Dalton McGuinty says council is supreme; Tim Hudak says it should be ignored

Dalton McGuinty says council is supreme; Tim Hudak says it should be ignored

Apparently, no amount of midnight subway riding will help Rob Ford convince Dalton McGuinty to contravene city council and build his beloved subways. After Ford’s transit plan was defeated in favour of light-rail transit and an above-grade Eglinton LRT at a special council meeting earlier this week, Ford declared the collective will of his colleagues “irrelevant” and suggested the province would agree with him. McGuinty quickly responded, countering that he actually doesn’t agree with him at all.

The Toronto Star has the story:

McGuinty openly contradicted the mayor’s assertion that he was “very confident” the province would push ahead with the subway plan despite the vote by Toronto council.

“I’ve also been very clear with the mayor from day one. At the time the memorandum of understanding (on Ford’s version of the transit plan) was entered into, there was a specific provision that he’s got to seek the support of the council,” McGuinty told reporters after a lunch speech in Ottawa.

“He reached out to me just last Friday. I confirmed once again that I needed the approval of the council. Should he receive that, great, we’re off to the races,” he said.

Despite McGuinty’s rejection, however, Ford is not alone. Tim Hudak weighed in shortly after Ford’s dismissal of council’s decision, dredging up that good ol’ “war on the car” chestnut (which, really, never seems to help anybody) and calling on McGuinty to follow Ford’s lead.

So with Toronto transit moving from the all-out political war phase to the much more practical shovels-in-the-ground phase, both Ford and Hudak appear eager to stick to ineffective talking points and unpopular ideas, all the while attempting to subvert civic democracy. Given Hudak’s implosion in the provincial election and Ford’s recent series of embarrassing political defeats, we have to wonder how they think that’s going to work out for them.

Premier Dalton McGuinty says he is ‘obligated’ to consider council’s transit decision [Toronto Star]
• Hume: After transit vote, it’s Mayor Rob Ford who’s irrelevant [Toronto Star]
McGuinty will respect council’s transit decision [Toronto Sun]
Province to Ford: ‘Council rules supreme’ [Globe and Mail]
Ontario to Ford: Council is supreme [Torontoist]

(Images: Dalton McGuinty, Jennifer K. Wareen; Tim Hudak, Ontario Chamber of Commerce)