“Have a Happy Thanksgiving and remember to drive safe.”
- Mayor Rob Ford’s sign off Friday in his weekly “Message from Mayor Rob Ford” e-mail blast
Mayor Rob Ford reading while driving on the Gardiner back in August.
But seriously folks.
Ford’s weekly message (full text below) is always an interesting piece of propaganda from the mayor’s office. There hasn’t been one in a while but this week, the message gives the Fordian take on the events of the week including the sale of Enwave, the bag ban and the ombudsman’s report.
Of course, it gives the talking point response to the ombudsman’s investigation: “our Administration has made the public appointments process more open, transparent and accountable than it has ever been before.”
(Story on Ombudsman’s report here, here and here)
Here’s the full text of Ford’s email message:
This week marked the first meeting of Council following the summer break. The three-day meeting dealt with 186 items, including the sale of Enwave Energy Corporation, the plastic shopping bag ban and a report from the Ombudsman.
I am very pleased to tell you that Council approved the sale of the City’s share of Enwave Energy Corporation. Enwave is a company that provides heating, cooling and alternative energy to commercial customers and was owned jointly by the City of Toronto and OMERS. On November 30, 2011 City Council along with OMERS authorized the company to look for potential buyers for 100% of the company. This week, Council approved the sale. The City will receive about $170 million for its share of the company, which is more than twice the initial investment made on behalf of taxpayers. The sale of Enwave will provide much needed money to pay down our existing capital debt.The actions of our Administration to continue making good financial decisions are being recognized. Yesterday, DBRS confirmed Toronto’s credit rating at AA, Stable. DBRS attributes this rating to our work to contain spending, improve efficiency and to find permanent solutions to eliminating our budget gap. DBRS commented that, although Toronto achieved a positive operating variance in 2011, it continues to have a financial deficit when both capital and operating budgets are considered. Although this deficit was reduced by the Administration’s disciplined approach to cost-control, any let up in this discipline could cause the situation to get worse. In other words, although our Operating Budget is doing well — much more work must still be done to fund our capital needs without going too far into debt.
As many of you know, I have openly spoken about my concerns regarding the proposed banning of plastic shopping bags in Toronto. Council’s decision to ban plastic shopping bags was done hastily, without study or consultation. We have received notice that some groups intend to pursue legal action against the City as a result. Councillors Milczyn and Minnan-Wong proposed that Council reconsider this decision – a proposal I fully supported. While a clear majority of Councillors also supported this proposal and voted to reopen the issue (27-18), it was not enough to meet the two thirds that Council procedures require to do so. I will continue working with staff and the majority of Councillors who believe this issue must be resolved.
Over the past number of days, a lot of attention has been given to the Ombudsman’s report on Civic Appointments. Since taking office, our Administration has made the public appointments process more open, transparent and accountable than it has ever been before. Prior to taking office, the public appointments process lacked accountability. Many boards were self-nominated, others appointed nominees from secret lists prepared by agency staff or insiders. This process has ended. Our new process works well, and all the Councillors on the Civic Appointments Committee have worked extremely hard to ensure the process is open, fair, transparent and accountable.
There will be no radio show this Thanksgiving weekend. Have a Happy Thanksgiving and remember to drive safe.
Mayor Rob Ford
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