Amateur hour at city council yesterday shows nobody’s gettin’ ’er done

Amateur hour at city council yesterday shows nobody’s gettin’ ’er done

City Hall (Image: Dennis Jarvis)

We’re going to start this with a correction of sorts: The Informer wrote yesterday that, after the first major reversal of Rob Ford’s mayoralty, His Fordship’s motion to finish off the TCHC board and install Case Ootes as housing commissar would bounce to the executive committee. We wrote that because it seemed to be what the mayor’s allies were telling reporters, and because they actually scheduled a special meeting of the cabinet for later today. By late in the afternoon, those plans were scotched, as the mayor’s staff apparently realized that they didn’t quite know what they were doing: Ford’s loss at council yesterday did not punt the issue to the executive committee—it bounced it to the next council meeting in April. So the executive meeting was cancelled and Ford’s office announced instead it was using the mayor’s power to call a special meeting of council, which will begin at 5:30 p.m. today. At this meeting, Ford will be able to set the agenda and will only need a simple majority to get his way.

Confused? So were we. Nobody comes off looking particularly good in this episode.

The mayor’s office either didn’t know they’d need two thirds of council support to get their way, or thought they had it and gambled wrong. (At the risk of setting up another correction for the future, Ford will almost certainly never win a two-thirds vote in the next four years: his opposition is already one third of council.) The opposition, meanwhile—when not distracted by the mayor’s habit of insulting them—is basically slowing down the inevitable by only 24 hours. Plus, in debating another issue yesterday, council’s lefties managed to come off looking like they were attacking the auditor general—exactly the wrong message, whether they intended it or not.

We can’t tell if council is actually getting even more incoherent, but we’ll keep watching. By 5:30 today it’s possible that councillors will need help remembering which voting buttons to push. Oh, wait, that already happened.

• James: Attacking city’s auditor to get at Ford is wrong [Toronto Star]
• Ford determined to see Ootes installed as head of TCHC [Globe and Mail]
• Ford works around council’s lefties in TCHC vote [Toronto Sun]
• Ford refuses to apologize for ‘garbage’ joke [Toronto Sun]