Connect with us

Anglais

Doug Ford rewrote the rules, now he wants to redraw Ontario’s borders

Published

on

[ad_1]

There’s nothing wrong with right-sizing local government.

Provided it’s done right. In good faith and with good sense.

A sweeping review of grassroots governance, announced by Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives this week, aims for better services and greater efficiencies. Admirable goals — as long as the goalposts aren’t pushed back, and there’s a level playing field at the local level.

Our inherited hodgepodge of municipal boundaries and services is surely not sacrosanct. Regional government is long overdue for a rethink, given that its roots go back half a century.

But let’s not be naive about the potential to make municipal matters worse in search of ephemeral savings. And let’s not forget Doug Ford’s penchant for issuing edicts from on high about governments at ground level.

Has Ford learned any lessons from the political, legal and constitutional battle that erupted, paralyzing Queen’s Park and sapping his credibility? Have his supine cabinet ministers, who defended the indefensible, stiffened their spines?

The premier not only rewrote Toronto’s boundaries unilaterally, he is redrawing the Greenbelt willy-nilly. He has rewritten the rules for election fundraising, and reinvented cronyism by hiring his pal as OPP chief.

Now, a premier who doesn’t respect boundaries wants to redraw them.

Restructuring local democracy requires consultation, because governance is about process as much as substance. And amalgamation without approval is an abuse of process.

Many in the old City of Toronto remain bitter to this day about the amalgamation forced upon them with outlying boroughs to create a megacity in 1997. The promised savings didn’t materialize, even if service efficiencies did, but the political wounds still haven’t healed.

Notwithstanding Ford’s blind spots, he will rely on the eyes and ears of two long-time public servants with impressive credentials: Michael Fenn was a career bureaucrat who headed Metrolinx; Ken Seiling chaired Waterloo Region for decades.

But they have been relegated to the role of “special advisers,” not empowered as commissioners heading their own independent probe. They have promised to speak truth to power, but they will wield none of their own — not even a platform from which to issue a public report that speaks for itself.

While it’s true that elected governments always have the final say in any event, in this case only one level of government will prevail if the premier does as he pleases. In which case it will fall to Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Clark to stand up for democratic principles and good governance.

At age 22, Clark served as Canada’s youngest mayor in Brockville. At age 58, is he now ready to exercise his own good judgment and assert his ministerial authority?

When right-sizing municipalities, will the mayor-turned-minister do the right thing?

There will be no shortage of good arguments and ferocious disagreements over the best fit for local governments. There will not only be a push for amalgamation but a pitch for separation.

Should Mississauga separate from Peel Region, as Mayor Bonnie Crombie hopes? How will the sprawling regional municipalities of Halton, Durham and York emerge? Will Brampton be given short shrift merely because of Ford’s petty rivalry with Mayor Patrick Brown, whom he succeeded last year as PC leader?

This will not merely be an exercise in redrawing the municipal map, but an opportunity for Ford to draft his own political roadmap. What are his motives, what of his grudges?

The legacy of Toronto’s amalgamation — which made sense on so many levels — is that melding disparate political cultures is more art than science. It’s easy to imagine even greater divergences in other regions of the province.

How exactly will the promised consultations take place? Will they be limited to perfunctory online input, like the government’s outreach on sex education? Will the province merely mediate between rival political camps, or seek input from affected voters, perhaps relying on referenda to resolve disagreements?

Municipalities are creatures of the province, owing their existence and boundaries entirely to Queen’s Park. But they should not be manipulated like pieces on a chess board, nor their people treated like pawns.

Martin Regg Cohn is a columnist based in Toronto covering Ontario politics. Follow him on Twitter: @reggcohn

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Anglais

‘Business as usual’ for Dorel Industries after terminating go-private deal

Published

on

By

MONTREAL — Dorel Industries Inc. says it will continue to pursue its business strategy going forward after terminating an agreement to go private after discussions with shareholders.

« Moving ahead. Business as usual, » a spokesman for the company said in an email on Monday.

A group led by Cerberus Capital Management had previously agreed to buy outstanding shares of Dorel for $16 apiece, except for shares owned by the family that controls the company’s multiple-voting shares.

But Dorel chief executive Martin Schwartz said the Montreal-based maker of car seats, strollers, bicycles and home furniture pulled the plug on a deal on the eve of Tuesday’s special meeting after reviewing votes from shareholders.

