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Did Miller's Wasted Time lead to More Waste?


David Miller won the 2003 mayoral race for his stance on Toronto Island's unneeded (and expensive) airport expansion. Our leader-to-be felt our tax dollars could be diverted to more important areas.

However with a looming garbage strike where relations between workers and management have changed little since 2002, how has Miller been spending another important resource? His time.

He had almost two years to make a stink about these issues, but with a Friday July 8, 12:01 a.m. deadline he's left with less than two days. (Other issues include wages, seniority rights, pension matters and layoff and re-call provisions.)

Plus, you'd think when the contract expired for the 6,000 members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Local 416, last December, drawing up a new agreement might have been penciled into Miller's new 2005 agenda.

It seems the fresh start Miller promised landed us in the same mishmash that tarnished the city during the last garbage strike in 2002 -- leaving us with a mess that could turn our parks into trash depots again.

According to various news sources, that strike lasted somewhere between 15 to 16 days. The provincial government stepped in and ordered workers to end the walkout. An impasse which could have been motivated by World Youth Day 2002. However, what's the motivation here?

Maybe I'm being too hard on Miller. After all he has been busying himself by branding the city with the new Toronto Unlimited campaign. (Just what this city needs after the omnipresent 2005 Nike RunTO campaign, another logo.)

Plus, he did roll up his sleeves to pick up trash on Earth Day during the second annual 20-minute Toronto Makeover. (A band-aid solution to what might become a deep and festering problem in a couple of days.)

And I can't forget about City Council's Five Point Clean and Beautiful City Action Plan. The five points are Sweep It, Design It, Grow It, Build It and Celebrate It. Maybe I can suggest a new point to Miller borrowed from another advertising campaign: if you have stay up around the clock for the next two days to clean up this mess, "Just Do It."


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