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Not the kind of publicity you want.

I’m rather neutral about this whole Toronto garbage strike affair. I don’t live there, so it isn’t affecting me and I really don’t have an opinion about it, but when you’re the mayor of Toronto, and CNN is calling you up to do an interview on how bad it is, I’d say that isn’t exactly what your city needs for publicity:

Miller was a guest on the U.S. cable network CNN to talk about the city’s continuing civic workers strike and reports in American media that there are “mounds of trash throughout the city that is known for its cleanliness.”..On CNN, Miller tried to paint a picture of a city that is handling the situation. “Despite the fact we have 30,000 people on strike, the city is coping very, very well,” he said. Pressed on whether tourism to Toronto will suffer, Miller said the city is managing the garbage problem. “Despite all these challenges, it’s actually a great time to visit Toronto,” the mayor said. Miller told interviewer Ali Velshi, whose parents live in Toronto, that he’s hopeful a settlement will come soon. As he spoke, video footage showed garbage bags piled in Toronto parks and on city streets.

A valiant effort by the Mayor of Toronto, but then this happened:

When pressed further on whether tourists might expect to see garbage problems if they visit, the satellite connection between Toronto and CNN in Atlanta, Ga., went dead. “Clearly someone who didn’t agree with his position on garbage got to our lines,” Velshi joked.

All I can say is that it’s a good thing that Toronto hasn’t had the typical hot and humid summertime weather that this area normally gets, or it would be a lot worse. That weather can’t be relied on to hold forever however, and once that happens.. then the stink will really hit the fan, so to speak, if the strike is still ongoing.


1 comment to Not the kind of publicity you want.

  • Not sure about that. I’m remembering a previous strike — I had thought it was 2002, but that’s not possible; must have been early to mid-90’s — where garbage bags were literally on the streets. That was bad. Right now, the garbage is largely under control — some bins are overflowing, but the temporary dumps thing is working fairly well — and, unless you’re right on top of a dump site, you don’t know they’re around. So, even if the heat picks up, I don’t think the garbage thing will be all that bad.

    Possibly more significant is that, AFAIK, city hall isn’t processing building permits during the strike. IIRC, the summer months are pretty popular times for the construction industry. I can’t see not being able to get permits and inspections done as being a good thing.

    That kind of lost service may end up having more of an impact (although not as obvious a one) as the garbage.

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