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Ford’s final picks are out: council committee heads now lefty-free, ready to get to work

Toronto’s dailies have already picked over the early leaks of which councillors would be appointed to which committees under mayor Rob Ford, but the final bits of information that are coming out make it pretty clear that Toronto’s left—the caucus that was so powerful under David Miller—is looking at some time in the wilderness. And Ford isn’t going to waste any time putting his allies to work, it seems.

The Globe and Mail reports:

Rob Ford is planning to pack his first real council meeting – a session usually reserved for housecleaning – with meaty proposals including axing the vehicle-registration tax, slashing councillors’ office and staff budgets and possibly asking council to support “flat-lining” next year’s budget.

The mayor-elect’s aggressive to-do list, coupled with his decision to dole out top posts almost exclusively to right-leaning, suburban councillors, offer some early glimpses into how he’ll govern….

“I hope this is not a sign that he wants to ram his will through council in a blitzkrieg manner,” said Councillor Joe Mihevc, a progressive veteran who endorsed George Smitherman for mayor. “This is not a positive early indication.”

At first glance, it seems smart for Ford to front-load his council agenda; the opposition may not want to pick a fight early on, and Ford’s never going to have a better chance to get his big-ticket items through.

The left hasn’t been entirely frozen out, if the leaks are to be believed. According to the Toronto Star, Ford has gone and made a liar out of us: we wrote Monday that Adam Vaughan shouldn’t wait by the phone, but apparently Vaughan has been given the prize of being council’s liaison with the AGO board.  Why throw the downtown lefty a bone? Because, though the relations between Ford and Vaughan are frosty, Ford’s brother and rookie councillor Doug Ford has had some good words for Vaughan. The Star also speculates that the mayor-elect is trying to woo the art crowd.

Either that, or Ford is remembering LBJ’s old saying about how “it’s better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in.”

• Rob Ford’s first Toronto council meeting agenda: Slash budgets, axe taxes [Globe and Mail] • Kelly, Ainslie and Palacio get senior roles [Toronto Star]Council shuffles off to the right [Toronto Sun] • Ford picks National Ballet School exec as arts advisor [National Post] • Ford looks to suburbs for committee heads [National Post]

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