Sunday, July 05, 2009

Residents block pesticide trucks

The civic workers strike continues here in Toronto. There are still no winners, only losers. The group Friends of Christie Pits has stepped up its war against the temporary garbage dump in its community, vowing to ignore urgings from Toronto's top public health official that it stop preventing the site from being sprayed for insects.

The neighbourhood has been standing firm, not letting the pesticide trucks in. However, now there is an injunction in place to stop the protesters. Did I mention that everybody loses during this strike?

There is an interesting side issue to this. Here in Toronto, pesticides are banned for use on lawns because of environmental concerns, but the City is telling residents that the nasty chemicals they spray on the temporary dump sites are safe and there are no health risks. Some people who want to spray similar nasty chemicals on their lawns are saying, see, our chemicals must be safe. Yesterday, a friend of ours, noticing the thriving weeds on our back lawn, suggested a trip to Buffalo to get enough pesticide to treat the lawn. I'm not sure if he was serious. I support the pesticide ban. The solution to pests on the temporary dump sites is to end the strike today and clean them up.


tshsmom said...

Good for you!
We have a few weeds sprouting up in our driveway. The weeds drive visitors nuts. They all suggest that we buy some Roundup and spray our driveway. Nope, not gonna do it!
We share our yard with our dog, bunnies, birds, squirrels, and deer. We pull the weeds once a month and that's good enough for us...and other living things.

Candy Minx said...

The city threatening to spray pesticide is a ridiculous transparent attempt to make sure sympathy is not with the people who want to protect their benefits. Like they are so hard one by they have to spray pesticide.

All management have to do in this situation is let the workers keep their 18 days a year sick days. It is so stingy to make a fuss about giving hard workers sick day protection. We all should have it.

mister anchovy said...

Yep, it would be great if we all had that. No doubt. Unfortunately we live in the real world, where even the labour Mayor can't find a way to afford it. Instead they want to spray to keep down the critters that will inevitably spread disease.

This discussion has to get away from us vs them and get to a place where the parties can talk maturely about what is reasonable and affordable and sustainable.

Ultimately the Mayor and the Councillors have had to make choices. They spent a lot of money on silly things like narrowing Lansdowne Ave. and the excessive St. Clair TTC right-of-way, and so on. They just bought a fleet of street cars they don't have the money for.

Candy Minx said...

I think suggesting that "no one wins" or "everyone loses" keeps the issue as a contest. It sets the tone as one of "us vs. them". It sets the situation as a negative...instead of it being a challenge we can find the answers for.

I believe the workers who do the actual work should not be the issue. Lets see what we feel about the CEOs, the managers etc. Lets reduce their benefits and analyse their costs to the city. It's not "us vs. them" because the city really doesn't need "them". It needs the workers. We could dissolve so many upper level jobs and the city will be fine. Erase the workers and people complain about garbage.

This is the real world I'm talking about.

The pests and garbage is only two weeks old. It's not even remotely near being a dangerous situation yet. It's just garbage and rodents and bugs.

The answers are easy to the situations you mention. Higher taxes!

Carbon tax and road usage tolls could be implemented and that would pay for the street cars.

Bankable sick days are an incredible reward system. So many companies have issues about people cheating with fake sick days. In protecting those sick days as bankable...the people who do not take sick days SHOULD be rewarded at retirement. In a way it is a service bonus.

Toronto is broke because of Mike Harris. I'm not saying Miller hasn't made mistakes...because he has...but at least he's refusing a raise. All the city councilors should not take the raises they have just gotten. Thats outrageous.McGinty hasn't done anything to imporve the financial situation that Harris made.

City hall could also make huge cutbacks. Donate most desktop computers to neighbourhood kids projects and use their lap tops in coffee shops.

A couple of years ago 200 jobs were cut in the libraries in Toronto. Is this something to be proud of? No. And now, under the guise of a recession right wingers are hoping to undermine workers hard earned benefits.

As a user of public transit, you know I disagree with you about the TTC right of ways.

Cutting jobs and city budgets is not the way to support a vibrant city. We should be spending more on our cities and keeping more jobs....not going backwards.

We need to have more taxes to support the services and maintain wages that can feed families.

We should be creating more jobs in Toronto...not lowering the standards of benefits and mking cuts.

Spend spend spend...making jbobs that pay for people to have wonderful lives.

Tax tax tax.


THAT is real world thinking.