Friday, February 27, 2009

Truthiness

I like Steve Munro because he uses facts to back up his arguments. Unfortunatly, every once in a while, the line between pure fact and baseless rhetoric is crossed.

Case in point, from his latest post:
"Metrolinx professes a love of public participation, but their planning process is quite secretive and controlled. Even the “public advisory committee” is subject to a gag agreement, and this group is expected to provide support for the RTP. The last time I looked, “public advice” was public, and members of advisory bodies are free to dissent. If Metrolinx wants trained seals, just hire more consultants."
The issue I take with the above is that it is factually wrong:

There was no gag order.
I know because I didn't sign one.

We weren't expected to support the RTP.
We support it because we all believed that it the best plan to move forward upon. Could it be better? Of course it could, but the most transformative improvements would require changes in the enabling legislation to give the agency the power to control more locally-oriented services. Given the tools and recognizing that it shouldn't wade into the technology debate, is it the best plan to move forward upon? Yes.

We were free to dissent.
We convinced the board to look at new funding tools immediately, rather than in 2013 as they originally planned. This will ensure the long term viability of the plan instead of leaving it chance 5 years from now. We also initiated the discussion on placing non-political experts on the board of directors. If that isn't dissenting from the establishment then I'm not to sure what is.

We are not trained seals.
This disappoints me.

Steve, my respect for you remains. You've earned my respect over your years of service to the community. But please don't drag me into this one. I'm not the evidence you should be using. From what I've tried to illustrate, I'm quite the opposite.

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