Numeracy alert. Gravy drain.

I read Metro Today on the subway today. There was a story blaming City of Toronto staff for squandering – wait for it – up to $1 MILLION dollars in sole-sourced contracts.

So, Rob Ford is right, and there is waste to be cut, eh?

Except that $1 million is, for example, 1/3 of what the KPMG report that suggested closing libraries and taking fluoride out of the water cost.

Or 1/64 of the vehicle registration tax whose disappearance is now contributing to the supposed $700 million deficit.

And oh yes, it’s 1/700 of the deficit.


I read Metro Today on the subway today. There was a story blaming City of Toronto staff for squandering – wait for it – up to $1 MILLION dollars in sole-sourced contracts.

So, Rob Ford is right, and there is waste to be cut, eh?

Except that $1 million is, for example, 1/3 of what the KPMG report that suggested closing libraries and taking fluoride out of the water cost.

Or 1/64 of the vehicle registration tax whose disappearance is now contributing to the supposed $700 million deficit.

And oh yes, it’s 1/700 of the deficit.

So, if this is the waste that it took the mayor and the papers 6 months to find, I suppose that in 32 years we’d cover the money the mayor decided he didn’t want when he dropped the vehicle registration tax. In 350 years we could pay down the deficit without cutting libraries. But then, our current crop of politicians aren’t exactly the types who take the long view. Pillage and forethought rarely go together.

Author: Justin Podur

Ecology. Environmental Science. Political Science. Anti-imperialism. Political fiction. Teach at York U's FES. Author. Writer at ZNet, TeleSUR, AlterNet, Ricochet, and the Independent Media Institute.