The Raptors announced Tuesday that while Colangelo’s contract as team president is being extended, a new general manager will be hired within the next 30 days.
The changes were announced by Tim Leiweke, who is the incoming CEO of team owner Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. Leiweke also said he is moving up his start date from July 1 to June 3.
”We have a lot of work to do in this organization,” Leiweke said. ”We’re not good enough. I believe Bryan can help in a lot of those areas.”
The Raptors were 10th in the Eastern Conference this year, finishing out of the playoffs for a franchise-worst fifth straight season.
”There is accountability here and we need a new set of eyes and a new thinking,” Leiweke said.
Leiweke was hired last month after a successful period in charge of Anschutz Entertainment Group, owner of the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers, the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings and the Los Angeles Galaxy of MLS.
Leiweke said Colangelo fought ”like heck” to keep his role as general manager.
”Bryan’s probably ticked off at me,” Leiweke said, then paused to chuckle. ”There’s no probably. He’s ticked off at me. This isn’t his perfect world, either. But to his credit, he accepts it.”
Colangelo said he was ”a little disappointed,” but denied being angry at Leiweke.
”It’s a unique situation for me to be in,” Colangelo said. ”Not an ideal situation but I’m going to embrace it and make the most of it.”
Leiweke addressed concerns that keeping Colangelo around would complicate things for any new hire by stressing that the new GM will have complete authority on basketball matters and will report directly to Leiweke, not Colangelo.
”If anyone ultimately disrupts that process, then I’ll clean it up,” Leiweke said.
Colangelo said he understood the message from his new boss.
”The bottom line is, if I get in the way, I’m not going to be around,” he said.
Of course Leiweke wants Toronto to become Canada’s team.
Leiweke said he wants Toronto to celebrate its 20th anniversary as an NBA city by hosting the All-Star Game for the first time in 2016, calling the game ”a must-have.”
He also said he wants the team to build a new training facility and hinted at changes to the Raptors’ brand, acknowledging ”specific” conversations with the NBA about potential changes.
”We absolutely have had conversations about the color and the makeup of our brand, our uniforms and our image,” he said. ”To me, we should be all about the Canadian flag and Canada.
”We are Toronto’s team but I think we have to learn how to be Canada’s team.”
If you want to be Canada’s basketball team, win something. That is how the Blue Jays did it and that is what the Raptors are going to have to do. No one feels good about themselves wearing a Raptors shirt because the team is unstable and most often a team of losers. You want us to care, consistently win.
According to reports, Leiweke didn’t want Colangelo to be kept around and it doesn’t sound like Colangelo wants to stay around. In other words despite having new owners and a new CEO, MLSE is still MLSE which is bad news for sports fans in Canada.
Mark turned 13 on Sunday while we were at the cabin. He is now old enough to walk into an A&W and legally order a Teen Burger. It was a big day for him. For his birthday we chilled out at the lake but we did give him a new basketball, InFAMOUS 2, and a Wacom Bamboo drawing tablet. We also picked Oliver up a battery powered Super Soaker so he could shoot Mark (who was thrilled with that).
While on the way to the cabin on Friday, I stopped by Indigo Books and picked up December 1941: 31 Days that Changed America and Saved the World by Craig Shirley. The book attempts to look at each day of December 1941 in the lead up and aftermath of the attack of Pearl Harbour though a variety of lens to give the month and attack some context. He examines historical records, news paper accounts and even pop culture as part of this effort to explain the almost instantaneous change in American culture and life because of it’s entry into Word War II.
It’s an entertaining read. I wandered through the almost 600 pages in two days. I leaned a lot, especially about the difference in American and British views of how to communicate the war (Churchill laid it all out while FDR chose to reveal as little as possible) but in the end it was a very unsatisfying read. The editing was awful. The book got countless historical facts wrong (like the tonnage of the Price of Wales or the suggestion that England had 500,000 pilots trained). The there are sentences like, “It was raking in millions each week, mostly for the top four studios: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 20th Century Fox, and Warner Bros.” The fourth studio was… Also Pittsburgh was misspelled. Things like that drove me crazy.
What was interesting to learn was the totalitarian powers that Congress almost immediately gave FDR to win the war. What was even more interesting is when you realize that once war was won, those powers were taken away from the President. It speaks to the ability the United States has to make and remake itself as the context determines it. It will be interesting to see if the U.S. ever returns to a pre-9/11 mindset.
