Posts Tagged ‘Joe Mihevc

Joe Mihevc on crossing the Rubicon to the ballot box

- December 21st, 2012

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Councillor Joe Mihevc said this week that councillors should spend December discussing what to do if Mayor Rob Ford loses his appeal.

If Ford does get tossed out of office, council will have to decide whether to appoint a new mayor or to hold a mayoral byelection. While Mihevc said he hasn’t made up his mind on the issue, he did stress at some point Toronto will have to cast a vote on Ford’s mayoralty.

Here’s what Mihevc (quite eloquently) told reporters:

“My fear is that sooner or later you’re going to have to deal with Ford at the ballot box and whether people want to continue with that politics or go into a new local politics.

Sooner or later we’re going to have that election.

Sooner or later we’re going to have to cross the Rubicon as Torontonians and the question is do you want to do it in 2013 … or whether it is appropriate to do it in 2014.”

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.”

 

Quotable Quotes: The Life and Death of OneCity

- July 12th, 2012

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Here’s what city councillors said Wednesday during the transit debate (story here):

“It’s pink lipstick on a very fat pig with flip flops on.”
- Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti on OneCity advocates claiming a win

“I think it has been renamed the Toronto transit expansion plan and that’s just fine.”
- TTC Chair Karen Stintz on the death of OneCity

“-”
- Mayor Rob Ford who didn’t speak during Wednesday’s transit debate

“I would say that the province would not be wise to continue to spend large sums of money on the Scarborough LRT because council is going to weigh in on it at a later point this year.”

- Councillor Joe Mihevc

“They’ve fallen into the trap that Rob Ford set about retail politics, when it’s all about slogans and campaigns.”
- Councillor Adam Vaughan

“I’m very disappointed that didn’t happen.”
- Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker on rejection of his motion on studying extending the Bloor-Danforth line rather than replacing the Scarborough RT with an LRT

“I can assure everyone in Toronto the mayor is back in charge of transit and we’re going to move forward.”
- Councillor Doug Ford

“I just want to know what OneCity is … Where is it? Where’s Waldo?”
- Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti asking why no one has introduced OneCity on the floor of council

“We know that we’re failing (on transit), we haven’t kept up.”
- Councillor Peter Milczyn on transit

“We’ve clearly made a meal out of this particular issue, we continue to chew at the same old bone.”
- Councillor Michael Thompson on transit

“Building transit can’t be about political cover.”
- Councillor Shelley Carroll

“It’s a complete flame out.”
- Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong on the end of OneCity

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.

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.

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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

Mayor Ford and Mihevc on the Same Team (this weekend)

- February 3rd, 2012

Eli Manning

Eli Manning of the New York Giants rolls out of the pocket while playing the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on December 26, 2010 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP)

Mayor Rob Ford and Councillor Joe Mihevc agreed on one thing this week.

That may not sound like news but watching City Hall over the last year, trust me, it is.

Mihevc, an NDPer, is a vocal Ford critic currently fighting tooth and nail against the right-leaning mayor’s transit plan. The former TTC vice-chairman blitzed Ford this week in a bid to revive Transit City.

But, despite their different political teams, the two both like football.

Ford and Mihevc play the City Hall football pool together. This year, much to Ford’s frustration and Mihevc’s glee, the Ward 21, St. Paul’s councillor has been sacking the mayor when it comes to football picks.

So ahead of Super Bowl weekend I was surprised to find that Ford and Mihevc agree on something, they both believe the New York Giants will win the game.

(OK so this isn’t a new transit compromise they both agreeing to but c’mon, it’s Friday)

Mihevc was surprised to hear Ford is also picking the Giants over the New England Patriots to win Sunday.

“We’ll split the winnings,” Mihevc shrugged Thursday.

Then I told him Councillor Doug Ford, the mayor’s brother, is picking the Patriots.

“They’re hedging their bets!” Mihevc said.

Just when you thought we had some agreement at City Hall.