Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Toronto " A Citizen's View. "


The value of Inter - City Cultural Communications.

Inter - City Cultural Communications is abased on how the available resources of communications can be sucessfully applied to achieve both National and International understanding between peoples.

In this, the usage of the internet as specific usage as applied to achieve' in ' the correct implementation of the language used...English, and multi languages, as well as the computer-website techniques of keywords, meta tags, and visual language of graphic designs as language modifiers.

In this the usage of blogs, the highest in both user numbers and combined hits, are critical in the aspects of availbale usable resources.

Sample: Toronto NightLife

Toronto is many things to many peoples. Thus in his 2006 essay Grant Schuyler wrote this online.

" I came to Toronto in September 1967 to become an undergraduate at the University of Toronto. I thought I would finish university, then move on to London or Paris or New York.
I'm still in Toronto. I've only been away for one year since 1967.

Of course, I used to go home to Milton, Ontario, on the weekends, to work in my father's Canadian Tire store, and in summers, to earn money for tuition. But that all ended years ago.
Now I live and work here. I've owned two houses here. It's beginning to look like I'm staying.
I really would like to graduate. I'd like to go to some bigger, more open and powerful place, a place where people speak exotic languages, have bizarre skin coloring and religions, follow strange customs, dress with colour and flair . . . A City of the Big Shoulders, a Big Apple. A place where I could rub shoulders with the World-Famous and the Great.
But -- I have to admit -- Toronto has been Good Enough. It really is an extraordinary place. The weird and exotic people I want to mingle with have, well, come here. Toronto is actually, well . . . um, pretty good. (According to Welsh travel writer Jan Morris, Toronto is "a second-prize in the Lottario of life.")

In the 1960s Toronto was growing by 50,000 people a year. Fortune magazine saluted it as The City That Works; this was in contrast to American cities, which were felt not to be working. Toronto visibly pulled past Montreal in the race of Canadian cities, and became an international city.

Toronto, which in the 1950s was still a very British sort of place, took in people of all colours and places. A raft of Italians. Thousands of Hungarians. Jamaicans, Trinidadians, and other dark-skinned people from the Caribbean. Ukrainians. Greeks, Poles, Portugeuse. South Americans.
In the 1980s it began taking in Tamil refugees. Then Chinese, especially from Hong Kong. Then Arabs, and Islamic people from everywhere in the Islamic world. Then Pakistanis and Africans.
The immigrants brought their food, their customs, their colourful clothing, their exotic skin colours, and their money. They created a multicultural metropolis out of a stuffy little city.
But in the 1990s a great deal of federal money came to American cities from the federal government; American downtowns greatly improved. City after city in America cleaned up and modernized its downtown core, and improved its situation with its underclass.

Now . . . it seems to be Toronto's turn to be struggling.
The city (4,750,000 people now in the Greater Toronto Area or GTA) is noticeably more dirty. City traffic is much heavier. It seems to be getting heavier still. The infrastructure is declining. Streets have often become potholed. The Toronto Transit Commission needs money to overhaul and replace the city's buses and to run subways on the lines the province has insisted it build. The public transit system is somewhat decaying, and threatens to become much worse unless Something Is Done Soon.

What caused this situation?

In 1995 a Progressive Conservative government came into power in Ontario. Under Mike Harris, a former teacher turned golf pro, Ontarians were promised a Common Sense Revolution. Ontario's deficit would be eliminated. Welfare bums would be forced to work. Private sector jobs would be created. Unnecessary government would be eliminated. Taxes would be cut.
The inspiration for this winning strategy was probably similar Republican party campaigns in the United States, particularly one a few years earlier in New Jersey.
The Conservatives laboured to carry out their vision. They slashed welfare benefits by 20%. They set up a commission to recommend which acute-care hospitals to close. (The advent of non-surgical treatment methods has meant a slashing of hospital beds everywhere in North America.) They downsized a great many nurses. They forced many town and local governments to amalgamate, including the governments of the cities and borough in Metropolitan Toronto, which they forced into one city government with half as many councillors. They took over some responsibilities from the cities, and thrust others on them. They attempted to set up a workfare scheme. They downsized the civil service by about 20%. They downsized the Department of the Environment by about 40%. They dumped many smaller highways on county governments, and confusingly changed highway numbers. They eliminated photo radar traffic enforcement. They forbade Toronto to raise commercial taxes. They gave every taxpayer $200.
What were the results?

The number of people on welfare declined. Some got jobs. The rest coped with less money.

The number of homeless continually increased.

As was widely predicted by numerous North American studies, the forced amalgamation of governments into larger governments failed, on balance, to save money. It cost a great deal to merge the governments. The savings from reduced duplication of bureaucrats was swallowed up by confusion and by having to gradually increase salaries of municipal workers to the highest level that had previously prevailed in any of the merged municipalities.

