2017-04-03 Mon

Clear Thinking

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Suppose that past periods from October to February saw around ten million Canadians crossing the U.S. land border into the U.S.A. Those numbers would include people who cross regularly to do daily work in the states, people who cross infrequently on business, and people like me who cross to spend the day at the railway Museum in medina, or just to drive around the state for a day or two. All sorts of Canadians for all sorts of reasons.

Suppose now that following Trumpís mis-guided restrictive statements, a whole lot of people decide it is either too risky, or just want to make a statement, and we decide to forgo our simple pleasure of buying second-hand books in red-brick towns, and we stay home instead. Perhaps we take the plunge and explore video-conferencing.

Suppose that nine million of us take this route. That leaves only one million who continue to cross the border between October to February.

Then since crossing have dropped by 90%, youíd expect that Refusals might drop by a similar, if not higher rate. I have no fear of being denied entry; Iím just sulking. But my Muslim neighbour would be among the more susceptible group, the group more likely to be turned back, so she would be in that 90% for a real reason, which would further skew the refusals rate.

Note that the 90% drop in crossings would result in a drop in the total number of Canadianís denied entry.

The drop in refusal rate from 0.06% (2015-16) to 0.05% (2016-17) can easily be explained by the people more likely to be refused to decide ďNot To Chance ItĒ and so to stay home.

Likewise, 2,600 Canadians denied entry compared to 3,500 the year before can be explained away by the more vulnerable not even trying to cross.

Beware of percentages!

The Metrolinx Debacle Continues

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Let me see if I have got this right.

We are going to spend $100,000,000 on a GO Station in the riding of the Not-Yet-Reelected Minister of Transportation Del Ducats.

Metrolinx has approved it.

The government (which government?) believes that adding the station will cause people to Avoid Transit and climb back into the Traffic Jam.

The business case was released just two weeks ago, and approval is now given. The report says the Benefits will not outweigh the Negative Impact (of the station)

The Mayor of Vaughan supports the project.

Well I AM surprised!

35,000 residents (residents!) are described as ďMassive Population GrowthĒ. Metrolinx says expect 19,000 to 27,000 by 2031. Even if the the high figure of 27,000 is taken as new residents (but I suspect that about 20,000 residents are living there right now, thatís what makes them residents), 27,000 over 14 years is a mere 1,900 per year. We house that many in a single new condominium in Ward†27, and we have erected two new condos on our little street in five years.

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The report goes on to list constraints on growth, that will curb the vanilla growth rates that we might otherwise anticipate.

Sounds like Pork-Barreling to me

No wait! Thereís More!!

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I looked at the cost of a stop a week ago . A regular passenger stop on the GO Train costs two and a half minutes. I maintain that very few passengers will toss down their newspapers in disgust and switch back to the car. I donít think it will be as high as 3%.

I rather suspect that the increase in newcomers to the city will make for a bigger cause of road crowding than will a few disgruntled passengers on a slow commuter line.

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Vaughan city has announced its plans to build a transportation hub there. And Vaughan City is all for this stop. Well I AM surprised. No mention is made of the cost of building a $100,000,000 train stop and then, a while later, building a transportation hub.

Put your money on del Ducats getting shovels in the ground on the GO Station before the next election.

Oh yes. Metrolinx reports to del Ducats, the Minister of Transportation. I wonder who they take their orders from?