“Independent shareholders have clearly expressed their confidence in Dorel’s future and the greater potential for Dorel as a public entity, » he said in a news release.

Dorel’s board of directors, with Martin Schwartz, Alan Schwartz, Jeffrey Schwartz and Jeff Segel recused, unanimously approved the deal’s termination upon the recommendation of a special committee.

The transaction required approval by two-thirds of the votes cast, and more than 50 per cent of the votes cast by non-family shareholders.

Schwartz said enhancing shareholder value remains a top priority while it stays focused on growing its brands, which include Schwinn and Mongoose bikes, Safety 1st-brand car seats and DHP Furniture.

Dorel said the move to end the go-private deal was mutual, despite the funds’ increased purchase price offer earlier this year.

It said there is no break fee applicable in this case.

Montreal-based investment firm Letko, Brosseau & Associates Inc. and San Diego’s Brandes Investment Partners LP, which together control more than 19 per cent of Dorel’s outstanding class B subordinate shares voiced their opposition to the amended offer, which was increased from the initial Nov. 2 offer of $14.50 per share.

« We believe that several minority shareholders shared our opinion, » said Letko vice-president Stephane Lebrun, during a phone interview.

« We are confident of the long-term potential of the company and we have confidence in the managers in place.”

Continue Reading

Anglais

Pandemic funds helping Montreal businesses build for a better tomorrow

Published

on

By

Many entrepreneurs have had to tap into government loans during the pandemic, at first just to survive, but now some are using the money to better prepare their businesses for the post-COVID future.

One of those businesses is Del Friscos, a popular family restaurant in Dollard-des-Ormeaux that, like many Montreal-area restaurants, has had to adapt from a sit-down establishment to one that takes orders online for takeout or delivery.

“It was hard going from totally in-house seating,” said Del Friscos co-owner Terry Konstas. “We didn’t have an in-house delivery system, which we quickly added. There were so many of our employees that were laid off that wanted to work so we adapted to a delivery system and added platforms like Uber and DoorDash.”

Helping them through the transition were emergency grants and low-interest loans from the federal and provincial governments, some of which are directly administered by PME MTL, a non-profit business-development organization established to assist the island’s small and medium-sized businesses.

Konstas said he had never even heard of PME MTL until a customer told him about them and when he got in touch, he discovered there were many government programs available to help his business get through the downturn and build for the future. “They’ve been very helpful right from day one,” said Konstas.

“We used some of the funds to catch up on our suppliers and our rents, the part that wasn’t covered from the federal side, and we used some of it for our new virtual concepts,” he said, referring to a virtual kitchen model which the restaurant has since adopted.

The virtual kitchen lets them create completely different menu items from the casual American Italian dishes that Del Friscos is known for and market them under different restaurant brand names. Under the Prasinó Soup & Salad banner, they sell healthy Greek options and their Stallone’s Sub Shop brand offers hearty sandwiches, yet the food from both is created in the same Del Friscos kitchen.

Continue Reading

Anglais

Downtown Montreal office, retail vacancies continue to rise

Published

on

By

Some of downtown Montreal’s key economic indicators are heading in the wrong direction.

Office and retail vacancies in the city’s central core continued to climb in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to a quarterly report released Thursday by the Urban Development Institute of Quebec and the Montréal Centre-Ville merchants association. The report, whose first edition was published in October, aims to paint a socio-economic picture of the downtown area.

The survey also found office space available for sublet had increased during the fourth quarter, which may foreshadow even more vacancies when leases expire. On the residential front, condo sales fell as new listings soared — a sign that the downtown area may be losing some of its appeal to homeowners.

“It’s impossible not to be preoccupied by the rapid increase in office vacancies,” Jean-Marc Fournier, the former Quebec politician who now heads the UDI, said Thursday in an interview.

Still, with COVID-19 vaccinations set to accelerate in the coming months, “the economic picture is bound to improve,” he said. “People will start returning downtown. It’s much too early to say the office market is going to disappear.”

Public health measures implemented since the start of the pandemic almost a year ago — such as caps on office capacity — have deprived downtown Montreal of more than 500,000 workers and students. A mere 4,163 university and CEGEP students attended in-person classes in the second quarter, the most recent period for which figures are available. Border closures and travel restrictions have also brought tourism to a standstill, hurting hotels and thousands of local businesses.

