Confidential to Phil Preville

Philip Preville, a resident contrarian at Toronto Life despite not living a life in Toronto, took time out from his busy suburban lifestyle to damn Rob Ford with faint praise. One of the achievements Preville attributed to him? “At Fairview Library, an automated book sorter will save $160,000. It all adds up.”

The May issue publishes (i.e., rewrites) my response:

In “The Flip Side of Ford,” the half-hearted panegyric to our mayor that appeared in our March issue, Philip Preville mentioned an automated sorter at Fairview Library that will save $160,000. He failed to note that the equipment comes at a cost of four and a half jobs. Neither did he mention that the Toronto Public Library budget was reduced in 2012, inciting librarians to strike. Preville said “it all adds up,” but he wasn’t adding all of it up

What I actually wrote:

Philip Preville – in the wrong more often than any Toronto Life columnist (and he doesn’t even live in Toronto) – blows it again in his half-assed panegyric to Rob Ford. “At Fairview Library, an automated sorter will save $160,000,” he writes, failing to mention that the equipment comes at the cost of 4.5 full-time-equivalent jobs. (That’s on top of the 107 positions by which the library is already short.)

But Preville doesn’t account for those details, or for the fact that the library budget was reduced this year under the current board, which actually managed to infuriate librarians enough for them to go on strike in 2012. So yes, “[i]t all adds up” – if what you’re adding up is really “all” of it.

Phil Preville, go fuck yourself.

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