2017-06-04 Sun

Toronto’s UPExpress

Still and all The Toronto Star has gutsy Reporters who probe and annoy until they get SOME figures. And good for them. Remember, “Management Measures”, and if you aren’t measuring, then you aren’t managing.

By this dictum the Toronto Star is managing Metrolinx and the UPExpress.

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Over ten years ago potential users of the Airport Express were tagged as “Elites”, and now we see that the Province in its Infinite Wisdom(1) is handing out a twenty-dollar bill to all those people who use the UPExpress. Halving the original fares wasn’t enough. Now people have to be bribed to Take The Train.

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I am not against subsidies. The Toronto Transit Commission subsidy might be considered high by international standards.

Me, I’m all for Fully-Funded Public Transit(2). But that’s another story, one that makes sense all the way around.

I leave it to you to complete the phrase “Infinitely …”

Please note “Fully Funded” is the opposite of “Free”.


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I had reason to be in Mount Sinai Hospital a week ago. A regular Ultra-Sound scan of my stomach organs and various other internal examinations. All part of my initialization into health-care for the next twenty years.

I was early and the staff were at lunch so I sat in a chair in the corridor and gazed down the length of another corridor. All glisteningly clean as we expect it to be, all coated with air-borne bacteria, as we should expect it to be.

Most bacteria are beneficial to us; very few are harmful.

Still and all I was taken back to my childhood. I spent six months in hospital when I was young, and not until I was in my Forties was I able to voluntarily enter a hospital by myself to visit a friend or acquaintance.

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I voluntarily filled out a form that asked me for my nationality, race, language and sexual orientation.

The form was voluntary and required no identification. (I’m assuming that once I handed the form in the receptionist didn’t scribble “Greaves” on the top or the back!)

I found this odd.

I can understand a hospital wanting to know more about the demographics of those they serve, but unless the form is mandatory, your figures are going to be skewed. After al, were I an Aboriginal lesbian, I might be reluctant to say so. I might complete the form and say I was from the Philippines and I was “straight” as the expression goes.

Directly: When asked my nationality I generally respond “Australian”, for that is where I was raised, and that is what formed my ideas. I do not normally respond “English” (where I was born) or “Canadian” (where I took out citizenship to gain a passport that saves me an hour each time I leave Canada by car!). I don’t think of myself as “English” at all.