Just open up the damn economy already!
Amazing but true, Toronto Mayor John Tory recently announced the launch of a “recovery and rebuild” office in an effort to steer the Hogtown economy back to normal… whenever normalcy returns, that is.
Alas, in order to restart the moribund economy, this will apparently mean that the 416 will require the services of such financial whiz-kids as Dr. David Mowat, the former chief medical officer of health for Ontario and Saad Rafi, the former CEO of the Pan Am Games.
And get this: both individuals will receive more than $200,000 each for just a few months work (indeed, Mowat will be raking in about $50,000 per month while Rafi will be earning approximately $35,000 monthly.)
Can you say, “gravy train”?
The choice of Rafi is particularly galling. As CEO for the 2015 Pan Scam Games (a C-list sporting event nobody wanted and few bought tickets to see), Rafi was responsible for a multi-billion-dollar boondoggle, something that cost ten times more to stage than the revenues it took in. Not to fret, though: he still got a juicy bonus for all his efforts.
But what makes me raise a Spockian eyebrow is this: why is there a need for such an office in the first place? For starters, such an economic recovery program is the bailiwick of the province, not individual municipalities.
And secondly, if the Mayor was serious about opening up the economy, then how’s this for a plan:
Simply tell businesspeople to open their doors and go back to work, even if it is on a so-called “yellow light” basis.
Besides, we all know the drill by now: maintain social distancing; display appropriate signage; employ hand sanitizer; install Plexiglas partitions…
Indeed, what words of advice could Mowat and Rafi possibly pass along to entrepreneurs in order for them to make their businesses run more efficiently post-pandemic?
These guys are career bureaucrats, after all – the sort of business geniuses that would likely lose their shirts if they were given the pay-toilet concession at a chili eating contest. (Oh well, at least we now know where all that COVID-19 fine money is going…)