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2018 Provincial Election Transit Promises

No, it is clear cut. It’s an accounting issue. Our independent accounting watchdog called major bullshit on Wynne’s numbers. Then a journalist said no, it’s all politics. Personally, I believe the Auditor General over the journo. Because, you know, accountant opines on accounting. But if you’re really in doubt, check out all the boxes and arrows in the structure Wynne tried to use to get the additional FHP debt off the books. It’s Byzantine, to say the least.
The irony of your angst is that it's about to bite you back. It's not that I'm defending the OntLibs, it's what other Cons are on record as stating, and how they're about to play the 'reshuffled deck' their way on privatization (something I agree with, btw. I'm a Conservative, and believe in Private Initiative. I just don't trust witch burners and hysterics to get it right):
[...]
‘Don’t tell the Auditor-General what we’re doing’
What is clear is that, in devising the Fair Hydro Plan, the government relied heavily on consultants, including three of the world’s “Big Four” accounting firms: KPMG, Deloitte and Ernst & Young. It also hired Blakes, a law firm. According to the Auditor-General, the government paid these advisers a total of $2-million for their services. In a statement, the Treasury Board Secretariat emphasized that work was part of the government’s efforts to “ensure due diligence was completed.”

Their opinions and advice carried the day. Sophie Kiwala, a Liberal MPP and member of the estimates committee, said on Oct. 24: “Our plan has been approved by the peers of the Auditor-General at some of Canada’s top accounting firms, including Ernst & Young, KPMG and Deloitte.”

KPMG’s team, composed of more than half a dozen of the firm’s partners, was led by Michel Picard. In one 32-page document provided to The Globe by the government, KPMG itemized and refuted the Auditor-General’s objections to the new accounting practice. “The concerns expressed by the AGO result from a difference of opinion in the application of professional judgment,” KPMG spokesperson Lisa Papas told The Globe in a statement. As the auditor of IESO’s books, the firm also signed off on the application of these new accounting standards, just as it had under the IESO’s previous accounting methods. “We would like to emphasize that the standards provide a choice,” the firm said in a statement. “There has always been the ability to choose between two alternatives.”

In the past three years, KPMG earned between $86,000 and $92,000 in annual fees for auditing IESO’s books. Last year, it earned $652,000 for its advice on the new accounting policy.

Did KPMG’s dual role as auditor and consultant represent a conflict of interest? “You might say that their ability to be impartial and effective auditors had become compromised,” said Randy Hillier, a Conservative MPP who sits on the public accounts committee. “Why would you not [sign off] when you’re getting such a significant bundle of cash?”

Ms. Lysyk told the same committee that firms should not be advocating for particular accounting treatments on a client’s behalf while auditing the client’s books.

Forensic accountant Al Rosen said that, generally speaking, it’s not difficult to hire consultants to provide favourable accounting opinions in Canada, in part because standards are so elastic. “You can go to any of the public accounting firms and get them to render an opinion on whatever you want,” he said. “The ethics have gone all to hell.”[...]
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/can...os-new-hydro-accounting-could-cost-taxpayers/

Yes, the same "Al Rosen" doing the "Line by Line" dance with his partner.

it’s not difficult to hire consultants to provide favourable accounting opinions in Canada, in part because standards are so elastic. “You can go to any of the public accounting firms and get them to render an opinion on whatever you want,” he said.
Ah yes, there's a quote worth keeping.

Now..."off the books" privatization. Shall we begin?

The great debt deceit: how Gordon Brown cooked the nation’s books
Amid global financial turmoil, and on the eve of Labour’s conference, Fraser Nelson and Peter Hoskin reveal the true extent of the nation’s debt — equivalent to £26,100 for each British household — and Brown’s scandalous manipulation of the Private Finance Initiative

[...]
Davis was understandably baffled. The Private Finance Initiative (PFI) was a controversial, but little-used mechanism established by Norman Lamont to privatise specific construction projects. But it meant something much more to New Labour. Officially, the scheme could be a beacon for the Third Way: a means of injecting the ethos of the private sector into the sluggish public sector, and an opportunity to get projects completed quickly and efficiently. Unofficially — and this is what Mr Brown grasped from the off, and what Mr Robinson was hinting at — PFI was an incredibly convenient way of concealing the true extent of public debt. Rather than pay upfront, the government promised to make fixed payments in each project over a period of about 30 years — keeping the whole thing off the books. PFI was a wizard’s cloak of invisibility which could be thrown around expensive new projects.
[...]
https://www.spectator.co.uk/2008/09/the-great-debt-deceit-how-gordon-brown-cooked-the-nations-books/

