There is not much compassion down at City Hall. In fact, the city, nicely and neatly, ignores the needs of regular folk in favour of swimming elites. Thus, it was no surprise to see its former top administrator come down hard on the province.
Helga Reidel was one of many at the Hall who have seemingly seen demotions.
In her case, she moved from on high to less than on high by being put in charge of running the much smaller EnWin power distribution utility. It is a pattern about equal to the former parks boss, Phil Roberts, being sent to the sidelines to take charge at a restaurant and a city-owned golf course.
Of course Reidel can be forgiven for not understanding the nuances of public administration and regulated utility management. She has had no training for her last job nor her current one.
The accountant and school teacher is without credentials in public administration nor running a regulated power distributor.
Nonetheless, she has taken to railing against a plan by the provincial government to create legislation outlawing organizations like hers from cutting off their customer’s power cord during the dark and cold months of winter.
She told the CBC on February 22, that this would remove one of the tools she has to bully people to pay.
She is obviously immune to understanding the plight of so many Ontarians and shows absolutely no compassion.
To her credit, she does allude to the fact the provincial government, with its fancy hydro rates, is the problem. But, nonetheless, this does not justify her draconian response.
Reidel should be nice and accept the tragedy that some citizens do not have great paycheques and pensions like hers.
There are things Reidel could do to help the less fortunate.
For one, if she had any courage, any courage at all, she would head down to City Hall and suggest the millions it gets in profit each year from EnWin be put in a special fund to cover the costs of special loans to those who are behind in paying their electricity bills.
Obviously, City Council will not approve such a dastardly deed, because it is counting on her to help it fund more swimming events, including the recent plan to cover the costs of running a diving club. No other clubs in the city get city money like the councillors plan to toss in the pool for the divers to chase.
No doubt the councillors would whine about these deadbeats ability to pay. It will be an odd worry, because they had no concerns about FINA not paying its way with the December minor competition. That cost city taxpayers about $20 million and proved the city is unable to organize crowds of attendees.
Reidel misses the fact about government being by the people for the people, and not government by the people for swimmers.
The council and Reidel have it all wrong. There is nothing amiss with showing a little compassion; it is what neighbours do.
Why it this such an alien concept to the well-heeled polished shoe set?