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Rob Ford’s campaign of parsimony goes for naught

This just in: City council approved its $7.8 billion budget intact at noon Monday. In so doing, they have pretty much drained the city’s reserve funds, which they have relied upon heavily for the past four years. They also voted down more than 40 proposed amendments put forth by Councillor Rob Ford (Ward 2 - Etobicoke North), most of which were aimed at city councillors’ job perks, such as free parking and free entry to the Toronto Zoo. Ford regularly refuses such perks, and he claimed a total of $0.00 in office expenses in 2006 while other councillors claimed in excess of $50,000. (Every councillor has an annual expense budget of $53,000.)

Interestingly, his proposal to can councillors’ free passes at municipal golf courses lost on a tie vote. (Mayor David Miler voted in favour of this particular motion, but it still fell shy of the majority it needed to pass.) Expect lots of indignation in tomorrow’s press: the city is fast approaching bankruptcy, but would not cede a single one of its perks. It’s hard not to raise an eyebrow at an NDP-controlled council that refuses to give up the links, which is not merely the leisure of the wealthy class, but is an environmental sin to boot.

Ford’s lonely campaign of parsimony continues.

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