Edit: Lest the irony of Lamont's name being used thus is lost:
Norman Stewart Hughson Lamont, Baron Lamont of Lerwick, PC (born 8 May 1942) is a British politician and former ConservativeMP for Kingston-upon-Thames. He is best known for his period serving as Chancellor of the Exchequer, from 1990 until 1993. He was created a life peer in 1998. Lamont is a supporter of the Eurosceptic organisation Leave Means Leave.[1]
[...] Lamont served in successive governments under Margaret Thatcher [...]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Lamont

Coming to a reactionary right of centre regime near you perhaps? The Brits (well, some) have learned lessons...the hard way in many instances, but transit projects especially in London are now showing models that are not perfect, but still exemplary in many respects, and lessons to share with the world.

For some odd reason, I don't see even a scintilla of that ability in the pathetic excuse for Conservatives now ensconced at Queen's Park, and Ontario is about to repeat the same dreadful mistakes others have already learned from.

There's no defence for the laggard Libs now gone from QP. But there's no relief either from the clowns painting themselves in different colours, while performing the same sleight of hand tricks, hiding the blame behind their backs with one, while pointing with the other.

Can you spell 'Ferris Wheels'?
It rhymes with 'Private Finance' for the intellectually challenged.

 
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No, it is clear cut. It’s an accounting issue. Our independent accounting watchdog called major bullshit on Wynne’s numbers. Then a journalist said no, it’s all politics. Personally, I believe the Auditor General over the journo. Because, you know, accountant opines on accounting. But if you’re really in doubt, check out all the boxes and arrows in the structure Wynne tried to use to get the additional FHP debt off the books. It’s Byzantine, to say the least.
The PCs also used the same accounting trick in their budget promises. So did the NDP.

It's not like the opposition disagreed with Wynne on how this was going on the books.
 
The PCs also used the same accounting trick in their budget promises. So did the NDP.

It's not like the opposition disagreed with Wynne on how this was going on the books.
And the Cons are now setting up the biggest con yet. I'm all confused...is it "Bait and Switch" or "Switch and Bait"? I guess it all depends on whether the illusionist is right or left handed...
 
No, it is clear cut. It’s an accounting issue. Our independent accounting watchdog called major bullshit on Wynne’s numbers. Then a journalist said no, it’s all politics. Personally, I believe the Auditor General over the journo. Because, you know, accountant opines on accounting. But if you’re really in doubt, check out all the boxes and arrows in the structure Wynne tried to use to get the additional FHP debt off the books. It’s Byzantine, to say the least.

The tragic thing was that if the Liberals had not headlessly stumbled around tossing out goodies to fix their sagging numbers in the last year before the election, I think that the deficit would not have a significant plank the Conservatives could have campaigned on. I think the Conservatives are going to drive that 6 billion value as high as they can to justify cuts.
 
Meanwhile, while we're busy talking, they actually busy building in other countries...

From link.

France welcomes its 24th modern tramway – and in less than 35 years

Avignon104RepubliqueBlvdStRoch120919BPatton.jpg

Running along the city ramparts beside Blvd St-Roch, Avignon Citadis Compact 104 passes République.

