How Ford-friendly will the new council be? A councillor-by-councillor analysis
“[Rob Ford] won’t be able to pass gas without the permission of council.” That was city council bomb-thrower Howard Moscoe back in August, saying that even if Ford was elected, the council’s lefties would block his proposals. Ford had made many enemies on council, and was seen as basically irrelevant to the rest, that he’d never get a working majority together, right?
Well, a couple of days after election day and the situation looks mighty different. The question everyone seems to be asking is, How many councillors will end up on Team Ford? Aside from the many new faces on council, the mayor-elect can probably count on the support of city hall’s long-ignored conservative caucus and, from time to time, a few councillors from the political centre. With the caveat that it’s early days yet, we offer our best guess for how Toronto’s new city council will break down by affiliation, with the major players ranked by FFF—Ford Friendliness Factor.
The battle on council will likely be over who can woo the middle to their cause, and it will probably be fought on an issue-by-issue basis. But looking at the score below—18 Fordites, 18 anti-Fordites, eight neutrals—we’d guess that Ford will be able to get what he wants out of council way more often than Moscoe guessed back in August.
THE ANTI-FORD FORCES
The UnFordified Caucus
Council’s more left-leaning members, based on their history in office or on their recent election platforms.
Anthony Peruzza (Ward 8)
Maria Augimieri (Ward 9)
James Pasternak (Ward 10)
Sarah Doucette (Ward 13)
Gord Perks (Ward 14)
Ana Bailao (Ward 18)
Mike Layton (Ward 19)
Adam Vaughan (Ward 20)
Joe Mihevc (Ward 21)
Josh Matlow (Ward 22)
John Filion (Ward 23)
Kristin Wong-Tam (Ward 27)
Pam McConell (Ward 28)
Mary Fragedakis (Ward 29)
Paula Fletcher (Ward 30)
Janet Davis (Ward 31)
Shelley Caroll (Ward 33)
Glenn De Baeremaker (Ward 38)
Adam Vaughan (FFF: -∞)
One of the leaders of the opposition in the Ford era. The Vaughan-Ford feud has been going on for a while now, and Vaughan’s larger public persona from his days in TV might give him an edge.
Shelley Carroll (FFF: 0)
Has the undeniable respect of the anti-Ford forces for her competence as the city’s budget chief. Both she and Vaughan are already being talked about as the left’s greatest hope in the 2014 election.
THE PRO-FORD FORCES
The “May the Ford Be With You” Caucus
Council’s more right-leaning members, based on their history in office or on their recent election platforms.
Vincent Crisanti (Ward 1)
Doug Ford (Ward 2)
Doug Holyday (Ward 3)
Gloria Lindsay Luby (Ward 4)
Peter Milczyn (Ward 5)
Giorgio Mammoliti (Ward 7)
James Pasternak (Ward 10)
Frances Nunziata (Ward 11)
Karen Stintz (Ward 16)
Cesar Palacio (Ward 17)
David Shiner (Ward 24)
John Parker (Ward 26)
Mary Margaret McMahon (Ward 32)
Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 34)
Michelle Berardinetti (Ward 35)
Gary Crawford (Ward 36)
Michael Thompson (Ward 37)
Mike Del Grande (Ward 39)
Norm Kelly (Ward 40)
The mayor himself, of course. But Ford is also going to be able to rely on a slate of lieutenants, like David Miller did. Those who may fill the roles include:
Frances Nunziata (FFF: 9)
Will Ford favour people who got on the bandwagon early? If so, Nunziata could see her star rising, as she endorsed the mayor-elect back in September.
Giorgio Mammoliti (FFF: 7)
Mammo endorsed Ford in the most high-profile way possible, so that may put him in the good books (although Ford insists that there was no deal at play). Of course, that all depends on how the mayor-elect feels about perceived “gino boys.”
Karen Stintz (FFF: 6)
Perhaps the new top dog wants to get away from the feeling of the campaign and get close with other right-wingers already on council, even if they sat out the race. Stintz is slightly closer to the centre than Ford himself, which may be useful when winning over other councillors.
Denzil Minnan-Wong (FFF: 7)
A high-profile name, to be sure. Perhaps Ford will opt for the long-time go-to man on the council’s right wing.
THE MIDDLE DWELLERS
The Maybe Caucus
Mark Grimes (Ward 6)
Jaye Robinson (Ward 25)
Chin Lee (Ward 41)
Raymond Cho (Ward 42)
Ron Moeser (Ward 44)
Paul Ainslie (Ward 43)
Josh Colle (Ward 15)
Frank Di Giorgio (Ward 12)
Who to watch
Josh Colle (FFF: ?!?)
It will be interesting to see where Colle goes. Endorsed by everyone from Mel Lastman to NOW Magazine, Colle is thus far something of a cypher.
UPDATE: At his request, councillor-elect James Pasternak has been moved from our anti-Ford list to our pro-Ford list.
(Images: all from Toronto Bike Month, except Josh Colle, from Facebook)
17 thoughts on “How Ford-friendly will the new council be? A councillor-by-councillor analysis”
I remember that comment from Moscoe and I remember thinking “How bloody dare you!” (suggest that council would stonewall the peoples’ choice). I also remember thinking that his comment would backfire and actually help Ford’s campaign.
Council will toe the line, don’t worry about that. The message voters sent is crystal clear: Right the ship…and turn it around!