The rebalancing of responsibilities forced by the province ended up -- overall -- downloading more expensive responsibilities onto the cities. This was great for the province's budget; but bad for the budgets of the cities, which, under Ontario's system of taxation, have only the property tax to generate revenue. The cities staggered under the impact of downloading. They begged the province for help.

The end of provincial funds for social housing and the downloading of the responsibility for social housing to the municipalities caused the cities to have no money for social housing. Rents on apartments soared. More people became homeless. Existing social housing went unrepaired. A tent city of 50 or so people formed on empty land near Cherry Street and Lakeshore Boulevard in Toronto. The Christian Science Monitor published a story about this development in a January, 2002 issue.

The province's vaunted workfare scheme seemed quietly to fail.
Hospital emergency wards jammed up. Times in ambulances increased as ambulances strove to find hospitals that could take their human cargo. AIDS patients claimed that treatment became poorer with the closing of the Wellesley Hospital. The province belatedly discovered that it needed more nurses, and it scrambled to rehire nurses that they had previously downsized. Many had left the province or withdrawn from nursing.
But the event that torpedoed the Conservative government was a water pollution scandal in the town of Walkerton, Ontario.

The Conservatives had reduced the environment ministry staff by 40%. They had privatized water testing. In their haste to chop costs and regulations, they did not require anyone to report polluted water. That regulation fell between the cracks . . .
Meanwhile the water supply of the town of Walkerton (which, incidentally, had been forced to amalgamate into a larger structure, the new Town of Brockton) was controlled by a group of drunken and nepotistic amateur plumbers with high school educations. These had never been required to qualify for their positions. They knew nothing about pollution or water quality. In all the years they had held their jobs, they had not bothered to learn about how to make water safe. No one required them to know.

Meanwhile, the Ontario government had relaxed regulations about the use of fertilizer (the solid part of which -- cowshit -- is now euphemistically labelled "biosolids" by a conspiracy of North American chemical companies) on agricultural land. Near Walkerton, cows pooped on the fields. Very rainy weather occurred. The poop went into several wells.
Well over 2000 residents of Walkerton became deathly ill with e. coli pollution and were hospitalized. Two died. For several days the idiot Koebel brothers, in charge of the water department of Walkerton, lied about what was going on to the mayor and frantically inquiring doctors.

Finally, Stan Koebel admitted the truth. The scandal blew open. The provincial government was forced to call an inquiry. The premier, Mike Harris, was forced to testify in late 2001. The inquiring judge's report blasted the government.
So now we are waiting to find out what will happen. The premier has announced that he will resign, though the resignation is not probably associated with the Walkerton mess. A leadership struggle to replace him is going on in the Ontario Conservative party. Some of the candidates have promised to help Toronto, to an extent, if they are made leader.
A study has now shown that the Toronto area gets less from federal and provincial governments than any comparable city in North America.

The senior governments even get $4 billion per year in taxes more from Toronto than it receives from them. Despite previous assurances from Toronto mayor Mel Lastman that municipal residential taxes will not go up, Toronto residential taxes have increased, and seem certain to go up a good deal more in future.

Toronto's downtown, once vibrant, looks shabbier to my eye than it did in 1990. Almost no big buildings have been built in the city since the recession that began in 1990. No opera house has been built. Harris's budget cuts closed the McLaughlin Planetarium. The Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto (setting of the recent science fiction novel Calculating God by my friend Rob Sawyer), admission to which was free thirty years ago, now costs $20 a person. Nor has (as far as I know) any money yet been promised by either the federal or provincial governments for the maintenance of the Toronto Transit Commission, whose system is slowly falling apart from lack of money for maintenance.

Well, I'm sure we'll get by somehow. Someone or some group will eventually right this boat. But is this any way to run a World-Class City? "

For it was when I was a student activist at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Here I used to take date to this wonderful city, and the young women I took had a good time in lovgely setting. Since then Toronto, as Grant has indicated had change.

Nonetheless, the city stills holds one imagination, and the offerings, whether they be in the quality of restaurants, or theatre, are excellent.

This is continual essay, and I will add other authors in this online thesis.

Additional note:

The present online providers must have misunderstood this, as the view of spam, its present perception, needs to be adjusted for this one reason alone.

In getting ones point accross, a system of links, online partnerships, as well as links which further enhance critical usage of meta tag to content are now absolutely necessary. On the surface, these seems to be spam, but it is the objective usage of the techniques which clear exposes that it is not. This still not clearly understood, and as the internet evolve, the ability to have certain ideas recognize will have to follow an increasing difficult task for other online users to come in contact with inovative usages of the internet, and its available resources.


Mr. Roger M. Christian