Posts Tagged ‘city council

Councillors petition Mayor Rob Ford to take a leave

- November 13th, 2013

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Wednesday’s city council meeting began with Councillor Jaye Robinson introducing a petition signed by councillors urging Mayor Rob Ford to get help for substance abuse issues.

As Robinson read out the names of the councillors who signed the petition, she asked each of them to stand to send a strong message to the mayor. Ford and Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti were the two lone votes against receiving the petition at council.

Here is the full text of the petition that Robinson read out in the council chamber:

 

November 12, 2013

Mayor Rob Ford,

We write to you as colleagues representing wards from across the city and the political spectrum.

Over the past six months, and especially the past few weeks, we have grown increasingly concerned by the seemingly endless cycle of allegations, denials and belated admissions about your behaviour.

Toronto is distracted and for good reason. Our city’s reputation has been damaged and continues to suffer, and it has become difficult to focus on the pressing and substantive issues facing City Council.

Today we stand together to ask that you step aside and take a leave of absence to address your challenges privately, outside of the public eye. We believe that the majority of Torontonians share our view, and that City Council will excuse any absences you require to address the situation with finality.

The city and the Office of the Mayor demands nothing less than honesty, accountability and transparency.

Sincerely,

Paul Ainslie
Ana Bailão
Michelle Berardinetti
Shelley Carroll
Raymond Cho
Josh Colle
Gary Crawford
Glenn De Baeremaeker
Mike Del Grande
Sarah Doucette
John Filion
Paula Fletcher
Mary Fragedakis
Mark Grimes
Mike Layton
Chin Lee
Gloria Lindsay Luby
Josh Matlow
Pam McConnell
Mary-Margaret McMahon
Joe Mihevc
Peter Milczyn
Ron Moeser
Denzil Minnan-Wong
James Pasternak
Cesar Palacio
John Parker
Jaye Robinson
Michael Thompson
Kristyn Wong-Tam

 

Quote of the day – Mayor Rob Ford loves the great white shark

- October 17th, 2013

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“It has a big mouth and it has sharp teeth. If anything gets in its way, he takes care of it pretty quick.”

- Mayor Rob Ford on his favourite fish – the great white shark – during the opening of Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada on Wednesday.

Interestingly, Ford was one of only four members of council to vote against a ban on the possession, sale and consumption of shark fin products in the City of Toronto back in 2011.

Motion of the day: Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti offers a traffic solution

- June 11th, 2013

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“That City Council direct that anywhere south of Davenport be reverted to horse and buggy and all asphalt be removed from this area and returned to dirt road; And that City Council suggest that residents dress in period costume reminiscent of pioneer times.” 

- Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti’s motion presented at city council Tuesday after growing frustrated with the debate over traffic congestion. The speaker ruled it out of order.

Councillor Jaye Robinson on being fired by Mayor Rob Ford

- June 11th, 2013

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Councillor Jaye Robinson was dropped from Mayor Rob Ford’s executive committee late Monday (story here).

Here is the speech she delivered to the media Tuesday morning on her firing:

 

GOOD MORNING

I CAME TO CITY HALL TO BUILD ON TORONTO’S INCREDIBLE SUCCESS, TO GET DOWN TO WORK AND TO MOVE THE CITY FORWARD

AND THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT I HAVE DONE AS A MODERATE, INDEPENDENT VOICE ON THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE.

I CONTINUE TO SUPPORT A FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE AGENDA

BUT I HAVE CONSISTENTLY SPOKEN OUT ON KEY ISSUES THAT MATTERED TO THE FUTURE OF THE CITY

FROM THE PORTLANDS, TO LIBRARY CUTS, TO A DOWNTOWN CASINO – I HAVE DISAGREED WITH THE MAYOR, HONESTLY, OPENLY AND TRANSPARENTLY

RECENTLY I suggested that the Mayor should clearly, definitively and without ambiguity address the allegations that have now been circulating for more than 3 weeks.

 

It was hoped this would, once and for all put an end to the distractions that continue to draw attention away from important city issues.

 

I went on to say if the Mayor is unwilling or unable to definitively address the allegations then he should consider taking a TEMPORARY leave of absence until such time as THESE ISSUES are resolved allowing the rest of the city to get on with its business without distraction.

I CONTINUE TO BELIEVE A CLEAR AND ACCOUNTABLE APPROACH IS IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE MAYOR AND THE CITY.

