Posts Tagged ‘gord perks

Help me fight the plastic bag ban: Mayor Rob Ford

- October 21st, 2012

TS_04Tor_Ford27

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.”

 

City Hall Face-Off: Perks vs. Mammoliti

- October 3rd, 2012

Councillor Gord Perks vs. Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti

Here’s what Councillor Gord Perks said to Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti during Wednesday’s city council meeting:

Reporter: Why did you walk out?

Mammoliti: The ruling that seems to have taken a path suggests that any member of council doesn’t have a right to question any report that is in front of you especially when your belief …

(Enter Perks)

Perks: “Shame on you, shame on you, get out of this chamber. Get out of this chamber. You’re a bully, you’re a bully, you’re trying to destroy the public service in this city. Get out of here. You said you were leaving the chamber, leave the chamber.”

Mammoliti: “I will defend myself if you keep touching me. Don’t touch me.”

Perks: “I’m not touching you Giorgio.”

Mammoliti: “Then get away from me.”

Perks: “Leave the chamber.”

Mammoliti: “Get away from my space.”

Perks: “Leave the chamber.”

Mammoliti: “Please get away from my space.”

Perks: “If you haven’t got the courage to stand up and debate this, leave.”

Mammoliti: “Please get away from my space. I’m asking you nicely. Please get away from my space.”

Perks: “This is the way you behave, you use your bully pulpit to try to intimidate the public service.”

Mammoliti: “I think that you are bullying me right now so please stop.”

Perks: “Unbelievable, you are destroying the public service in this city.”

(Perks walks away)

Councillor Josh Matlow takes out the trash (literally)

- August 22nd, 2012

Councillor Josh Matlow takes out the trash

Councillor Josh Matlow picks up his resident’s garbage after GFL fails to make the pick-up (Photo from Josh Matlow’s Facebook page)

The introduction of private garbage collection in Toronto’s west end and the subsequent problems in the roll out this month has led to lots of councillors sounding off.

On Tuesday, Mayor Rob Ford applauded the private pick-up (story here).

But not everyone has called it “fantastic.”

Councillor Gord Perks told me it took Green For Life (the private company taking over District 2 collection) nine days to pick up a mattress and a box spring outside his own home. Perks – who voted against privatization – chronicled the plight of the bed on his Twitter account as it languished on the curb for over a week.

But despite Perks “Waiting for GFL” saga, Councillor Josh Matlow – who voted in favour of privatization – so far has the best story about the dealing with the growing pains of the new private pick-up.

Matlow ended up lending one resident a hand when their garbage didn’t get picked up for an entire week. The Ward 22, St. Paul’s councillor personally picked up the resident’s trash when the city failed to respond to repeated requests from his office to get GFL to take out the trash.

“I said the hell with it, I’m going to go get it myself,” Matlow told me Tuesday.

The councillor posted a pic of his “public pick-up” on his Facebook page and Twitter account last week.

No word yet if any other councillors have gone on guerrilla garbage runs but if they do, feel free to drop me a line.

Quotable Quotes: City Council recap

- July 9th, 2012

cityhallpic2

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.

Quote of the Day: Councillor Gord Perks on Toronto’s transit funding problem

- July 6th, 2012

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“Nobody cuts a ribbon when somebody gets a seat on the Dufferin bus but that’s the more important job.”

- Councillor Gord Perks summing up why operating funding isn’t as sexy as capital funding and transit maps (story here)

Careful what you vote for: Ball hockey edition

- May 27th, 2012

Councillor Josh Matlow

Councillor Josh Matlow (Toronto Sun file photo)

A majority of councillors started Toronto on this not-so brilliant breakaway to the edge of ball hockey bureaucracy a year ago.

Back in May 2011, a majority of councillors were onside with Councillor Josh Matlow’s push to have city bureaucrats find a fix for Toronto’s ball hockey ban.

Mayor Rob Ford and 35 councillors voted in favour of Matlow’s motion to have staff look at ways to exempt streets from the city’s ball hockey ban.

Matlow revealed this week the staff would be coming forward with that plan at the June public works meeting (story here). As details of the proposed plan spread, it didn’t go over well with scathing reaction from Matlow’s fellow councillors (story here and here). A day later, Matlow iced the idea (story here).

Reading the motion from that May council meeting, it’s not surprising city staff came back to Matlow with this ridiculously bureaucratic process for parents to go through to get their street exempt from the city’s rarely enforced ball hockey ban.

The motion the majority of council supported ordered the city manager to report to the public works committee on “the type of streets on which street hockey or other ball sports are suitable” such as dead-end streets, cul-de-sacs and ones with low traffic volume. It also asked the city manager to do a feasibility study on “a procedure that allows any Toronto resident residing on a street with a speed limit at or lower than 40 km/hr to apply for an exemption from the current city by-laws that prohibit playing street hockey and other ball sports.”

Although Matlow is taking all the hits on this initiative, he sure got a helping hand from councillors.

So who cast their ballot to start the ball rolling on this?

Along with Matlow and the mayor were Councillors Paul Ainslie, Ana Bailão, Michelle Berardinetti, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Doug Ford, Mary Fragedakis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Peter Milczyn, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Ron Moeser, Frances Nunziata, Cesar Palacio, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Karen Stintz, Michael Thompson and Adam Vaughan.

Seven councillors faced off against this idea right from the start. The seven councillors who voted no to starting staff down this inevitable path to a ridiculously bureaucratic process were Councillors Maria Augimeri, Mike Del Grande, Frank Di Giorgio, Mark Grimes, Doug Holyday, Gloria Lindsay Luby and John Parker.

