Archived columns and blog posts by Matt Elliott

City Council Scorecard: How has your councillor been voting in 2014?

It's been a while since I've posted an update to the City Council Scorecard, my semi-objective tracker of how often councillors vote with Mayor Rob Ford on major items. With the ongoing municipal election and exciting news from rehab facilities, there's just been so many other things going on.

But let's get back to it. I've updated the council scorecard with votes from city council meetings held in May, June and July. Though some issues are being held back until after the election, councillors were still debating important matters. I added nine total votes to the scorecard with this update. Let's take a look at where councillors now stand.

You can view the individual results of all the votes added on Google Docs. They range from less consequential issues, like the question of whether we should name the plaza at the renovated Union Station after Sir John A. Macdonald, to more substantial issues like the future of Waterfront Toronto or the implementation of the Eglinton Connects plan.

The full list:

  • CC51.8, which dealt with whether to allow what staff termed “creative advertising” on transit shelters. This is digital advertising that may include auditory and interactive elements. The new advertising was approved on a 29-11 vote. Notably, virtually all councillors representing downtown areas most likely to see the installation of new digital advertising voted against it.
  • MM51.5, which reversed a ban on electronic dance music concerts at Exhibition Place. It was kind of like the Toronto version of Footloose. The ban was reversed after 31 councillors said Toronto should just dance, it'll be OK. Four councillors voted to uphold the ban.
  • Motion 2 of CD29.11, an attempt by Coun. David Shiner to not implement a series of reforms designed to ensure undocumented residents of Toronto are able to access city services. Council voted last year to become a “Sanctuary City” despite objections from council's right wing. Shiner's motion failed 11-26.
  • PG33.14, which serves as the first step toward removing Toronto from the jurisdiction of the Ontario Municipal Board. Some councillors were unhappy with the cost of setting up a Toronto-specific Local Appeals Body to deal with some planning issues. But their voices were silenced by a majority of councillors who are tired of dealing with the OMB. The item was approved 32-8.
  • Motion 1 of EX43.13, a half-hearted attempt by Coun. Anthony Perruzza to request a report on taking responsibility for waterfront development away from Waterfront Toronto and bringing it in-house at city hall. The mayor, Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong and a few others are mad at Waterfront Toronto because parks and public washrooms cost money. The report request failed, 8-26.
  • Motion 1 of EX43.16, an attempt by Coun. Pam McConnell to kill a plan to name a plaza in the renovated Union Station after Sir. John A Macdonald. Those in favour of the renaming argued that Macdonald was our country's first prime minister. Those opposed argued that he was also something of a racist. In the end, McConnell's attempt to keep his name off Union Station failed on a tie vote, 18-18.
  • PG34.1, the Eglinton Connects item. Though council approved the Eglinton Connects plan without any controversy while Ford was in rehab, the mayor tried to make an issue of the proposed road design after he returned to the city. In the end, he wasn't able to stop the plan. Implementation details passed after a 26-7 vote.
  • Motion 1 of PG34.8, which was an attempt by council's progressives to delay implementation and give further consideration to the installation of new digital billboards along highways 427 and 401. Several people have raised concerns about safety. But councillors weren't willing to wait. Council voted to not delay approval after an 18-18 vote meant the deferral failed.
  • Motion 2 of CC45.2, the vote that kept hope alive for Ombudsman Fiona Crean as she seeks another five-year term. Though the details of this motion were confidential at the time, we later learned council voted to change the required notice period so the next council will have the final say on whether Crean gets another term. The motion passed 24-15.

Trend Watch

  • With this set of votes, Coun. Ana Bailão sees her Ford Nation percentage get to 30 per cent, so she's back to being in the ranks of council's progressives — mathematically, at least.
  • I added nine votes across three council meetings, and somehow Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti managed to be recorded as absent for all of them.
  • Here is an exhaustive list of councillors who have voted with Ford more than 70 per cent of the time on major items in 2014: Mammoliti, Coun. Mike Del Grande, Coun. Doug Ford.
  • I've said this before, but it bears repeating: races for council seats are incredibly important. If you live in a ward where your incumbent councillor is seeking reelection, take some time to browse through the scorecard and look at their voting record.

This post was originally published at on 2014-08-01T00:00:00.000Z

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Matt Elliott

City Hall watcher, columnist and policy wonk in Toronto.
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