Archived columns and blog posts by Matt Elliott

City Council Scorecard: TCHC sale, Metrolinx agreement & Accountability Offices

By: Metro Canada Published on Fri Nov 16 2012

The Oct. 30, 2012 meeting of Toronto City Council spilled out across three days and included a truly bizarre portion in which several councillors dressed up in colourful Halloween costumes. TTC vice chair Glenn De Baeremaeker wore a full-on dog suit. It was also the meeting in which Mayor Rob Ford absented himself for a few hours to coach a football game—which sparked a circuitous sequence of events involving a private TTC bus, commuters left on the side of the road, and far too many press conferences.

Also at this meeting: Votes! Important ones. Three have been added to the ongoing City Council Scorecard this month, providing a bit of movement amongst the ranks of councillors.

The votes added, from left-to-right:

EX23.4 was the item that ultimately confirmed the recommendations of Coun. Ana Bailão's working group on Toronto Community Housing. The group rejected a plan backed by Mayor Rob Ford to sell more than 700 single family homes across the city, instead opting to move forward with the sale of just 55 houses.

Bailão's report was well-crafted and even-handed, which made for a nice moment of bipartisan agreement. Mostly.

The vote I've recorded here was for a motion by Coun. Mike Layton that asked that any relocation of current TCHC tenants take into account the school year. It seemed fairly innocuous—just making sure that kids who reside in TCHC homes aren't pulled from school midway through the academic year—but it didn't pass.

CC27.6 should have been a routine procedural matter. It asked that council approve the master agreement with Metrolinx to move forward on the previously approved LRT lines on Eglinton, Finch, Sheppard and the Scarborough RT. Rejecting the agreement could have easily caused the city to lose $8.7 billion in dedicated transit funds. Throwing caution to the wind, the mayor and ten other councillors—including, surprisingly, rookie councillor James Pasternak—voted against.

Coun. James Pasternak fell below the 70 per cent threshold, consigning himself to the ranks of the mighty-or-mushy middle.

Coun. Josh Matlow stubbornly held on to a total vote percentage that keeps him in the same swing-vote group, but things look perilous. This council term will drive him toward the unofficial opposition before too long.

There's only one more meeting of council before we close the book on Year Two. With a 22 per cent success rate thus far, it's not too early to call 2012 a disastrous year for the Ford administration when it comes to winning major votes at City Hall.

And a special shout-out to budget chief Coun. Mike Del Grande. The Scarborough penny pincher was the only councillor in attendance to vote against sending aid to New York City and the surrounding area in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

This post was originally published at on 2012-11-16T00:00:00.000Z

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Matt Elliott

City Hall watcher, columnist and policy wonk in Toronto.
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