Posts Tagged ‘Mark Grimes

… The last time City Hall went Cup crazy

- May 1st, 2013

Back in 2004, the last time the Toronto Maple Leafs made the playoffs, it didn’t end well for the Buds or Toronto City Council.

Here’s a picture from our Sun archives of then-Mayor David Miller wearing a Philadelphia Flyers jersey to settle a bet on the Leafs. Miller was joined in the photo by Councillors Michael Thompson, David Soknacki, George Mammoliti, Mark Grimes, Bill Saundercook and Norm Kelly.

The caption at the time pointed out despite the Flyers jerseys, as you can see, “underneath they are true Leafs fans.”

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Hopefully this playoff run goes a little better for the Leafs – and Toronto city council.

Go Leafs Go!

“The campaign for the next election has started today” Mayor Rob Ford to Ford Fest

- September 8th, 2012

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Mayor Rob Ford speaks to the crowd at Ford Fest on Friday, September 7, 2012 (Dave Abel/Toronto Sun)

Mayor Rob Ford gave a barnburner of a speech at Friday night’s Ford Fest vowing it marked the start of the 2014 election.

In a speech that stretched to almost 10 minutes in length, Ford thanked his supporters and family, listed off the accomplishments of his mayoralty, took a thinly-veiled shot at the court case against him and encouraged those in attendance to help him fight to keep the mayor’s chair starting now.

Here’s a transcript of Mayor Rob Ford’s speech to the crowd at Ford Fest:

Thank you. Thank you so much.

(Crowd cheers, “Rob, Rob, Rob”)

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I can’t thank you enough.

It seems like we were doing this yesterday but it was only two years ago that I sat here probably at the same time when the election was about a month away saying, “When I get down to City Hall, the gravy train is over. “

Well folks, the gravy train is over!

I said I was going to go down there with your support and clean it up and get rid of the $60 car tax. We got rid of the $60 car tax. I said we weren’t’ going to have another strike. We have a four-year deal with the unions, there will not be a strike for four years. I said, “We are going to contract out garbage saving $12 million a year.” We have contracted out garbage saving $12 million a year.

Folks, that’s just the beginning.

And most importantly, I said, “You know what, we have to lead by example. We have to lead by the councillors and the mayor.” The first thing I had to do was reduce the size and cost of government and I said I don’t need a chauffeur and I don’t need a driver and I don’t need all the other stuff.

I said, “I will reduce my office budget and the councillors by a million dollars.” We did exactly that. I cut it, $700,000 of your hard-earned tax dollars.

I said, “We were not going to have anymore $12,000 farewell parties.” That is why there are no more $12,000 farewell parties, folks.

I couldn’t have done it without your support.

We have done more this year, in the last two years, than the previous administration and that has done in the last 10 years combined.

Most importantly, I couldn’t have done this without my lovely wife Renata beside my side day in and day out. I want to thank her for all her support.

I want to thank my mom for hosting the party here tonight. My brother Doug. As you know, um, he gives me the marching orders and I march so we work as a team. My brother Randy, he’s the brains behind the operation, we couldn’t do anything without his support, running a company that has given us 50 years of a very comfortable living. And my sister Kathy, helping out in every way that she has been there all the time when we need her. So I want to thank our family most importantly.

And there is one person that we could never, ever, ever forget is my dad up in heaven. I love you dad, I know you are with us.

So folks, I’m not going to list all our accomplishments but I have to tell you one thing – the campaign for the next election has started today. The next election is two years away. We have to get out there, bang on the doors. As you saw this week, they are coming after us every which way. They want to continue the high taxes, the big spending and the out-of-control waste at City Hall.

Folks, I want to thank you for your support. I want to thank the councillors that are here tonight. I’m sorry if I’ve missed some people, I’ve just got off the football field coaching. I know, I know some people think that is a terrible thing to help kids out but unfortunately I’m helping kids out and I invite you to our first game which is next Friday at Esther Shiner stadium at 5 o’clock against the Metro Bowl champs the Don Wilson Gators. And mark my words, we are going to be the Metro Bowl champs not Donald Wilson.

I saw a few councillors here, I saw Councillor Crawford and Councillor Grimes and Councillor Ainslie. Thank you so much. And the speaker Frances Nunziata.

(The councillors gather on the stage)

We call Grimes-y he’s the mayor after midnight so he’s the Midnight Mayor.

But folks, we are turning the city around, we have a lot of work to do, we need your support in the next two years because the tax-and-spend people want to take it back and they are not getting it back. We have the city turned around, we have to keep it turned around.

I want to thank you so much for your support. Enjoy yourselves. God bless you.

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.

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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

Pan Am Games not a B-team event: Grimes

- May 12th, 2012

Pan Am Games

Toronto is set to host the Pan Am Games in 2015.

Most people have heard of the Olympics. Most world cities, including Toronto, want the Olympics. But Toronto has never won a bid to host the Olympics and we did, like it or not, win a bid to host the Pan Am Games.

Councillor Mark Grimes couldn’t be happier about the Pan Am Games coming to town.

Grimes is the chairman of the Mayor’s Pan Am Secretariat and is a big booster for the games. Speaking at a Pan Am update (story on that update here and here) on Friday, Grimes was adamant “this is not a B-class event.”

Asked if he truly believes Toronto residents will turn out to watch the 10,000 athletes expected for the Pan Am Games, Grimes was confident the city will be there.

“Toronto has got to take their head out of the sand and stop looking at this as a B-class event,” Grimes said. “This is going to be the biggest sporting event this country has ever seen.

“Toronto wants the Olympics, these are the events we have to support to get the infrastructure to get the big Olympics.”

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