Parker made his thoughts on the initiative crystal clear last Wednesday when he told reporters the following:

“Look, I love my colleague Councillor Matlow to bits and I would never suggest that anything he brings forward is for the benefit of gaining public profile and the odd cheap headline. But I think the city has done just fine by way of accommodating road hockey on our streets without the benefit of a whole lot of study by city staff and committees.”

So there you go, Matlow may be in the penalty box for this one but he had some help from a lot of council teammates to get here.

***

Here’s how councillors voted back in May 2011 on the motion entitled “Exemption to By-Laws Prohibiting Street Hockey and Other Ball Sports to Promote Active and Healthy Youth and Community Engagement”:

Yes: 36
Paul Ainslie, Ana Bailão, Michelle Berardinetti, Shelley Carroll, Raymond Cho, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Doug Ford, Rob Ford, Mary Fragedakis, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Chin Lee, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Joe Mihevc, Peter Milczyn, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Ron Moeser, Frances Nunziata, Cesar Palacio, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Karen Stintz, Michael Thompson, Adam Vaughan

No: 7
Maria Augimeri, Mike Del Grande, Frank Di Giorgio, Mark Grimes, Doug Holyday, Gloria Lindsay Luby, John Parker

Absent: 2
James Pasternak, Kristyn Wong-Tam

City council to Gary Webster: We’re listening … sometimes

- February 20th, 2012

TTC chief general manager Gary Webster

TTC Chief General Manager Gary Webster (Toronto Sun file photo)

Toronto city councillors bemoaning the possible firing of TTC Chief General Manager Gary Webster may want to check their voting record.

While many are outraged at the possible dismissal of a professional civil servant for the presumed reason of challenging Mayor Rob Ford’s transit plan, around 28 councillors weren’t concerned about Webster’s coveted advice back in 2010.

Fresh from the 2010 municipal election, a majority of councillors voted to ask the province to declare the TTC an essential service. Those votes were cast against Webster’s warning that the TTC shouldn’t be deemed an essential service. Webster even appeared at the council meeting to voice his objection to the designation.

After Webster’s sage advice was delivered, a majority of councillors promptly voted against his advice.

This isn’t to argue City Hall is better off, as some have described it, valuing “toadyism” over professionalism.

But when it comes to the civil service it does show city councillors, even when handed “professional advice” from a veteran transit expert, don’t always listen.

—————————–

Here’s how city councillors voted on December 16, 2010 on a motion to ask the province to designate the TTC an essential service:

Yes (28 councillors)

Paul Ainslie, Michelle Berardinetti, Raymond Cho, Gary Crawford, Vincent Crisanti, Mike Del Grande, Frank Di Giorgio, John Filion, Doug Ford, Rob Ford, Mark Grimes, Doug Holyday, Norman Kelly, Chin Lee, Gloria Lindsay Luby, Giorgio Mammoliti, Josh Matlow, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Peter Milczyn, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, John Parker, James Pasternak, Jaye Robinson, David Shiner, Karen Stintz, Michael Thompson

No (17 councillors)

Maria Augimeri, Ana Bailão, Shelley Carroll, Josh Colle, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Sarah Doucette, Paula Fletcher, Mary Fragedakis, Mike Layton, Pam McConnell, Joe Mihevc, Ron Moeser, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Adam Vaughan, Kristyn Wong-Tam

An empty mayor’s chair and lots of possibilities

- February 10th, 2012

Empty council seats

Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti sits beside Mayor Rob Ford’s empty chair on Wednesday, February 8, 2012 (Photos by Jack Boland/Toronto Sun)

Mayor Rob Ford lost a big transit vote this week.

He actually lost twice.

First, Ford tried to get council to put off the transit decision for 30 days.

He lost that vote 24 to 19.

After that deferral vote failed council was pretty much a runaway train that day.

The rest as they say is history.

But what you wouldn’t know unless you watched the day-long meeting was Ford split after that deferral vote.

We didn’t see him again at the meeting until the final vote.

I have no idea whether he had work to do elsewhere or if he was fuming somewhere behind the scenes but Ford was out of sight for a few hours.

But here’s what I do know.

While Ford was gone lots of councillors got a chance to try out his empty chair.

Some were no doubt using the empty chair to talk to Ford’s seat neighbour Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti but I have a funny feeling, particularly after I started tweeting about it that day, some were enjoying drawing attention to the empty seat.

Either way, it’s an interesting glimpse at what the future could look like if any of those taking the big guy’s big chair for a test drive ever become Toronto’s mayor.

City Hall history tells us mayors usually cut their teeth as city councillors first.

Given all the talk this week about possible 2014 mayoral candidates (cough) Karen Stintz (cough), why not think about it.

Sun photographer Jack Boland started snapping pictures of the interesting possibilities of these could-be mayors.

I’ve posted them here for your Friday morning enjoyment.

Let’s start on the left-side of council’s political spectrum:

Shelley Carroll

Mayor Shelley Carroll?

Sarah Doucette

Mayor Sarah Doucette?

Paula Fletcher

Mayor Paula Fletcher? Her campaign slogan could be: Come on Down Baby!

But left-leaning councillors weren’t the only ones sitting in Ford’s chair.

Right-leaning councillors need to sit in the mayor’s chair too:

Vince Crisanti

Mayor Vince Crisanti?

Frances Nunziata

She was mayor of the City of York at one time … Mayor Frances Nunziata?

And from the right-wing to one of the best bets among City Hall reporters as a 2014 mayoral candidate:

vaughan

Mayor Adam Vaughan?

Missing pictures – Councillor Josh Matlow and Councillor Gord Perks were also in the mayor’s chair at different points Wednesday but we didn’t get a picture of it.

So what do you think?

See any future mayors sitting in Mayor Rob Ford’s chair this week?