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]
5 thoughts on “Karen Stintz triumphs over Rob Ford (again)—though it may not be the coup it seems”
The reason the TTC Board needed cleaning out was so that Ford couldn’t indiscriminantly pay out over a half million dollars over to the next civil servant who didn’t tow the line.
Not only that, but who knows what shenanigans Ford’s hit men would’ve got up to next? The province wants a clear decision on transit, and leaving the TTC commission in Ford’s control would mean he could continue to try throwing wrenches into the process, because I think his only “plan” now is to delay progress on transit long enough that he can run on it in the next election.
Remember, in politics, you always need cover/somebody else to blame when #hit hits the fan and now with the TTC board totally comprised of the liberal side of council, they will have nowhere to hide when problems arise, as they inevitably do. Also remember, all the greatest, most progressive cities of the world like NYC, London and Paris have extensive subway systems, not light rail lines. Clearly, the politics of spite has taken hold of City hall and both sides have only weakened Toronto’s promise.
Deb – Peter Milczyn is on the right at City Hall; so is John Parker. If Ford and supporters want a subway, please explain how this is paid for. Totally burying the Eglinton Crosstown essentially uses up the $8.4 Billion transit money. Will Ford introduce revenue-generating tools to pay for this? He’s shot that down. Will you and others pay tolls, etc.? No. Will developers pay – they don’t want to either. Hard to pay for subways without $ ?? Sheppard also doesn’t have the ridership, density to justify – currently loses $8Million a year in operating costs – let’s compound that?
Deb – LRT lines are also employed in cities that have subways. Usually they put the LRTs in suburban districts where there is not enough traffic to justify a subway line — districts like northern Scarborough, for instance.
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