Case of the vanishing gravy train … Has the Tory Toronto revival hit a bump in the road already?Jul 13th, 2011 | By Dominic Berry | Category: In Brief
I have vast respect for Bob Hepburn at the Toronto Star. But I was sceptical about his argument two weeks ago in “Ford honeymoon ends with Pride snub.” Yet by the time former TTC chief general manager Michael Warren reported on “Ford Nation’s grim future” — in the same newspaper just one week ago — some trend of the sort Hepburn alluded to was clearer.
The definitive news arrived this week, when “after weeks of intense study of city public-works operations, one of the world’s top consultancies failed to identify a single spoonful of gravy” — the kind of thing that new Mayor Rob Ford claimed there was bowls and bowls and bowls of during last fall’s election campaign in Canada’s current largest and most despised big city. The ostensibly more conservative Marcus Gee in the Globe and Mail went on: “The easy and obvious cuts that Mr. Ford talked about are simply not to be had. The report presents city council with a menu of tough choices.”
Very early this morning even Chris Selley at the National Post felt obliged to report that: “Rob Ford’s campaign narrative was almost out of gas heading into this week. And judging by the first two instalments of a spending review meant to find ways for Toronto to solve a massive budget shortfall, this car is almost ready for the scrap yard. … Mr. Ford swore that the core services review reports, prepared by the firm KPMG, would find ‘at least $50 million or $100-million’ in savings … Yet they largely vindicate his opponents’ stance … Most of what the city does is either essential, provincially mandated or both … And those services are delivered pretty decently …”
It is still too early to guess at what all this might mean for even the mid-term future of Mr. Ford’s own career — to say nothing, eg, of the Ontario provincial election this coming October 6. (Although the Toronto Sun is now reporting on how the once more cautious McGuinty provincial government is attacking the vanishing gravy train show at the capital city hall: see, eg: “Ford to blame for T.O.’s transit woes: Province.”) If you nonetheless want to ponder the subject at somewhat greater length, the counterweights editors have posted a new entry in their “Streetcar Named Rob Ford” department: “Wednesday 13 July 2011 : Now we’re starting to see what the Ford royal family is really all about!.”