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City Council Scorecard: OneCity mania and a vote on guns

Toronto Council Scorecard
Toronto Council Scorecard

The last Council Scorecard until the fall takes us back to the halcyon days of early summer, when municipal politicians spent a couple of weeks debating an ambitious transit plan that ultimately didn't really matter.

None of the votes related to TTC chair Karen Stintz's OneCity visioning exercise will appear on the official City Council Scorecard, but I've included them in a special chart below just for posterity's sake.

Aside from the transit debacle, council made one other notable move at their last meeting when they opted to continue their bid to convince the federal government to maintain data from the killed-off long-gun registry. Mayor Rob Ford and a handful of his allies opposed the move.

The votes added:

CC22.5 is the latest in Toronto City Council's continued efforts to maintain local database information from the long gun registry, a project that has been unceremoniously shut down by the federal government. Other local governments, including the province of Quebec, are also seeking to maintain their data. Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair has said the registry is a useful tool, while Rob Ford has called it a boondoggle and characterized any attempt to preserve the federal data as a waste of money. Still, a majority of councillors backed the continued efforts.

The three OneCity votes illustrate a few things:

  • Councillor Peter Milczyn remains one of the best consensus-builders of the Rob Ford era. Like he's done before, Milczyn found a way to shift the outcome of a contentious debate with a motion that allowed for consensus. I am not sure why Councillor John Filion opposed the compromise—maybe he was having a bad day.
  • OneCity failed to get the traction Stintz and TTC vice-chair Glenn De Baeremaeker hoped it would get entirely because they weren't able to build bridges with high-profile councillors on either side of the political spectrum. It is notable, however, that Ford passed up an opportunity to put a Scarborough subway back in play.
  • The mayor of Toronto continues to despite light rail transit. In this case, he opposed a relatively affordable transit route that's been broadly supported by businesses in the new East Bayfront neighbourhood. Don't try to make any sense of it.

An interesting stat: by the end of 2012, it's likely that Ford will have come out on the losing end of more than half of the major council votes this term. The strategic decision to have the mayor sit there as he loses vote after vote continues to confuse the hell out of me. Even now, it wouldn't be that hard for Ford's team to engineer compromises that would allow them to save face.

This post was originally published at on 2012-08-03T00:00:00.000Z

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Matt Elliott

City Hall watcher, columnist and policy wonk in Toronto.
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