Saturday, September 28, 2013

On consistent rules

Bill Curry reports that many Canadian municipalities are wondering why Rob Ford has access to funding streams not available to anybody else:
Ottawa’s $660-million gift to Toronto for a subway extension will come from a program that does not yet exist, leaving Canada’s other cities confused as to how they can get in on the action.

Mayors and municipal officials scrambled this week to understand the broader implications of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s surprise announcement on Monday that Ottawa would help finance a subway extension in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough.
Now, the broader implications seem to me to be both obvious and familiar. But for those not previously paying attention: if you are a crony of Stephen Harper's, then Stephen Harper's government will treat you as being above the rules which apply to everybody else.

Of course, in suggesting that municipal leaders govern themselves accordingly, it's also worth pointing out that merit and consistency might well deserve more consideration than they'll ever get under Harper. And so the smartest plan is to ensure that Harper isn't in a position to favour his pals longer than we can avoid.

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