Adam Vaughan wants to help the Liberals craft a national urban agenda
If Adam Vaughan gets himself elected to parliament, which he’s trying to do, it will be a loss for city hall’s left, but not necessarily a devastating one. Spacing‘s John Lorinc points out that a move to Ottawa could result in Vaughan having more influence over the fate of Toronto’s urban core, not less.
From Lorinc’s column:
In an interview with Spacing on Sunday, Vaughan said that when [liberal leader Justin] Trudeau and chief of staff Gerald Butts made their widely-reported but abrupt overture, he agreed to seek the Trinity-Spadina nomination on one key condition: if he wins the contest (and the eventual by-election), he will head a caucus committee tasked with developing a national urban agenda for the Liberals for the next election and beyond.
Both Lorinc and Hazlitt columnist John Michael McGrath have pointed out that past federal urban strategies have failed to deliver much in the way of results. But someone with Vaughan’s personality—which could charitably be described as forceful, or uncharitably described as aggressive and sometimes mean—might be able to effect positive change under the right circumstances.
A constant complaint of Toronto-politics watchers is that higher levels of government don’t provide predictable funding for municipal priorities like infrastructure and housing. A Liberal commitment to funding things like subway expansions and social-housing repair backlogs could completely change the game, provided it comes coupled with electoral defeat for the other two major parties.
For his part, Vaughan seems pretty sure of himself. He has already said he’ll resign his council seat if he wins the federal nomination.