Comment 42753

By Mark State (anonymous) | Posted July 06, 2010 at 04:29:36

Find a response to most comments on my earlier reply in the following:

To say that the information is not all in and to commend the police force for restraint while damning the hooligans for causing the need to call up the troops in the first place is not laundering anything. It is merely presenting another side of the story, in which preserving law and order supercedes the right to enact mayhem. In doing so, I also gave the detractors of any positivity of police action (in fact I BEGAN my comment by giving those detractors) at least potential credibility in their condemnation of police actions; a courtesy some of you apparently don't believe in due to your righteous convictions and what seems your (to me, puzzling) desire to make the police bad and wrong for doing riot control. Insinuating that they are not capable of following the rules they are employed to enforce intimates that the reason for a police officer's taking the job is to do otherwise. I think modern-day police employment procedures weed most of those kinds of folks out before they can join the force.

How could I suggest that the Billion dollar price tag was minimum or maximum, correctly applied or wasteful, when I don't know the details of the billing that added up to that figure?

And neither do you.

We can both get all upset by the enormity of the costs; and perhaps we should, because from your point of view it was due to expensive toys and overtime, and resulted in the rounding up and arresting of innocents by an unruly bunch of bullies.

And from my point of view it was completely necessary because both our Toronto and the G20 itself had to be defended against violence and public disorder in the demonstrations, and I resent its necessity.

I only hope (and possibly, so can you) that both the potential and real violence by protesters turns out to have been kept to a minimum due to police action; and the costs will prove justified, along with recommendations about how to do it better next time.

I am on record as being totally against wasting public money. It is and will remain the central component of my Mayoralty campaign. My comments in here do not reflect blanket approval of the expenditure...merely another point of view in which I hope it may be justified. I am also on record as being completely against unlawful acts, especially those of vandalism and violence. There is no room for sympathy regarding those behaviours in my philosophy of governance. Moreover, they infuriate me. Hence, my own truculence. By way of explanation, I am both not appalled by the lawful actions of police pursuing their jobs, and intolerant of excessive violence in that pursuit. I thoroughly expect and have no doubt that every single activity of every single police officer involved in quelling the riots will be put under a microscope to determine whether it was properly or improperly carried out. Naysayers to my approach will claim that the police in protecting 'their own' will not accede to such an investigation. The point may be moot to us, however, because unless some officers committed gross misconduct, you will not find a report about the results of such an investigation (except as perhaps a back-page kind of item) in the media, because it provides no demographic incentives to advertisers.

The expense shocked us because it was so... expensive! We are not yet privy to a breakdown of those costs, including an explanation of their necessity. That knowledge may help reduce the shock somewhat. Nothing like understanding to reduce fear and discomfort.

Either way, it was a horrendous amount of money to spend on security. You blame the spenders, and I blame the cause for the expense.

The rounding up of peaceful protesters along with the bad guys might have been a tactic, as I mentioned, to achieve a particularly useful goal. If I am correct about this, not having done so would have allowed the bad guys hidden amongst the good guys to get away. I'd be against that. In my mind, better to round up a big bunch of people that includes the perpetrators than to let them get away with their unlawful behaviour, then separate the good guys from the bad guys knowing that at the very least, you've got some of them in custody right along with quite possibly some pretty good eye witnesses.

No specific order to ALLOW vandals to destroy the police cars were given as far as I was able to determine in my checking of media reports. My opinion (for what it's worth) is that the police may have been acting in a restrained manner during those incidents in order to achieve other goals, such as holding a line that unfortunately did not cover the lost cruisers. Certainly arrests of as many of those doing the police car damage as could be found closely followed this act of disregard for the city's property and expensive equipment. Did those police cars belong to the police? No. They belong to the taxpayers in Toronto; and it is we who were attacked by their wanton destruction. To their destroyers, they may have been "symbols" of "the establishment". That, to me, is just an example of how far away those doing the damage were removed from reality by a stupid, mob mentality...or by deliberate criminal intent.

I suspect that in the 50's, the expenses for a group of world leaders coming to Toronto would be minimal; and that dangers posed to such a conference (seeing as the 50's predated international agreements against government assassination of other government leaders) would have been restricted to strong intelligence and targeting of specific individuals who might have provided danger to the participants. Isn't that what we were doing this month in an updated sort of way? You must also take into account the gradual disappearance of respect for authority and the diminishment of self-discipline that has occurred since then in determining that fewer police officers would have been required to achieve the same effect.

I don't believe Toronto will be ready for ANY major events, including this one, the upcoming Pan Am games, or an Olympic bid until after we have overhauled our inability to handle traffic flow with any degree of competence. Considering the Pan Am games will be here in a short five years, the overhaul had better get started right away.

Still, in some respects, having the G20 here was a huge gift to the city in terms of publicity. Managed well by the new city government looking forward, that publicity will create income Toronto desperately needs. In that sense, it was a cloud with a solid gold lining. We've always been a world-class city, but since Mayor Mel and his hijinks that kept us in the eye of the world left the scene, we've been diminishing in stature on that level. Now, we're back in the picture and could, with well-managed marketing, stay there awhile.

Truculence is the central theme of all these commentaries. It is being shown by the left in their complaints against what they have determined was unwarranted brutality by police and unwarranted expenditures by government in the security provided by government. Those who are sanguine about the effectiveness of police during the G20 express their truculence regarding the appearance of vandals and hooligans amongst the otherwise peaceful protesters, the violent behaviour that ensued as a direct result, and the forced cost of having to set up a protective service around the conference. I do not blame the left for truculence, merely point out here that it is they who also possess it just now for their own reasons, just as I and others sharing my view possess our own. Upset that recognizes a dynamic difference in approach can be good, because it generates the need for discovering information and achieving order. But upsetness for its own sake is just chaotic: sound and fury, signifying nothing.

When you mention fleecing the public, you have all my attention because --even though saying so makes me a seeming conspiracy theorist-- I think, given the method of expenditure customs and decision making in council and the current state of our financial situation in Toronto, that our current civic government's fiscal irresponsibility in general is a HUGE fleece job on a wide range of fronts. We are not too naive to understand that it is individuals in government who lead the fleecing of the public.

The system of government is not perfect in Canada (or anywhere else, I suppose). We will always find ways in which it may be improved. The old standby is that we get to elect our representatives; but as you have pointed out, that is not always the case, especially with government leaders who are elected by their own parties. John Tory's leadership of the conservative party is an especially good example of this in recent Ontario politics.

In the civic arena, Mayor Mel discovered that he could make up the money not forthcoming from the province, and necessary to support the city's spending when tax increases were suspended if he started practicing deficit financing. By the end of his Mayoralty, we owed lenders $1.3 Billion. By the end of Mayor Miller's term, even though property tax increases are back to normal levels, that will have tripled, and we will also be saddled with double that amount again as we proceed with the course of action he began with regard to new public transit rights of way.

Sometimes it seems (quoting the crows dance number in 'The Wiz' when they were trying to convince the scarecrow that he couldn't get ahead by joining Dorothy and the others [] by forcing him to repeat their credo) that "You can't win, you can't break even, and you can't get out of the game." It's very unsatisfactory to those of us who care deeply for the well-being of our democracy, but the only thing we are allowed to do, for now, is be very careful about who we choose for our leaders by evaluating them as best as we can. Your dialogue about reforming government and the voting procedure will also contribute eventually to change and a more equitable form of governance.

Mark State
2010 Toronto Mayoralty Candidate

Permalink | Context

Events Calendar

There are no upcoming events right now.
Why not post one?

Recent Articles

Article Archives

Blog Archives

Site Tools