If you are watching the Rob Ford story with Winnipeg eye balls, you’re asking yourself the question – “if this was hockey and we could trade our mayor for their mayor straight up, who would be getting the better deal?” Would Winnipeg be trading up or down? Yes I know the mayor of Winnipeg doesn’t have a drinking problem, doesn’t have a crack cocaine problem. So what’s the problem. Problem is this. How come the dude in Toronto who sweats and slurs and looks like he’s gone sideways on most days, how come he’s running a ship that’s tighter than a mosquito’s butt? How come he’s NOT raising taxes or fees or hiring people unfit to preside over the building of Fire Halls, Police Stations, Football Stadiums with cost overruns in the mega-millions, creating the need to turn hundreds of cops into Tax Collectors and buying as many automated cameras to ding as many people as possible for 300 dollar plus tickets, all in the name of public safety of course, when really all of the above is about public profligacy, public incompetence and possibly public corruption.
Last night the story became a new developers tax – no not on the developers, but on the poor rubes who want to buy new homes in new developments. It may be five thousand extra, It may be 10. It may be 12 thousand extra to buy a new home in a new development and if this goes through, who knows what the fee will be five years from now or 10 years from now. We just know it will be larger not smaller. Just like property tax bills are now larger not smaller then when Sober Katz was elected. He promised fiscal responsibility, said he’d run the city like a business. I am huge on business. I am a son of small business. But not all businesses are the same. Some grow and some die. Subway grows. Blackberry Dies. Is Sober a Subway kind of mayor or a Blackberry mayor. Blackberry just a few weeks ago wrote off a billion dollars of inventory. Millions of phones they couldn’t sell. What happens when you create stuff nobody’s buying? The people investing in your company lose money. Five years ago Blackberry shares were worth 138 dollars. Today they are worth less than 8. Less than 7. And if you’re listening to this on a podcast in November of 2014, they may be worth nothing. None of this business decline has to do with Blackberry’s bosses being addicted to Booze, Smack or Crack. They drove the car into the ditch while sober. It’s not against the law to drive while sober. But it doesn’t mean you’re fit to drive, especially if the brakes don’t work or the steering is off or the wheels are coming. Just because you’re sober doesn’t mean you’re fit to govern. Blackberry made some very poor judgement calls and destroying the wealth of the share holders. Sound familiar?
Folks, who do you think will be pay for white elephant police station? Who do you think is paying for the white elephant stadium? Who do you think is paying for the millions of dollars of so called research at City Hall to help EPC make good decisions? Translation: Decisions in line with the poor judgements of Mayor Sober. Who do you think is paying for the millions of dollars in audits to figure out why the mayor has made some made some very bad decisions. Governing while sober is one very expensive luxury for the taxpayers. Want me put in terms that even a Winnipeg Beach mosquito can understand? You and I are paying for a Bentley and we’re driving a beater. We’re paying for a Porsche and we’re driving a a Pinto. We’re paying for a Lexus and we’re driving a Lada. It costs a Lada money to afford a Sober Mayor and to be fair, some of this out of control sobriety, especially when it comes to the white elephant stadium is on Sober Selinger. We’ll have lots of days between now and the provincial election to deal with that fiscal tumour. But in the meantime, you need to know that as a Winnipegger there is no need to be smug about what’s going on down the road in Toronto.
The citizens would have driven Ford into Lake Ontario by now if they didn’t respect his RESPECT for taxpayers. His personal habits have attacked the pride but not the pocket. Nobody is accusing Ford of being on the take, with being corrupt, with hiring incompetent managers and paying them hundreds of thousands of dollars to go away and then calling it a resignation and saying you have no idea why your friend resigned, no idea who pushed him out the back door just before the audit was delivered at the front door. Yah we have a sober mayor. But you’d have to be on crack to ever re-elect him.
Sorry Sam, once again, the people who pay me with their time are the ones I choose to answer to. We called you yesterday for a simple harmless non confrontational question and answer about your new EPC appointments. You chose not to come on this show. This is a free country. You’re free not to do interviews with me. Just as Greg Sellinger is free to stay away from me, which he does. I don’t take it personally. Selinger said he had trepidation about yours truly coming back to 9 to noon at CJOB. For the Winnipeg Beach mosquito, trepidation means fear. He’s still upset with me because I took to the steps of the Legislature and called b.s. on him when he jacked the PST by 14 percent. Yah, I know politicians say it’s only one percent. But you don’t have to be a graduate of the Asper School of Business to know that when you hike the tax on a product from 7 percent to 8 percent, that’s a fourteen percent increase. And when you slap that same tax on a bunch of services that weren’t taxed, that’s a 100 percent tax gouge. When you reassess a person’s property by 10 or 20 percent, and they’re tax bill goes higher, you can call it a tax freeze until hell freezes over. It doesn’t matter. The tax victim pays more. Should we talk about the frontage tax increases that you didn’t want to call tax increases. Then when you actually raise property taxes and say you’ll raise ‘em again next year, we know what that’s about. You say it’s part of the infrastructure deficit, just like Sober Selinger said the PST hike was about the big flood that didn’t happen. And now you’re telling us there will be new development fee for anyone buying a new home in a new development. Don’t call it a tax you say. It’s just helping to pay for infrastructure. We have an infrastructure deficit. What we have a truth deficit.
I don’t care if you ever come on the show Sam. Many years ago you arrogantly told a colleague of mine that he needed you on his show to get ratings. And so I will tell you right now with Winnipeg as my witness. I certainly don’t need you to get ratings. My ratings depend on whether or not my listeners are getting the service they’re looking for. They want me to tell people who lord their power over them, to cut the crap. They want my show to be radio where the lie comes to die. I don’t need you for ratings. I need you to get lost. You’ve become an embarrassment to me. I am one of the guys who pushed you into making a decision to run. I am the guy who said people in this town like you and ‘I like Sam’ became your campaign pitch. It was a great pitch because it was true at the time. What’s your pitch the next time? I used to like Sam but then I got Sober? You’re an embarrassment to me. I have to sit here and tell the people of Winnipeg that a guy in Toronto who’s hanging with crack dealers, a guy who gets several sheets to wind in City Hall and walks around with a half empty jug of booze and abuses his staff, demands at the top of smoked out and possibly coked out lungs to know where his car is, when his car is parked in his garage at his home on the other side of town, and I am sitting here telling people in Winnipeg that this loogan is a better mayor than you are. That’s embarrassing to me, and hundreds of thousands of other people in this community who used to like you who were proud to vote for you.
Make a sober decision, Sam. Tell people that you’re hanging up your City of Winnipeg BlackBerry and you’re going back to private life for the good of your family, your community and you. Some of your so called friends, your fair-weather friends, won’t tell you the truth that it’s time to go. Real friends tell their friends the truth even when it’s painful. Sam I am going to do you a favor. As an act of kindness, I won’t invite you on the show again, ever. If you do choose to run again and there are CJOB debates to attend, I will recuse myself from hosting them. I’ll ask our News Director Richard Cloutier to do the honours. I won’t take a dive. But I’ll take the hit. I’ll tell our audience that I had a conflict of interest. Too much pity for the candidate named Katz.
My name is Charles Adler