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Tory’s executive committee sticks close to Ford formula

By: Matt Elliott Metro, Metro Published on Tue Dec 02 2014

The criticism came swiftly after Mayor John Tory unveiled his list of political appointments Monday, filling out his executive committee and naming a council speaker and TTC chair.

Some argued the appointees are mostly the same group who supported former mayor Rob Ford — and hew pretty closely to a right-wing agenda.

But how far to the right are they? That’s a difficult thing to measure. Let’s do it anyway.

I’ve put together a comparison of councillors named to key posts by Ford in 2010 and those appointed by Tory this week. Using data from my 2010-2014 City Council Scorecard — which gave councillors a “Ford Nation” score based on how often they voted with Ford on key items — it’s easy to get a sense of just how far certain councillors lean to the right.

Here’s what Ford’s 2010 slate of appointments looked like. Note that membership in his executive changed a number of times over his term, as various councillors realized they didn’t want to be associated with Ford. Two members, Doug Holyday and Peter Milczyn, did not complete their terms because they were elected to Queen's Park.

And here’s Tory’s list of appointments, with the caveat that his pick for speaker has yet to be confirmed by council:

And here’s a comparison, stacked up against the city council average Ford Nation score from last term.

By this measure, Tory can say his picks are less conservative than Ford’s — there’s a 15-point gap between the two slates. But even so, Tory’s picks are significantly more conservative than the council average. His team averaged a 62 per cent Ford Nation score last term, compared to the 46 per cent average achieved by council as a whole.

Does this matter? I think it does. Tory spent much of his mayoral campaign talking himself up as a bridge-builder who would heal some of the divisiveness of the Ford era. But this isn’t the slate of picks you’d expect from someone who planned to run a truly even-keeled administration — it’s got a distinct political bent.

It’s too soon to know whether a right-leaning slate of appointees will translate into an overtly right-wing agenda, but it’s fair to say that Tory has immediately positioned himself as a more conservative-leaning mayor than some might have expected. Speaking strictly in terms of who he’s surrounded himself with, the new boss does look a lot like the old boss.

This post was originally published at on 2014-12-02T00:00:00.000Z

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Matt Elliott

City Hall watcher, columnist and policy wonk in Toronto.
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