Posts Tagged ‘Maria Augimeri

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

Were those Lefties right?

- March 6th, 2012

torsun_leftiesgonewild copy

The frontpage from August 2010 when then-Councillor Howard Moscoe proclaimed a Mayor Rob Ford wouldn’t be able to “pass gas” without council’s permission.

When it started to look like Councillor Rob Ford was on track to become mayor during the 2010 election, it wasn’t surprising when some of his long-time council foes came out swinging against him.

Predictions of council working around the mayor and Ford becoming a mayor in name only seemed wild (scroll down to the story from the Sun archives).

This was the story where retiring Councillor Howard Moscoe proclaimed: “(Ford) won’t be able to pass gas without the permission of council.”

Flash forward to March 2012 and Ford just had another embarrassing loss at city council, this time over who sits on the TTC commission and its composition (the number of councillors and citizens). This latest council revolt was led by TTC chair Karen Stintz. It’s the second transit vote in a month where she’s managed to derail the mayor.

Ford loses is the headline of the day (see story here). The headline could easily be Ford can’t pass gas without Stintz’s permission.

A mayor who can’t get the items he wants through city council could have a long two and a half years until the next election.

Even Ford’s supporters said Monday’s vote should teach the mayor a lesson.

“In terms of moving forward with that same level of enthusiasm, maybe we have to move a little bit slower,” Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong said.

Ford wasn’t sounding as humbled when he went on AM640 last night and took some swings at the new commission with its turn to “the hard left”.

“I think the taxpayers lost pretty big today,” he told the radio station.

Sounds like some gas pains ahead.

 

Here’s the “pass gas” story from back in 2010:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A pass from left wing
Councillors say they won’t work with ‘Mayor Ford’

Edition: Final
Source: BY DON PEAT, TORONTO SUN
Section: News Page: 3

Some left-leaning Toronto city councillors weren’t pulling their punches when asked how they feel about the thought of Councillor Rob Ford becoming Toronto’s next mayor.
“In my opinion, if Mayor Ford is elected, city council will have a caucus meeting and they will choose their own mayor and (Ford) will be the mayor in name,” retiring Councillor Kyle Rae said Wednesday during the last city council meeting before the Oct. 25 vote.
“I hope that the citizens of Toronto wake up … I can’t believe Toronto is prepared to do it.”
Rae stressed Ford has no track record of bringing items to council and getting them passed.
“All he has done is attack and vilify other members’ work, he has got nothing he can point to,” he said.
But would councillors really rebel against an elected mayor?
Rae — who Ford keeps slamming for holding a $12,000-taxpayer-funded goodbye party — says it is a real possibility.
“Most thinking people in Toronto would be so embarrassed by him being mayor that there would be an obligation on council to do something,” he said.
Councillor Howard Moscoe was a little more colourful in how he sees a Mayor Ford interacting with council.
“He won’t be able to pass gas without the permission of council,” Moscoe said.
When asked if he thinks Ford will be able to work with council, he added: “Depends how often he wants to pass gas.”
Councillor Maria Augimeri said Rae may be right about council having to go rogue against a Mayor Ford.
“I have yet to know that he’s read a report, (the mayor) needs to be intellectually engaged,” she said. “You need to be able to be an avid reader and promoter of the city, simple pat actions won’t do, Band-Aid solutions won’t do … there is no quick fix (for the city).”
The York Centre councillor said it’s “appalling” that Ford is ahead in the polls.
“But we’ve elected a clown before,” Augimeri said.
Although mayor Mel Lastman wasn’t “intellectually engaged” he still could work with council, unlike Ford, she said.
“Mel had something that this guy just doesn’t have, he understood his shortcomings,” she said.
Councillor Adam Vaughan said the possibility of Ford winning is still up in the air.
“The ballot question has been framed, ‘Rob Ford? Yes or no,’ ” Vaughan said, adding the latest poll has 60% of the city saying “no” to the idea. “It’s just a question of where the ‘no’ vote moves now.”
Asked whether he’s mulling a run at the mayor’s chair, Vaughan opted for a “no comment.”
Mayor David Miller — who stressed he’s not jumping into the race and isn’t polling the odds of a comeback — dodged a question about whether he’s worried about a Mayor Ford taking over.
“It’s up to the people of Toronto who they elect,” Miller said. “Lots of things get said in elections, some of them have some basis to do with facts.”
Early Wednesday, federal NDP Leader Jack Layton held up mayoral candidate Joe Pantalone as his favourite in the race. The deputy mayor is trailing in the polls but vowed he’s the standard bearer of the left in this year’s race.
“Jack Layton’s endorsement means there is no illusion or some make-believe progressive candidate,” Pantalone said. “There is only one progressive candidate in this race for mayor and that’s Joe Pantalone.”
Layton didn’t see a problem with a federal politician wading into a municipal race.
“I think it is important if you care about your city to speak out about the issues that lie before us,” he said.
The former Toronto councillor declined to share his thoughts on Ford.
Layton’s endorsement comes after Pantalone endorsed his son Mike Layton to replace him as the councillor for Ward 19.
DON.PEAT@SUNMEDIA.CA

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