It’s about time.
The City of Toronto has behaved disgracefully during these events, and especially its blowhard, ineffectual mayor, always patting himself on the back for caring about cities.
The affected residents for the last week have been treated by this City very much the way residents of New Orleans were treated after Hurricane Katrina.
Imagine, after the shock and fright of the explosions in the night and evacuation, finding that a horrible noxious substance like asbestos is all over your street and yard and the roof of your house.
And imagine watching the City bring in high-tech clean-up – with bubble suits – for their own property in the area, yet the City offers no help to you but the weasel words of politicians and consultants.
Oh, a little asbestos won’t hurt you! You can even eat the stuff!
What in God’s name were the residents to do? Each one individually order high-tech clean-up?
Just from a practical point of view, that makes no sense. Wind and rain, which we’ve had almost every day, spread material like asbestos. Windows left open in the rush to leave bring it into the house.
The City’s clean-up of its own property – surely so offensive when all the residents got was blubbering and excuses – was dumb and useless. The material all has to be cleaned at the same time.
When a truck of hazardous material crashes on the highway or on a street in the City, it is always a first priority to clean it up quickly. The City doesn’t tell drivers it won’t harm them and maybe some other level of government should pay for the clean-up and just leave them hanging.
But that is exactly what was done here by cowardly, responsibility-shifting politicians.
Good Lord, this event was potentially the greatest disaster since Toronto’s Great Fire, and Mayor Miller was on vacation and remained there. His proxy, as well as other politicians, acted like limp-wristed, excuse-making members of the Board of Education following a murder in a school, rather than someone charged with getting things done and immediately keeping the City working.
I do hope the residents sue the City and everyone responsible for this fiasco. They pay their taxes – high taxes – and got ignored when they truly needed help. They didn’t make the decisions to put this inappropriate facility in their neighborhood. They didn’t approve a structure with asbestos for a facility handling explosive material.
The only hero in this grim tale is Firefighter Leek, a genuine hero. We need a street named for him.
I suggest a bronze monument with him bravely striving while a background group of pathetic politicians sit calmly, pointing fingers at one another.