Posts Tagged ‘Jaye Robinson

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

 

Councillor Jaye Robinson on being fired by Mayor Rob Ford

- June 11th, 2013

jayerobinson

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

 

Mayor Rob Ford has a hole in his executive committee

- February 11th, 2013

Mayor Rob Ford will try to patch up a hole in his executive committee this week.

With the appointment of Councillor Frank Di Giorgio as budget chief, Ford now has an open seat on the 13-member committee.

The striking committee meets Wednesday to figure out who to add to the mayor’s inner circle of councillors.
Ford’s office wouldn’t comment on who the mayor is considering to add to the committee.

Councillor Ana Bailao said last week “it would be great to see another woman” on the committee but stressed she wouldn’t join the committee – she’s focused on affordable housing issues and her ward right now.

“I would really like to see another woman,” she said. “I think it is important also to have different views so I would definitely take this opportunity to reach out to other councillors that sometimes are not always on the same page but I think it is very healthy to bring different views into the executive.”

Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday – who chairs the striking committee – said he’s looking for a councillor who would be “realistic, reliable, fiscally responsible.”

“I don’t know if Councillor (Mike) Del Grande would be interested in coming on the executive (as an at-large member),” Holyday said. “I’d hope he’d consider it.”

Councillor Jaye Robinson, the lone female councillor on the committee, said she’d like to see Del Grande come back on the mayor’s executive.

“I think if he could stay on executive it would just be a huge asset,” she said.

“Outside of that, I’m not sure. It would be nice to get another newbie, another new councillor on executive.”

Del Grande – who lost his place on executive when he resigned as budget chief last month – said he’s “happy” in his current role as the Ward 39, Scarborough-Agincourt councillor.

Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti wouldn’t rule out a return to executive committee – but wasn’t asking for it either. Mammoliti quit the committee late last year.

“It would not be a bad thing to look for (the mayor) to be looking at someone that is willing to work with him from the middle,” he said. “Of course when that happens then the left feels empowered and they use that person as their little tool and then the little tool feels compelled to go against the mayor.

“The mayor is caught between a rock and a hard place. You really do need someone who is loyal to the agenda, I would imagine at the end of the day and not somebody who will be used as a tool for the left.”

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