I think the other thing the book did well was explain the events leading up to Pearl Harbour from Japan’s perspective. While in no ways does it justify the attack, it does explain a little of what the Japanese were thinking through their militaristic cabinet. I am not sure that I would recommend the book, there are just simply too many mistakes in it but it wasn’t a bad way to spend the weekend.
The Minnesota Vikings just revealed the drawings for their $925 million stadium in downtown Minneapolis. The stadium is set to open in 2016, built on the ruins of the Metrodome. Barring any unforeseen holdups, this will be the Vikings’ last season in the Metrodome—they’ll play two years at UM’s TCF Bank Stadium during construction. Expect a Super Bowl to be coming to Minnesota in the near future.
The public in Minnesota is responsible for $500 million of the cost. You read that right, they taxpayers are shelling out a half-billion dollars so a billionaire can charge them a massive sum to go into a stadium and watch the game.
The worst part of it is that in 30 years, the then owners of the Minnesota Vikings will be back looking for another new stadium. Then what? A billion or two dollars from the public purse.
I am big NFL fan but this is crazy. The NFL is the most profitable enterprise in North America. Each franchise is worth around a $1 billion but the public keeps buying them stadiums that charge ticket prices that they can’t afford. When does it stop?
That and I think I have seen this stadium design before.
Oh right, here it is.
Let me venture to suggest this is not accidental. If today both Mr. Harper and the party he leads are actively disliked by more than seven voters in 10, it may be because they have gone out of their way to alienate them in every conceivable way — not by their policies, or even their record, but simply by their style of governing, as over-bearing as it is under-handed, and that on a good day.
When they are not refusing to disclose what they are doing, they are giving out false information; when they allow dissenting opinions to be voiced, they smear them as unpatriotic or worse; when they open their own mouths to speak, it is to read the same moronic talking points over and over, however these may conflict with the facts, common courtesy, or their own most solemn promises.
Secretive, controlling, manipulative, crude, autocratic, vicious, unprincipled, untrustworthy, paranoid … Even by the standards of Canadian politics, it’s quite the performance. We’ve had some thuggish or dishonest governments in the past, even some corrupt ones, but never one quite so determined to arouse the public’s hostility, to so little apparent purpose. Their policy legacy may prove short-lived, but it will be hard to erase the stamp of the Nasty Party.
Perhaps, in their self-delusion, the Tories imagine this is all the fault of the Ottawa media, or the unavoidable cost of governing as Conservatives in a Liberal country. I can assure them it is not. The odium in which they are now held is well-earned, and entirely self-inflicted.
I tend to agree with him. It’s 100s of self inflicted wounds, none of them are that big by themselves but overtime they all take a toll. The Conservatives may have done a good job on the economy but it’s the other stuff they seem to struggle with and it could cost them the election.
So for those of you who follow me on Twitter know, I resigned from my job at The Lighthouse Supported Living Inc. this week. Of course being me, I did this without another job to go to but that happens sometimes. Yes it is a terrifying move as working in shelters is not a profession that is bank account friendly.
It means that I am now in search of a job. Financially we are okay because Wendy has worked at Safeway for 15 years and is still under their old collective bargaining tier which means that she makes a decent salary. This gives me some flexibility in knowing that we can get by on minimum wage if needed although I really don’t want to do that.
Since 2005 I have been working with the homeless and hard to house and while I love it, there has been some really hard days along the way as well. If I have an opportunity to go back into it, i will but I am always ready for a new challenge that doesn’t involve dirty needles, death threats, and the pain and suffering that I have seen day in and out over the last 8 years.
If you want to hire me, check out my LinkedIn profile at www.linkedin.com/in/jordoncooper. I am proud of the work that I have done and I think that I have a lot to give but it will be somewhere else now.
If there is one thing I like about me, it’s that I have enjoyed my jobs. I have worked retail and loved the interactions. I have worked in very difficult situations and loved the challenges. Not a lot of people know this but I started mopping floors at The Salvation Army and I liked that as well. I think I am also lucky in that I am not defined by my job which makes it easier to step back. That being said, I have a lot of experience doing what I do so there is a nice comfort zone there.
If you are hiring (we would consider moving) or know of a job, let me know at email@example.com.
Few people talk about debt. It isn’t sexy, and it certainly won’t win votes. In a little over two decades, from 1990-1991 to today, Ontario’s debt-to-GDP ratio has tripled. If you believe the government’s projections in Thursday’s budget, between 2009-2010 and 2017-2018, the province will have added about $90-billion in debt. The total debt will be about $280-billion.
