Zero Tolerance… Not for Ford Nation

The year was 2009. A series of violent incidents on the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) resulted in a private members bill in Parliament calling for a “zero-tolerance” law for violence on the TTC. (City News, 2009) The move was recognized as being popular but unsure of passage: in spite of the variety of violent occurrences on the subway at different times (Toronto Star, 2011). As of 2009 the organization was at least able to establish “the TTC’s zero tolerance of assaults against its Operators” (TTC, 2009; Nakanishi & Fleming, 2011).

So then why, in October, when one of the mayor’s top aides (director of “logistics”, whatever that is) (who was strangely also the mayor’s football coach in high school) did David Price only receive a “warning” for “several incidents” (that were apparently back in August?) “in which a transit employee was berated and a door to the station was damaged.” (Toronto Star, 2013; James Hamilton, 2013) That sounds unmistakably like violence to me: and the repeated nature of the problem is truly a concern. Then again, not for anyone so closely associated with Ford Nation. Must be nice to have friends in high places.

Anyone else (or should I say, any “average” working person) would be fined, jailed or refused subsequent service. That’s what zero-tolerance means. We see signs for it all over the subways and buses, warning what will happen if we “assault” a TTC worker, verbally or physically. But those of Ford Nation (or at least those of the inner circle of the Ford Nation) appear to have a special elasticity, a special capacity to do anything they wish. From abusing TTC workers and public servants to ranting uncontrollably and smoking crack cocaine.

Embarrassment doesn’t seem to be enough. Mr. Price certainly looks embarrassed here: was that discipline enough? It would seem too early to tell; it would seem he hasn’t missed his train in the last few weeks. But considering his past behaviour, and under the stress that the inner Ford clique is under this last couple of weeks, I hope he doesn’t miss his train again. But shouldn’t someone who makes 130K a year be able to deal with a little stress? We might have to forgive him for more than just yelling at a GO-station attendee. Just like Rob Ford.

Note: I did determine what the “director of logistics” refers to. “The former high school football coach and longtime family friend of the Fords was hired by the mayor in April and given an estimated $130,000-a-year salary. His job currently entails monitoring how efficient the office is in responding to emails.” (Toronto Star, 2013) Ah. That sounds like a job worth having. 130K for monitoring what every organization I’ve been involved with has done effectively (and efficiently) as part of their jobs. That seems a good example of Ford’s Fiscal Responsibility. Sounds to me like that gravy has moved around a bit, eh Rob?

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