If you find yourself staring down the long tunnel of the next four (or should I say Ford?) years, wondering if the new cityscape will be r ight for you, we are here to help (a little). Short of a crystal ball, tarot cards, or a fifth sense (can’t sm ell), we cannot tell you Toronto’s future. So here’s a primer on some of the promises Rob Ford has made to you and we’ll leave it to you to keep track of their fulfillment.

Education
This one is easy because there isn’t much. We know that Rob Ford is the coach of a high school football team but otherwise his interest in education is flagged. His campaign platform includes a provision to increase the number of School Resource Officers (Toronto Police’s hallway monitors) to thirty. But since universities are provincial and federal matters primarily, Rob Ford doesn’t need to care about them. So don’t get your hopes up about cuts to tuition fees.

TTC
If you’re like the thousands of U of T students that rely on transit to get them to class before that ten-after deadline, you may be biting your nails right now. The Transit City Plan, which favours streetcars, is on the chopping block with an ambitious plan for subways instead. So, if you live between Downsview and Scarborough Town Centre, you can expect some construction in your neighbourhood. You’ll probably have graduated by the time this is finished (2015). In the meantime, you can enjoy taking the bus to the library for a quiet place to study.

Unions
While it’s hard to privatize a union with “public” in the title, as in CUPE (the Canadian Union of Public Employees), the one that represents huge portions of the U of T community, there are still plenty of teamsters to smash. Ford intends to make the TTC an essential service (which means no strikes), and to privatize city garbage collection so we don’t get a repeat of last summer’s stinky strike.

Bikes
At a city council meeting in 2007, Ford said this: “I compare bike lanes to swimming with the sharks. Sooner or later you’re gonna get bitten.... My heart bleeds for them when someone gets killed. But it’s their own fault at the end of the day.” And heck, as his transit plan says, “it’s time we faced the facts. Cars aren’t going away.” But, evidently, neither are bikes. So Rob Ford has a solution: put the bikes out to pasture. Who would want to cram into the dust and tumult of the city streets when she could breathe in fresh air while zip-zipping across the city on 100km of new off-road bike trails? So what if there’s no greenspace between your house and the campus! You can walk your bike safely along the sidewalk so as not to congest the roads with your excessive three-dimensionality.

Additional Info

  • Subtitle: Hart House housed one of the polling stations where students performed their civic duty this past week.
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