Thursday, April 29, 2010

Justin Swandel Drunk on BRT Studies

I can't help but take a jab at Justin Swandel for his comments towards Jenny Gerbasi recently regarding BRT.

Mostly because they reduce political debate amongst our elected officials akin to that of a four year old throwing sand in some other kid's eyes because he didn't give his toy truck back. This type of behaviour is utterly ridiculous and it completely hinders the political process. It's fine if two people have opposing views, but this is just plain sad.

Of course the best part is when Swandel takes offense to a return-jab from Gerbasi, but more on that in a bit. Let's look at the Mayor Katz BRT timeline first, shall we?

One of Katz's first moves when he first got into office in 2004, was to scrap Glen Murray's rapid transit plans and ideas that were already in motion. After that, study after study was completed, debating the feasibility of rapid transit, and bus rapid transit. His reason being he liked the idea of using existing rail infrastructure to build transit lines. After BRT studies came out they were deemed expensive, but funding fell in place from all levels of government to, finally, in 2009, after debate that probably goes back to before I was born, start the first rapid transit project. In 2009 Katz also re-stated his love for rail transit, and stated that in the future, the BRT corridors could be converted to light rail. And now, in 2010, city council voted to spend another whole pile of money on yet another study over light rail.

How's that? I managed to write a whole paragraph without interjecting my opinions. If you desire to know my opinions on these matters, use the archive labels to mine through old posts.

Given that, this statement from Swandel, directed at Gerbasi (a known rapid transit supporter), last week:

St. Norbert Coun. Justin Swandel accused her of "just going off and getting drunk with the term BRT."

Now, really, Swandel, come on. Getting drunk with BRT? BRT has been a topic of hot debate, flip flops, cancellations, studies, studies, studies, and plough-throughs and more since Katz got into office in 2004. Nobody is getting drunk off anything at this point and if they are, it's to drown their sorrows over the sad display civic politicians have demonstrated over this.

Of course, when one is attacked, you can stand up for yourself or just take it and let the bully win. The following are from Bartley Kives' Twitter feed from yesterday's council meeting:

Gerbasi, in response to Swandel "drunk on BRT" comment, jokes Swandel is smoking something.

And like a true four year old in a sandbox, Swandel goes crying to tell on Gerbasi:

Swandel demands she withdraw comment; Says he finds it offensive from "someone who says her residents don't even vote."

Oh, demand she withdraw the comment? Justin, we need to have a talk. When you poke somebody with a giant shit stick? They are the ones who are going to get steamed and probably hurl something offensive back at you. Did you really think saying a fellow councilor was “drunk on BRT” wasn't going to backfire?

I rarely defend councilors for their stupidity over things like this. But I need to speak in defense of Gerbasi. She's only saying we go through with the plans we've been debating since the day Katz got into office, there is nothing wrong with that. No, I personally don't agree with a lot of the BRT stuff but, this HAS gone on for far too long. Furthermore, it helps nobody by offending people who stand on the other side of the fence by touting juvenile insults.

I think Gerbasi might be on to something, perhaps there are weed fumes floating throughout the council chamber. If it takes 6 years to debate and decide where to put a bus route, that might be the only logical conclusion you can draw.

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