Karen Stintz triumphs over Rob Ford (again)—though it may not be the coup it seems

Karen Stintz triumphs over Rob Ford (again)—though it may not be the coup it seems

Yesterday, council voted 29-15—a solid majority—in favour of Karen Stintz’s plan to blow up the nine-councillor transit commission and replace it with a board consisting of seven councillors and four citizens. The result is yet another rebuke of Rob Ford, who wanted a board made up entirely of citizens, and yet another victory for Stintz (one more win and we may just have to anoint her the unofficial mayor).

The Globe and Mail has the details:

City councillors have taken the wheel from Toronto’s mayor on the crucial transit file, removing five of his allies from the TTC board and returning Karen Stintz as its chair…

The newly formed commission leaves in place the four existing members who voted against ousting former TTC leader Gary Webster last month—Councillor Stintz, John Parker, Maria Augimeri and Peter Milczyn. Joining the board are centrist councillor Josh Colle, as well as two Scarborough politicians from the left—Raymond Cho and Glenn De Baeremaeker. The citizen members will be chosen later this year.

Despite what’s ostensibly a victory for council’s newly empowered left, some local scribes are warning the collection of councillors not to spend all their newfound political capital at once. Prior to the vote, John Lorinc argued in Spacing Toronto that if Ford’s opponents exercise their strength indiscriminately, those councillors could run the danger of engaging in the same sort of underhanded politics and bully tactics for which they’ve repeatedly taken Ford to task. Case in point: if the left is so confident they have the votes to can the Sheppard subway, why the sudden need to boot Ford’s allies off the TTC commission?

Marcus Gee echoes similar concerns in the Globe today, positing that Toronto has a “power-drunk left-wing opposition so full of themselves that they are leaping to humiliate the mayor at every turn.” Sure, Gee’s words are rather hyperbolic; but the mayor’s opposition might be wise to heed Lorinc and Gee’s sentiments all the same—especially now that Ford already appears to be in campaign mode for 2014.

TTC: Ford loyalists booted; Stintz stays as chair in expanded board [Toronto Star]
Mayor Rob Ford down to his last strike in TTC debacle: James [Toronto Star]
TTC overhauled against Ford’s wishes [Toronto Sun]
Mayor loses as TTC board restricted [Globe and Mail]
Messy political fighting plunges City Hall into chaos [Globe and Mail]

(Images: Karen Stintz, Mike Beltzner; Chain of Office, City of Toronto; Rob Ford, Christopher Drost)