Posts Tagged ‘bag ban

Quote of the Day – Don’t Cross the Streams (City Council edition)

- November 14th, 2012

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“To not support this, moves council to a dysfunctionality that we have yet to see and I would shudder to think that we would see.”

- Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong on why he felt he can’t vote against the bag ban bylaw (story here)

(It’s sounds eerily similar to the scene in Ghostbusters where they are warned not to cross the streams of their proton packs – YouTube video of that here)

Help me fight the plastic bag ban: Mayor Rob Ford

- October 21st, 2012

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Mayor Rob Ford isn’t throwing out his fight against Toronto’s looming plastic bag ban.

Ford urged his Newstalk 1010 show listeners Sunday to help him reverse the city’s ban on plastic bags. The ban is set to take effect January 1, 2013. Councillors on the public works committee is set to hold consultation on the ban at their November meeting.

“OK, folks, you want plastic bags, I want to keep plastic bags – they are very, very handy,” Ford said. “You have to show up November 14 to the works committee at 9:30 a.m. and you have five minutes to say why you think plastic bags are important or on the other hand, why you don’t think plastic bags are important.”

Ford read out the names of the 18 councillors who voted against reopening the bag ban at city council earlier this month.

“You have to call these councillors folks,” Ford said.

“We have to get Ana Bailao, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Sarah Doucette, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Mike Layton, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Ron Moeser, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, David Shiner, Adam Vaughan and Kristyn Wong-Tam.

“Folks, you must call these people and maybe they can explain why they want to ban plastic bags or why they don’t want to open the debate.”

Ford seemed to joke he may have to do a robo-call in those councillors’ wards to drive the point home.

“You have to put your waste in something,” Ford said.

“It is essential that we have plastic bags,” he added.

Councillor Doug Ford guaranteed the majority of the people in those councillors’ wards would say “I need a plastic bag.”

“It’s not our job, again here is the nanny state again government interfering, we know better,” Ford said. “It is just a socialist mentality that we’re dictating to people what they can and can’t do.”

Councillor Vince Crisanti, a guest on the Sunday radio show, complained the bag ban “rear-ended” councillors earlier this year as they debated ending the five-cent bag fee.

“Who saw that coming?” he said.

Crisanti joked next council could end up banning cars.

Councillor Ford blamed council for being “dysfunctional.”

“What’s next? A ban on what?” Ford asked.

Mayor Ford also hinted he may try to reverse City Hall’s ban on bottled water on city property. That ban was approved by former Mayor David Miller’s city council.

“You can allow bottled Coke and bottle root beer and bottle ginger ale and every other bottled (drink) at City Hall but you can’t have bottled water,” Ford said. “That’s something that we have to get back on the floor.”

 

Happy Thanksgiving from Mayor Rob Ford

- October 6th, 2012

---From Remote-- (14- __K6J9300_   _ Toronto city council meeting October 4, 2012- Mayor Rob Ford

“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

Ummmm …

 

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)

Happy Thanksgiving!

_________

Here’s the full text of Ford’s email message:

Dear Friends:

 

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.

 

Yours truly,

 

Mayor Rob Ford

Councillor Shelley Carroll’s vote to kill the bag ban isn’t in the bag

- October 1st, 2012

Councillor Shelley Carroll

Councillor Shelley Carroll (Toronto Sun files)

City council is poised to debate banishing the plastic bag ban this week (story here).

I’m told the vote to reopen the item could be a close one (the member’s motion requires 30 votes).

Mayor Rob Ford went on the radio Sunday and encouraged residents to call their councillors and urge them to toss the ban. Councillor Shelley Carroll sent an email to councillors Monday letting her council colleagues know she’s not on-board with reopening the ban.

One of Carroll’s colleagues passed that email along to the Sun so now you can read it for yourself.

Here’s Carroll’s email:

 

Hello Dear Colleagues,

I have been asked multiple times this morning my position on Councillor Milczyn’s member motion regarding the Plastic Bag Ban. To save time and to ensure ‘no surprises’, I’m communicating with the whole group.
Since the beginning, I have been sympathetic to a motion to re-open expressly for the purpose of changing the date of implementation. As I pointed out to Peter earlier last week, this has the dual purpose of upholding the will of Council but also acknowledging the necessary implementation work for professional staff.
The current motion, however, is far too broad and could subvert the original position taken by strong majority of Councillors. I informed Peter this morning that I will not be supporting the motion in its current form.
Sincerely, Shelley Carroll

Blame the bags?

- June 8th, 2012

Councillor David Shiner

Councillor David Shiner surprised a lot of people this week when he moved to ban plastic shopping bags in Toronto.

The veteran councillor – who once worked as a grocery store bag boy as a teenager – got a majority of councillors Wednesday to drag Hogtown into becoming the first major Canadian city to ban plastic bags (story here).

And while city legal staff have yet to weigh in on the ban’s legality (story here) and Mayor Rob Ford is vows to fight it (story here), I can’t help but wonder if only stores hadn’t introduced “lousy” plastic bags after Toronto’s 5-cent bag tax came into effect the city might not have a ban.

Why not? Because Shiner wouldn’t hate the damn things so much.

Shiner made it crystal clear Thursday he feels the plastic bags Toronto stores offer “have become so much worse” since the 5-cent bag fee came into effect. Here’s what he told reporters a day after the bag ban vote:

“It’s a lousy bag, it rips, your groceries fall through the bottom of it, it doesn’t work right. It’s time to get something better at the checkout stands and this is the way to get retailers to work with us to do that.”

Later on in the scrum (which almost last 14 minutes), he continued to slam the plastic bag as “not a good product.”

“It doesn’t work right, it rips, it’s expensive and it leaves us an environmental hazard for generations to come. Let’s do something better.”

Then reporters asked Shiner if he himself uses plastic bags. He admits usually he brings his own bags but occasionally he buys a plastic one. Here’s Shiner on his experience with plastic bags:

“I don’t like it cause it rips. How many times have I put my cucumber in the bag and it has fallen on the floor? And they do me a ‘favour’ and give me a replacement. Or I put in a couple of jars of pasta sauce or some cans and I’m worried I won’t get to my car.”

“(Plastic bags) are so flimsy, they are so crumby, they’re not worth five cents, they’re not worth three cents, they’re not worth a penny.”

“As a matter of fact how many times do you see somebody stuff (a bag full) and it breaks as they get out to their car because it falls through those crumby bags. Let’s do the right thing and get the right container to use.”

Whether you agree with the bag ban or not, tell me you haven’t noticed plastic bags have been pretty crappy since we started paying a nickel for them.

So this January when you walk into a plastic bag-free store, just think if only retailers had ponied up for a plastic bag that could hold Shiner’s cucumber or his jars of pasta sauce the bag vote likely would have gone a lot differently.

If the bag vote is a lesson that no councillors’ vote is in the bag, maybe the bag ban is a lesson to retailers that customers like Shiner do have a (bag) breaking point.