I HAVE WORKED FOR COMPROMISE – OPENLY AND BEHIND THE SCENES – WHERE OTHERS COULDN’T SEE IT OR WEREN’T INTERESTED

AND I WILL CONTINUE TO STAND UP AND SPEAK OUT WHEN THE SITUATION DEMANDS

EVERY DECISION MAKING BODY NEEDS DISAGREEMENT – IT ALLOWS FOR THE KIND OF DEBATE THAT LEADS TO GOOD DECISIONS AND STRONG LEADERSHIP.

JUST SIX MONTHS AGO I WAS APPOINTED CHAIR OF THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND RECREATION COMMITTEE AND I TOOK ON THIS ROLE WITH GREAT ENTHUSIASM AND CONVICTION

IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE NO LONGER SEEMS TO HAVE ROOM FOR A DIVERSITY OF VOICES AND POINTS OF VIEW

IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE CAN NO LONGER TOLERATE REASONABLE, INFORMED DISAGREEMENT

IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT DIVISIVE AND POLARIZING ATTITUDES ARE DIVIDING OUR CITY AND ALIENATING COMMUNITIES

IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT THE MAYOR DID NOT HAVE THE COURTESY OR RESPECT TO REMOVE ME FROM EXECUTIVE IN PERSON, FACE TO FACE

NEVERTHELESS

I AM PROUD OF MY CONTRIBUTIONS TO EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND TO THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND RECREATION COMMITTEE

I WILL CONTINUE TO BE A STRONG, INDEPENDENT VOICE AT CITY COUNCIL. THERE IS MUCH WORK TO DO AND THERE ARE MANY LEADERS AT CITY HALL THAT ARE READY TO STEP UP

I LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH MY COLLEAGUES ON COUNCIL FROM ACROSS THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM TO MOVE THE CITY’S AGENDA FORWARD

I AM HAPPY TO TAKE QUESTIONS

 

The casino vote is all or nothing: Doug Ford

- April 18th, 2013

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The Fords will know when to fold ‘em when it comes to a Toronto casino.

Councillor Doug Ford made it clear Thursday if city council rejects a downtown casino in the next few weeks, Mayor Rob Ford’s administration will walk away from the issue.

“We’re going to try (to win the vote),” Ford said, looking ahead at what appears to be an uphill battle for the pro-casino forces at council.

But Ford stressed if council rejects pushing ahead on a downtown casino the mayor won’t campaign in 2014 on reopening the issue.

“Once it is done, it is done,” Ford said. “We move on, continue running the city and just move on.

“If the councillors don’t want it, very simple, we aren’t going to do it.”

Regardless of what side you are on in the casino debate, Ford’s comments make the stakes of the looming council vote that much higher.

Don’t bet on a casino: 3 ex-Mayors to city council

- January 30th, 2013

City Hall is gearing up for the great casino debate in the next few weeks. Three of Toronto’s ex-mayors – David Crombie, Art Eggleton and John Sewell – have teamed up to tell Mayor Rob Ford and city council not to bet on a casino.

Here is the letter they released today (full disclosure – Art Eggleton seems to have provided it exclusively to the Toronto Star yesterday):

 

January 30, 2013
The Mayor and City Councillors
Toronto City Hall
Dear Mayor and Councillors,
We are former Mayors of Toronto who believe that it is not in our city’s best interest to establish commercial casino operations in Toronto.
In the years we served in office, we saw countless proposals that proponents said would bring the city big revenues, many jobs, and much prestige. And some of them did, but beware the sales pitch. The numbers don’t always add up, and we think that is a real possibility in this case. Revenues can be inflated and costs such as police services and traffic congestion underestimated. In fact, extensive research in the U.S., carried out by Earl Grinols, professor of economics at Baylor University, indicates that for every $1 in benefit, there is a cost of at least $3. These costs are reflected in infrastructure costs, higher regulatory expenses, additional policing and criminal justice costs, and larger social welfare expenditures.
A Canadian study by the RCMP in British Columbia has also linked increased crime to casino gambling, noting that “members of organized crime also use casinos for criminal purposes such as loan-sharking and money laundering”.
And how will local businesses in and around the Casino be affected? According to some studies, not too well. Casinos want to keep you in the building, not roaming to outside restaurants and other establishments in the community. They have their own restaurants and shopping facilities to keep you inside. In Atlantic City many restaurants have closed near the casinos, leaving a few pawnshops and cash for gold stores.
It has been suggested that a casino shouldn’t be in a residential neighbourhood. But look at downtown Toronto and almost anywhere else in the city. Condo development is putting residential communities everywhere.
The social costs of gambling must also be taken seriously. It preys on the poor and those vulnerable to addiction. Problem gambling is already an issue. A commercial casino in Toronto will make it that much worse. Studies indicate that where casinos go, so go increases in poverty, homelessness, gambling problems, suicides, drug/alcohol addictions, and crimes by those feeding their habit. Not only are the gamblers affected but so are their families, their kids.
Toronto is not about to become another Las Vegas, a tourist gambling destination. And we wouldn’t want it to. Much of the casino revenues are likely to be generated locally by taking away from other games of chance and lotteries. There are already enough gambling opportunities. We say enough is
enough. Governments shouldn’t be expanding gambling opportunities as a means of balancing their budgets. A commercial casino operation is not in Toronto’s best interest.
Sincerely ,
David Crombie, John Sewell, Art Eggleton