It doesn’t matter, under these circumstances, which party forms the next government. The debt will still be there, large and growing, and very vulnerable to a hike in interest rates. Ontario, like other governments, can pile up more debt and get financing at low rates. When, inevitably, those rates rise, the burden of financing the debt will jump.
Thursday’s budget, in this sense, was like the recent federal one. The media and opposition parties in Ottawa focused on all the changes. Fair enough, but the biggest, silent increase in the federal budget was money for seniors’ pensions. That didn’t get a whisper of attention, because the costs go up quietly.
So, too, the post-budget coverage and debate in Ontario swirled about new spending in some programs while restraint is exercised in others; whether the Liberals met the NDP’s bargaining positions to get the budget passed and so remain in office; and whether the deficit will be going slightly up or down. But beneath the radar screen will be the buildup of debt, and the very real question about whether the province can manage it.
Ontario could finance its debt more easily if economic growth and accompanying government revenues grew at least as fast as debt-servicing costs. But economic growth is going to be about half the increase in costs of servicing the debt.
As the budget itself notes, Ontario’s productivity lags behind that of the United States, as does business investment. The province’s cost competitiveness has eroded. What the budget didn’t mention is that energy costs are soaring. Programs also are rising for such items as seniors’ drugs (up 5.4 per cent) and public-sector pensions (most public-sector employees have defined benefit plans, whereas private-sector employees don’t). Then there are provincial arbitrators who pay no attention to a government’s ability to pay, thereby driving up costs (see police, for example) by looking only at other settlements.
Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government was in the tightest of spots, not a place from which to talk about difficult stuff such as the buildup of debt. Her Liberal government finds itself between Conservatives, who hound it with demands for an election, and New Democrats, who play an annual game of political extortion with their list of demands.
It’s a terrible way to run a legislature, let alone a government, but that’s the way the opposition parties wish to play their hands. So the Liberals seek what they call a “balanced approach” between Conservatives who want bigger cuts in public spending and New Democrats who instinctively want to spend lots more, with the money coming from the business sector and the better off.
With the size of the Ontario economy, when it either goes spiralling into a recession or the painful cuts are made, it is going to impact us all.
Excellent op-ed in the Winnipeg Free Press by Sam Tsemberis and Vicky Stergiopoulos
In Canada, we conducted the largest randomized controlled trial of its kind in the world on homelessness by comparing housing-first to services as usual (the At Home/Chez Soi study) involving 2,255 participants who were homeless across five Canadian cities (Moncton, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver). The one-year results, recently reported by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, indicate HF is significantly more effective than services as usual in providing stable housing for people who had been homeless for years and who have complex clinical needs.
Also compelling was the finding that for every two government dollars invested in the HF program, $1 was saved. Savings were even greater for those who used services the most, with $3 saved for every $2 spent.
It’s no wonder the federal government supports housing-first: It is highly effective and can save money.
So Canada is on the right track. We have both funds and evidence-based policy for moving forward on homelessness. However, we still face two major hurdles in order to successfully meet a housing-first model.
First, the majority of programs currently funded across the country can be described as providing services for people who are homeless. Shelters, drop-in centres, and especially transitional or short-term housing programs must be helped to shift resources to programs that end homelessness instead. We will need to invest in providing training and consultation services to communities so they will obtain the guidance and support, timelines, and performance indicators necessary to move the system toward this new, much-needed direction.
The second hurdle concerns implementing housing-first programs so they are consistent with the basic principles of the model that achieved the outstanding outcomes in the At Home/Chez Soi study. Housing-first moves people rapidly from shelters or the streets into stable housing and provides evidence-based clinical and social supports to address social, mental-health, health, addiction, educational, employment issues and others. By providing services using a team approach and co-ordinating housing, clinical and social supports, this model reduces problems associated with fragmentation of services and improves inter-sectoral collaboration that usually plagues individuals and families seeking treatment.
In other words, housing-first, if implemented properly will transform public services across the country as we know them, and to do this effectively, teams will need adequate support and guidance to do so.
I just got a press release from John Howard Society that they are renaming their Emergency Receiving House (Avenue I in Saskatoon) slated to open June 1st will be formally named “Bert’s Place” in honour of my friend, Bert Lang.
Bert and I worked together at the Salvation Army and he has made a huge difference in the lives of youth since moving to the John Howard Society. Congrats to Bert for the honour and to John Howard Society for opening their new facility for at risk youth.