Ford was given a mandate by Toronto. Fact. If the lefties in counsel choose to stop/stonewall progress on any of the campaign promises Ford stumped on the campaign trail, they themselves may be shut out.
Supporters of Rob Ford are acting as though this was a landslide victory, and that the entire face of city hall has made a monumental shift in ideology. I am tired of all of the ‘the voters have spoken’ rhetoric as though 90% of the voters, in one form or another, made a vote in support of ‘righting the ship’ and it’s fearless captain Rob Ford. This entire process seems eerily similar to the path our federal elections have taken lately. Much like in Ottawa these days, here in Toronto we are left with a government that is almost equally represented by, and equally passionate about, two sides of the political spectrum. The only ‘fact’ I see here is that Rob Ford was given a mandate by roughly half of the people who actually showed up to vote. Rob Ford, his supporters, and the ‘right-wing’ councillors at city hall do not speak for myself nor many other Torontonians. Let’s not forget this, and let’s hope that our elected body of officials will actually be able to accomplish something amidst this mess.
Frances Nunziata was with Rob Ford when he made his announcement for the Mayor’s chair. Interesting that she supports Ford even though the Eglinton Crosstown LRT would run through her ward.
To the other commenters: If the voters spoke so clear, why is council so perfectly divided, and why didn’t Ford even get a majority of the vote?
I would argue that by electing a majority centre and centre-left council while electing Ford, the voters made their intention very clear: they want change, but not some extreme shift to the right or throwing the entire city out.
“Ford was given a mandate by Toronto.”
That doesn’t mean that his election gives him absolute power. In my ward Mike Layton got elected by a wide margin, and he basically stands for what Ford opposes.
It isn’t council’s job to be a rubber-stamp for all of Ford’s ill-thought soundbite promises. This isn’t Chicago.
Ford called Gloria Lindsay Luby “A waste of skin”, I’m not so sure that she will want to cozy up to him now.
Yet Ford and “Gino Boy” are practiaclly best buds now. Can’t win ’em all.
Ford is the complete opposite of Miller and he won handily. If that’s not turning the ship around I don’t know what is.
“Rob Ford, Toronto’s mayor-elect, was voted in with a record number of ballots on Monday, according to a professor at the University of Toronto. Canoe.ca is reporting that Ford was directly elected with more votes than any other Canadian politician in history. “Nobody in the history of Canada has ever gotten as many votes in any election as Rob Ford,” said U of T Professor Nelson Wiseman. (Though more people vote in a provincial or federal election, the premier or prime minister is still only elected by constituents in their individual riding). Another fun fact: Ford also won more votes in the last election than previous Mayor David Miller did in both his 2003 and 2006 campaigns.”
Rockford—that quote from Maclean’s turned out to be totally wrong:
The fact is that Ford has been elected to be mayor by the people of Toronto…and that’s almost 400,000 voters. We elected him mayor since we are tired of the BS overspending and secret spending in City Hall. We are also tired of all these imposed taxes from Miller time. We all want it gone.
If there are councillors who block any of these changes, we will all know…and when the next election comes around…they will most probably not stand a chance.
The councillors would be wise to give the constituents what we want…not make decisions out of spite for our newly elected Mayor…that is just suicide if they take the opposing view.
@Catherina — You keep using the word we. ‘We voted, we want, we elected’ and so on. Some people voted one way, some voted another. WE did not share a unified voice. Stop speaking for me.
Has those who say the ppl have spoken forgotten that the councilors were ELECTED by the ppl as well? Of course they dare to stand up for their voters who chose them specifically for their values which for half if not more of the council is against most of Ford’s platform. That’s democracy as well, the point of council is to represent the entire city including the half of the voters who voted (which was less than half of the eligible voters) was against Ford. Those ppl who think the council should do whatever Ford wants clearly do not understand democracy.
A mayor wasn’t elected to be dictator. Council was elected the same way the mayor was, if they block the mayor’s edicts it would mean the majority was speaking, not just one man. So you’ve definitely got things a little backward.
I am not left-leaning and not anti-Ford. I served as the Chair of the TDSB’s Audit committee and during our term we approved balanced or surplus budgets; trimmed trustee expense accounts; and sold vacant and unused properties. At the same time we maintained strong programs in the classroom. I have called the mayor-elect and pledged my support for many of his initiatives.
At least as many people didn’t vote for this one-trick pony with his wafer-thin platform as did, so the claim of a mandate is misleading.
In this instance, the word “majority” means over 50% of the vote. Rob Ford only got 47% of the vote. If you add Smitherman’s 35% and Pantalone’s 18% of the vote (35+18=53), 53% of the voters voted against Rob Ford. Therefore, the majority voted against Rob Ford.
And city council is evenly divided among pro and anti Rob Ford councilors, and has a few councilors that could lean either way.
Under these circumstances, I would hardly call this election a “landslide for Ford” or a “mandate for change”.
I know us lefties are held up as an object of ridicule for our “intellect”, but even right-wingers with a good grasp of the English language, arithmetic, and some common sense can figure this stuff out.
Rob is using just plain old common sense politics. the wellfare of the city and its citizens are paramount.
pretty simple eh???
so far he has been right on the money, sure the budget will be a challange but let us see what happens.
I have a feeling he will be regarded as one of the best Mayors we have every had.
Harold Mosco has officially stopped passing gas …
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