Quote of the Day – City’s retiring CFO gives his two cents

- October 3rd, 2012

CFO Cam Weldon

Cam Weldon, the City of Toronto’s chief financial officer (Don Peat/Toronto Sun)

“One more thing, you need to be nicer to each other when I’m gone – you’ll accomplish more, you’ll live longer and you’ll retire happy like me.”

- City of Toronto Chief Financial Officer Cam Weldon’s advice to city councillors during his retirement speech on Wednesday

Councillor Ron Moeser’s leg

- September 10th, 2012

Councillor Ron Moeser hasn’t been at city council very much this year due to ongoing health problems.

Moeser sent an email to councillors Monday morning updating them on his condition and indicating he may be back in October.

Here’s a copy of the email obtained by the Sun:

 

Dear Colleagues,
 
This is to update you on my current medical condition. I am still recovering from the latest surgery and hope to have the metal brace removed in time to attend the October Council meetings.
 
Thank you for your understanding through this trying time.
Councillor Ron Moeser

Scarborough East, Ward 44

 

But he didn’t stop there.

To drive his point home, Moeser also attached a photo of his leg.

Here it is:

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I’m no medical expert but that looks fairly painful.

Hope he gets well soon.

What to expect when Councillor Josh Matlow is expecting

- July 24th, 2012

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Councillor Josh Matlow has a mini-Matlow on the way.

The rookie councillor announced on Twitter Monday that his wife Melissa is four months pregnant.

“I’ve never been so clear about why I care so much about fighting for the health of our community and city,” Matlow tweeted.

His breaking baby news was quickly met with a torrent of congratulations.

The couple don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl yet but I’m told they will find out soon.

All the best to the Matlows.

Quotable Quotes: City Council recap

- July 9th, 2012

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Toronto city council meets this week for the last meeting before the summer break (story on that here). Here’s some of the more memorable quotes from city council meetings during the first six months of 2012:

“That whole meeting was irrelevant.”
- Mayor Rob Ford after city council voted in February to revive most of the Transit City plan.

“The people of this city have spoken loud and clear. They want subways,  folks. They want subways, subways, subways.”
- Mayor Rob Ford during the Sheppard subway vs. Sheppard LRT debate at council in March.

“I think we’re going to get sued.”
- Mayor Rob Ford immediately after Toronto city council voted to ban plastic bags starting January 1, 2013.

“Just get rid of the damn bags!”
- Councillor David Shiner urging councillors to support a bag ban at the June city council meeting.

“This is a vote. We’ll get past it. We’re one city. We need to move forward together.”
- TTC chair Karen Stintz on whether she could work with Mayor Rob Ford after the Sheppard subway vote in March.

“My advice to the taxpayer would be don’t send us any more activists, don’t send us any more unionists, don’t send us any more cyclists … Send us some people down here with good common sense who just want to manage the city’s affairs, that’s what’s needed.”
- Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday in April following a debate on contracting out cleaning jobs.

“F— off.”
- Councillor Gord Perks to Councillor Josh Colle during a debate on gun control in May. He later apologized.

“You just don’t get anywhere with these monkeys.”
- Councillor Doug Ford during the debate over the Sheppard subway in March.

“I apologize for saying monkeys.”
- Councillor Doug Ford after councillors demanded an apology for him calling them monkeys during the Sheppard subway debate in March.

“There is no way that you can say that (Mayor Rob Ford) saved the day, that he won the day. He, frankly, lost the day quite miserably.”
- Councillor Joe Mihevc after the 2012 budget vote at city council in January.

“I have never seen councillors so confused as they are today.”
- Speaker Frances Nunziata to council during the March special council meeting on the Sheppard subway.