Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Watch your language young man!

John Baird drops the F-bomb on TTC streetcar request
Posted: June 9, 2009, by Shane Dingman

John Baird and Toronto just don't seem to get along. The Spec has a story that details the Conservative Transport Minister muttering curses at Toronto for its $1.6-billion request for economic stimulus cash — as
Alison Hanes wrote on May 1: $1.22-billion for 204 new light-rail vehicles from Bombardier and $345-million for a new car house to store and maintain them. The TTC approved Bombardier as the supplier, all the while noting it needs funding from higher levels of government to place the order by a June 27 deadline.In an unguarded moment in front of some reporters Mr. Baird spoke his mind about the application, which is ineligible for stimulus cash in his view:

"Twenty-seven hundred people got it right. They didn't. That is not a partnership and they're bitching at us," he said."They should f--- off." ...Miller said last night Toronto's proposal fits the federal criteria.

He said his meeting with Baird at the convention was "amicable and frank" and that the minister "didn't say that to me" when asked if Baird used the obscenity.

[Baird] said Toronto's submission is ineligible because it doesn't focus on job creation within the next two years in the 416 area.

Meanwhile, he's being accused of covering up an alleged bid to bury complaints of mismanagement against his beleaguered cabinet colleague,
Lisa Raitt: Baird has been accused of "political interference," in connection with Ms Raitt's former job as head of the Toronto Port Authority. New Democrat MP Olivia Chow yesterday called on the federal Auditor-General to investigate why Mr. Baird increased the membership of the authority's board of directors from seven to nine and allowed Ms. Raitt to run up almost $80,000 in travel and other expenses over two years when the organization was running a deficit. Chris Day, a spokesman for Mr. Baird said many of the concerns raised by Ms. Chow have already been raised publicly, and referred all queries to Mark MacQueen, chairman of the Port Authority.


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