Posts Tagged ‘John Parker

Welcome back, Milczyn

- August 3rd, 2013

photo (1)

 

Councillor Peter Milczyn lost his bid Thursday night to be the next MPP for the Liberals in Etobicoke-Lakeshore. Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday beat Milczyn in the byelection so he’ll be heading to Queen’s Park for the Progressive Conservatives while Milczyn will be coming back to City Hall.

On Friday morning, Councillor John Parker (a former PC MPP) had a little fun by posting this note on Milczyn’s City Hall office door.

“Welcome back, Peter,” Parker wrote on the signed note. “All is forgiven.”

And that’s City Hall getting back to normal – or as close as it ever gets.

 

Quote of the Day – Let’s not be juvenile: Councillor John Parker

- May 7th, 2013

Councillor John Parker

“It would be juvenile of the City of Toronto to sit here with the biggest need for transit funding, the most well-developed plans for how we would like to expand our transit system and then shy away from the serious question of just how we pay for it.”

- Councillor John Parker on why city council should have the transit tax debate this week (full story here). Although he wouldn’t confirm it Monday, Parker is the odds on favourite to move the motion that will spark the council debate on transit taxes at the council meeting.

Quote of the Day: Lessons from Mayor Rob Ford’s election

- January 24th, 2013

TS_03TorTTC28

“I think we now know that anyone can get to the mayor’s chair through the ballot box.”

- Councillor John Parker speaking Wednesday about next steps if Mayor Rob Ford loses his appeal Friday. Parker was asked if he would support appointing someone to be the city’s next mayor if he believed they couldn’t be elected mayor at the ballot box.

Quotes of the Day – TTC Labour War Edition

- September 28th, 2012

Toronto Sun---From Remote-- 15-pic's; TorTTC28; TTC met to decide on contracting out cleaning jobs

TTC commissioners voted 4 to 3 Thursday to contract out more than 150 bus cleaning jobs (story here). The debate was fairly lengthy and emotionally charged – lots of people were throwing around the word “war.”

Here’s a sample of what was said during Thursday’s contracting out debate at the TTC meeting:

“We don’t outsource for the sake of it. We don’t. We outsource because we think we can get the same job done at a reduced cost and a higher quality.”
- TTC chair Karen Stintz speaking to her TTC colleagues before the vote.

“This is far from over. We may have lost the battle but we sure as hell won’t lose the war.”
- Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113 president Bob Kinnear speaking to reporters after the vote.

“I will not turn my back on you. I will vote against this report.”
- TTC vice-chairman and Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker speaking to TTC workers before the vote.

“A lot of what has been said today is hyperbole.”
- TTC commissioner and Councillor John Parker before the vote.

“Who goes to bed and dreams up this Orwellian nightmare of Animal Farm where we eat each other in the barnyard where the weak are preyed on.”
- TTC commissioner and Councillor Maria Augimeri

“I ain’t on the gravy train people.”
- TTC cleaner Carmen Miller during her address to the TTC

“This is about making sure the TTC is as efficient as we can make it.”
- TTC commissioner and Councillor Peter Milczyn before the vote.

“Where’s the respect! Where’s the respect!”
- Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113 workers as they left City Hall.

“You’re effectively declaring war on your own employees.
- John Cartwright, president of the Toronto and York Region Labour Council, speaking to the TTC before the vote.

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

Councillor Parker says no dice to a Toronto casino

- February 20th, 2012

Councillor John Parker

Councillor John Parker won’t double down on a Toronto casino.

The conservative councillor and sometimes ally of Mayor Rob Ford sent out an op-ed to his constituents today about a Hogtown casino and why he won’t support it. According to the note Parker attached to the e-news blast, the op-ed was requested by a local paper but didn’t run.

I’m not sure who turned it down but here is the always eloquent deputy speaker in his entirety:

A casino for Toronto? No thanks.

by John Parker, City Councillor, Ward 26 – Don Valley West

Why begrudge Toronto residents a local venue at which to pursue the thrill and joy of pouring their money into flashy machines with bright lights and tumbling images of fruit?

The answer lies in the motivation of those who propose a Toronto casino. It is not to provide residents with a recreational outlet; it is to take their money away from them.

Which itself wouldn’t be a bad thing at all if every casino patron were guaranteed to be a disciplined player with money to burn – if each one was a character out of a James Bond movie with wealth to spare. But we know that gambling has an evil dark side. We also know that its victims are those least equipped to stand up to it or cope with its consequences.

The problems with gambling are so notorious that they have acquired clinical names: Tolerance (the need to risk more and more to obtain the same “high”), Withdrawal (as with an addiction), Chasing (risking even more in order to recover previous losses), Bailout (turning to friends and family to cover losses), etc.

I claim no expertise, but I have seen enough of the inside of a casino to know who lives there: For every patron enjoying a harmless evening out there are others who are not there to have fun. They are there to change their lives by hitting the lucky jackpot.

We also know that for every lucky winner there are thousands of losers. Many lose far more than they can afford to part with.

We also know that it is more than the players themselves who are victimized. It is their families as well. Ultimately it is their communities and the city in which they live.

It troubles me in particular that, whenever a casino is proposed for Toronto, it is promoted on the basis that it will give our economy a boost. Think of the tourist dollars! Think of the hotel and restaurant trade! Think of the business for our shops!

In a city as large and enterprising as Toronto, God help us all if our economy has slid so low that we have to turn to a casino to help pull us out of our slump. Let’s hope we have not run out of better and more productive ways to pay our bills.

Let casinos flourish in vacationlands at least a day trip away. Keep them out of the town I am trying to help look after.

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