We need a decision-making intervention
This is my first blog post for the Star and I must admit that my mind is still on the Olympics. Last night I pounded the clicker trying to find a channel that could deliver my Olympic fix. No such luck. My beloved Raptors were losing by 20+ so I opted for an hour of Intervention. One episode was about a poor kid who was following his father's road to ruin - a destructive path of self-denial, self-delusion and bad decision-making (made so much worse by a pain-killer addiction).
Fast forward to this morning and an article in the Star caught my eye. It discussed the opportunity to privatize the management of the City's two ski hills. My first thought was, "really, the City owns two ski hills?" Ustinov's statement about Toronto being New York built by the Swiss also came to mind.
I became stuck, though, on Councillor Joe Mihevc's apparent opposition to the use of a private ski hill management group which could save the City $800,000, saying that it is "deliberate policy to subsidize" this program. He defended his position by arguing that the accessibility of recreation, not budgetary concerns, is "the goal of recreation."
Like the addict on Intervention who convinced himself of a reality that did not exist (despite his steadfast assertions he was neither Italian, a music mogul, nor his father's best friend), Mihevc seems to have taken a position here based on something that simply cannot exist. I'm trying to picture city councillors mandating an $800,000 subsidy to Toronto-area skiers. I mean, is it really City of Toronto policy to have an asset undoubtedly worth millions (and likely 9-figure millions) sit on its balance sheet producing negative cashflow so that maybe a few hundred people who would not otherwise be able to get to the next nearest hill can learn to ski?
It is an absurd statement by Mihevc. And it highlights the sort of decision-making errors that evolve from dogma and the reverse-engineering of fact.
The city owns two ski hills + it believes in recreation accessibility + it has run the hills at a loss = Mihevc skiing subsidy argument. It's a logical fallacy. I think we deserve better.