Two more Rob Ford allies pledge their allegiance to Toronto’s new Mayor of the Moment, Margaret Atwood
If the week that was is any indication, the one thing that scares Toronto’s right-leaning councillors more than being caught expensing a hot roast beef sandwich (with gravy, naturally) is standing up to Margaret Atwood regarding the cuts to the Toronto Public Library. The week had already seen members of council’s mushy middle—Josh Matlow and Josh Colle—come out against library cuts, as well as Ford ally Karen Stintz. Then, toward week’s end, even some of Ford’s closest allies—namely, Francis Nunziata and Michael Thompson—were also seen distancing themselves from the Brothers Ford and their anti-Atwood stance.
When asked Wednesday if she would support library closures to save money, Councillor Frances Nunziata (Ward 11, York South-Weston) said “no, of course not” and that if anything, branches should be better utilized to host more city programs.
“I don’t think there’s a will on council to close libraries,” said Nunziata. “I think we have to make better use of what we have… these are great facilities for programming.”
Meanwhile, Michael Thompson is actually reaching out to Atwood, saying that the cuts in Toronto aren’t meant to drive people like her away from the city. Of course, that’s a good thing and also something we assumed went without saying until about two weeks ago. All in all, it looks like the library system is safe from major cuts for now—which means that the real gravy will have to be found in things like the arts grants, green programs and perhaps even the police and EMS budgets. Although putting stuff like that on the chopping block might not raise tempers the way library cuts have, there’s plenty more action ahead on the service cuts front.
• Ford ally tells Atwood not to worry [Toronto Star]
• Another Ford loyalist speaks out against library cuts [Toronto Star]
• Ford ally Nunziata says she’s opposed to closing libraries [Globe and Mail]
• “Look Over Here, Guys!” (Or, How Libraries May Be Safe but Other Services Aren’t) [Torontoist]