bulletin.ca editors
The case for deamalgamation of this conglomerated government grab bag called Toronto grows firmer every day. We are constantly faced with examples of how city hall doesn’t work for us. It’s a problem of governance; a city designed by bureaucrats with their own betterment, welfare and turf at the forefront.
For example, look at how the bureaucracy has structured city hall. It’s divided into what are commonly referred to as bureaucratic silos, meaning huge self-contained masses of civil servants clumped in impenetrable walls. They are supreme in their spheres, be it city property, parks, traffic, licensing, you name it.
They have their own “property,” even though it’s supposedly the property of Toronto citizens. They defend their turfs against intrusions by other silos, and of course by the common enemy, elected politicians.
This was clear in the issue of off-leash parks for dog walkers in Corktown. They’ve been plagued by bylaw officers handing out costly tickets while city hall has dragged its feet in providing a park where they can let their dogs run free. Off-leash parks are a normal part of big-city living, but this isn’t a normal big city. It’s a bundle of disparate and distinct urban and suburban municipalities slapped together against their wills by a city-hating bumpkin from North Bay who swallowed the big-business lie that forcing big government on such distinct municipalities is efficient.
For the dog walkers of Corktown what should have been a simple use by them of otherwise unusable vacant land has taken years. The silos had to agree among themselves. No big business or special interest wanted Orphan’s Park. Lucky for the Corktowners. It’s not a done deal yet. But Coun. Pam McConnell who has sought to get this land for their use says she’s reasonably certain things will go that way soon.
Not soon enough, of course. Wasn’t that what Mayor David Miller’s campaign broom was all about? It was supposedly sweeping away the obstacles to a government that works for Toronto residents after the Mel Lastman years of amalgamated buffoonery. But an amalgamated dirt pile is too much for any single broom.
Deamalgamation would be good for Downtown residents. You’ve lost much by being blended in with suburbia. Look at the atrocious blue and gray plastic crates on wheels blotting your sidewalks for garbage and recycling. No thought of you in that design. Look at the crappy “street furniture” you’re stuck with. Deamalgamation is a dream, for sure. But with enough will, it can happen.
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