As the Toronto Civic Worker strike continues past the one month mark, Toronto residents are passed fed up. Not only are they angry with the striking union workers but with the Mayor and the Premier as well. The cause for such anger is due to the fact that the Mayor and the Premier have so far been seen to be twiddling their thumbs while life in the City has been disrupted especially in relation to garbage or city-run child care services and programs. In addition to that is the fact that temporary dump sites are quite close to residential property, some as little as 40 meters from residents’ properties. While the Mayor and the Waste Management manager claims that these sites aren’t a public health risk, the chemicals that they are spraying to reduce the amount of odor, the rotting garbage, and God knows what else is in those bags of trash, in addition to the heavy rain in the last few days, are increasing the risk of each of these sites becoming both public health risks and a danger to the local environment.
What anger the large majority of residents the most, other than the temporary dump sites, is the fact that the City continues to collect property taxes and the quasi-tax that is the garbage fees, even though the large majority of services have been disrupted and are currently not operational. The City and the Mayor have been reluctant to say whether or nor a portion or all of this month’s property taxes and/or the garbage fees will be refunded. Seeing how the Mayor has dealt with the situation so far and how he has mismanaged the city since 2003, the mostly likely outcome will be no refund.
As for the children who are off from school for the summer holidays, their summer could be described as partially ruined as many of the parks sink due to the trash, city-run programs are closed, community centres and city-run swimming pools are closed, and there are no ferries to the Islands: therefore no access to Centreville. (Centreville stated that they were planning to charter private ferries, but the move was blocked by the Union. As well, there wouldn’t be an access problem if the Island Airport bridge had been built)
If this strike continues, the economic situation of this City will worsen. Both the Mayor and the Union need to make concessions (i.e. A pay deduction for the Mayor and the Councillors in exchange for a change to the sick day policy) or the Premier needs to stop twiddling his thumbs and legislate the civic workers back to work. If this doesn’t happen, Toronto will just sink lower than it already is.