When the new modern tramline in Avignon carries its first passengers on 19 October, it will be the 24th French city to re-introduce trams. Work on line T1 (5.2km/3.2 miles) began on 17 October 2016. In 2018 a second line, T2 (3.2km/two miles), was approved for construction in 2021-23 costing EUR60m.​
T1 links Saint-Roch (Université des Métiers) and Saint-Chamand (Plain des Sports), with interchange to the Chrono bus C2 service at the central République Gare Centre adjacent to the SNCF station. The tram will largely replace bus line 1A.​
In 2023 this will also interchange with T2, running from Piot (Pont Édouard Daladier) to St-Lazare (Université Arendt). The same year will also see T1 diverted onto a short branch through the city walls from République to Jean Jaures. There are plans to extend line T2 to reach Opéra Grand Avignon in the second half of the decade.​
Construction work in Avignon was supposed to start earlier in 2016, but this was delayed by the newly-elected city mayor, who wanted to cancel the scheme due to fears over disruption after witnessing the scale of the works in Besançon. The Avignon scheme agreed in 2010 had been for a new tramway of two lines totalling 14.4km (8.9 miles), worked by 24 Citadis Compact (205) low-floor trams, and estimated to cost EUR250m.​
Discussion between the agglomeration and the city saw a reduced EUR135m project agreed and this was approved by Grand Avignon in January 2015.​
Negotiations with Alstom resulted in the order for compact 24m four-axle trams being reduced to ten (at a cost of EUR25m), with four more due in 2023. The first of the 2.4m-wide vehicles was delivered in December 2018 and the last in September 2019, arriving by road from the factory at La Rochelle. This fleet will permit a six-minute peak headway on line T1, with each tram carrying up to 150 passengers.​
Service is provided 06.00-22.30 (24.00 Friday/Saturday) and is handled by a subsidiary of Transdev, under the new Orizo brand. A depot has been built at Place des Maraichers at Saint-Chamand.​
Avignon is a historic city on the left bank of the river Rhône in south-east France. Home of the papacy from 1309 to 1377, it has a population of 275 300. The city itself has a population of 91 000, with 12 000 living in the historic centre – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – that is enclosed by medieval ramparts. Avignon’s first-generation tramway closed in 1932.​
Since the start of France’s modern tramway revolution, more than 1350 new trams have been delivered. Of those, 75% have come from French manufacturer Alstom, which also supplies a range of equipment for operating away from the overhead wire.​
The renaissance began with Nantes in 1985, and has embraced systems from the tiny (Aubagne, a short line in a suburb of Marseille) to the large (cities such as Lyon and Strasbourg).​
 
I wonder where they got 275,000; I think it's smaller than that, since Vaucluse total has barely have a million. In any case, Avignon proper has fewer than 100,000 people- like a St. Catharines.

It's not even a very dense city by French standards, the city of 100,000 seems to have similar densities to smaller cities in Ontario.
 
France welcomes its 24th modern tramway – and in less than 35 years

Avignon104RepubliqueBlvdStRoch120919BPatton.jpg

Running along the city ramparts beside Blvd St-Roch, Avignon Citadis Compact 104 passes République.

I love how clean and elegant the European transit designs are. I can only imagine the mess of signs, signals and markings there would be if that same location was built to North American standards.
 
I love how clean and elegant the European transit designs are. I can only imagine the mess of signs, signals and markings there would be if that same location was built to North American standards.

There would be (broken) plastic bollards, various yellow stripes, a curb, warning signs, and still a car parked in front of the tram.
 
There would be (broken) plastic bollards, various yellow stripes, a curb, warning signs, and still a car parked in front of the tram.

I think it's impossible to generalize for all of Europe, but I think a defining trait at least in many urban areas isn't necessarily that there aren't aggressive drivers pulling crazy moves -- it's that they often don't have the insulated obliviousness of North American drivers in oversized vehicles who are used to wandering around inside extra-wide lanes, few intersections to contend with, and the luxury of endless turning lanes, passing lanes, highway bypasses, etc. The environment forces you to make decisions and be aware of your surroundings, and physical and cultural constraints (everyone else is driving slowly so you have to drive slowly too) mean that there is time to actually make those decisions. Vehicle size is one of the biggest factors here, SUVs are simply less agile and able to fit into smaller spaces. I see it all the time in downtown Kitchener where there's still a number of narrow, continental European-style streets that drivers hit seconds after leaving some 1960s-built arterial road or the highway, and they panic and drop their speed (or worse, don't). Wide lanes encourage vehicle size inflation and vehicle size inflation creates preference for wider and wider lanes, which leads to increased speed, which leads to avoidable collisions and poor decision-making.
 
I love how clean and elegant the European transit designs are. I can only imagine the mess of signs, signals and markings there would be if that same location was built to North American standards.
Workers, the city and constructors all don't give a s*** here. Any nice thing would be ripped apart cause they need to fix something within 6 months and fill it back with ugly asphalt.

At least things built in the GTA are functional. Look at that Ottawa LRT.
 

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