Seventy per cent of downtown workers carried out their professional activities at home more than three days a week during the fourth quarter, the report said, citing an online survey of 1,000 Montreal-area residents conducted last month.

Continue Reading

Chat

Affaires1 jour ago

Prudence avec le passeport vaccinal

Affaires1 jour ago

Le secteur touristique autochtone s’attendait à beaucoup plus du budget fédéral

Affaires1 jour ago

La fintech canadienne Mogo ajoute 146 autres Ethereum à son portefeuille de crypto

Affaires1 jour ago

Les entreprises canadiennes estiment que l’épuisement professionnel nuira au résultat net des entreprises cette année, selon une nouvelle étude de Sage au Canada

Affaires1 jour ago

Chaire de recherche du Canada sur les matériaux de construction multifonctionnels durables

Affaires1 jour ago

Les Canadiens seront vaccinés

Affaires1 jour ago

Samsung Canada et Tim Hortons poursuivent la transformation numérique des services au volant en prévoyant la mise en place de 2 600 écrans extérieurs dans tout le Canada d’ici la fin de 2021.

Affaires1 jour ago

Le Canada mise sur le nucléaire pour réduire les GES

Affaires1 jour ago

Les mesures sanitaires font reculer les ventes de Tim Hortons

Affaires1 jour ago

L’Université de Montréal a caché un laboratoire nucléaire pendant la guerre

Affaires1 jour ago

Économie : les postes vacants coûtent 8 M $ par jour au secteur de la transformation alimentaire

Opinions1 jour ago

J’ai peur du projet de loi 59

Opinions1 jour ago

La protection de nos enfants, c’est aussi l’affaire du municipal

Opinions1 jour ago

Crise du logement : le Parti libéral du Québec en mode solutions

Opinions1 jour ago

Des témoins condamnent le comportement de certains députés envers elles

Opinions1 jour ago

Québec solidaire demande à ses membres de se prononcer sur une faction du parti

Opinions1 jour ago

Chevaliers de la «libarté»

Opinions1 jour ago

Se taire ou faire usage de sa liberté d’expression citoyenne?

Opinions1 jour ago

Contrer les féminicides: de la considération à la préoccupation!

Actualités3 jours ago

Des normes pour l’industrie de l’ÉPI demandées

Anglais2 années ago

Body found after downtown Lethbridge apartment building fire, police investigating – Lethbridge

Styles De Vie3 années ago

Salon du chocolat 2018: les 5 temps forts

Anglais2 années ago

This B.C. woman’s recipe is one of the most popular of all time — and the story behind it is bananas

Santé Et Nutrition3 années ago

Gluten-Free Muffins

Anglais2 années ago

27 CP Rail cars derail near Lake Louise, Alta.

Anglais2 années ago

Man facing eviction from family home on Toronto Islands gets reprieve — for now

Santé Et Nutrition2 années ago

We Try Kin Euphorics and How to REALLY Get the Glow | Healthyish

Anglais2 années ago

Ontario’s Tories hope Ryan Gosling video will keep supporters from breaking up with the party

Anglais2 années ago

A photo taken on Toronto’s Corso Italia 49 years ago became a family legend. No one saw it — until now

Anglais3 années ago

Condo developer Thomas Liu — who collected millions but hasn’t built anything — loses court fight with Town of Ajax

Styles De Vie3 années ago

Renaud Capuçon, rédacteur en chef du Figaroscope

Anglais2 années ago

This couple shares a 335-square-foot micro condo on Queen St. — and loves it

Mode2 années ago

Paris : chez Cécile Roederer co-fondatrice de Smallable

Anglais2 années ago

Ontario Tories argue Trudeau’s carbon plan is ‘unconstitutional’

Styles De Vie2 années ago

Ford Ranger Raptor, le pick-up roule des mécaniques

Affaires2 années ago

Le Forex devient de plus en plus accessible aux débutants

Anglais2 années ago

100 years later, Montreal’s Black Watch regiment returns to Wallers, France

Technologie2 années ago

YouTube recommande de la pornographie juvénile, allègue un internaute

Anglais2 années ago

Trudeau government would reject Jason Kenney, taxpayers group in carbon tax court fight

Anglais2 années ago

Province’s push for private funding, additional stops puts Scarborough subway at risk of delays

Trending