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article imageToronto city council's 'new style of politics' gets underway Special

By Andrew Moran     Dec 9, 2010 in Politics
Toronto - Toronto’s new city council met in the council chamber for five and a half hours on Wednesday to voice their concerns over committee appointments, community and ward representation and budget schedules.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said he got everything he wanted on Wednesday after city council finally got down to business. Although there were moments of tension, councillors urged each other to work together.
“There is a new day here, folks,” said City Councillor and member of the mayor’s executive committee, Michael Thompson. “There is an opportunity for us to all work together. But it doesn’t mean that everybody gets what they want; because that’s not the way the world works.”
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford
City councillor Joe Mihevc voiced his concern about his St. Paul’s ward not being represented on the budget committee, executive committee, Toronto Police Services Board, the Toronto Community Housing Board and the Toronto Transit Commission.
Therefore, Mihevc introduced a motion to add himself to the Toronto Transit Commission and increase TTC members from seven to nine.
The five and a half hour debate also included discussions over the passing of the city’s operating budget, which is usually approved in the middle of April. Ford wants to revise the schedule so that it matches the calendar year. The reason why Ford wants it to match the calendar year is so that the city passes the budget “before it starts spending money.”
Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday
Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday
Freshman Toronto Centre-Rosedale Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam introduced a motion to extend it by no more than a month but it was defeated. However, Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday considered her motion.
Ford said after the meeting that there will be “more than enough time” to debate and discuss the budget.
Councillors address their concerns
City councillor and former mayoral rival of Ford’s, Giorgio Mammolity, urged the new council not to pass things “on the fly” but to be “patient” and discuss the issues at hand. He cited Mihevc’s speech from years ago where he made similar remarks: “You were right,” Mammoliti said to Mihevc.
City councillor and former mayoral candidate Giorgio Mammoliti
City councillor and former mayoral candidate Giorgio Mammoliti
Even though there were demands of solidarity, Toronto-Danforth Councillor Paula Fletcher said the new city council is making appointments based on the “wants of the mayor and his team” instead of doing what is right.
A strong vocal critic of the new mayor, Trinity-Spadina Councillor Adam Vaughn, suggested that the appointments are part of a “political agenda” and that there is now a “new style of politics in the city.”
“There are practical issues around how to simply make the city function that require input from people in different corners of the city because different corners of the city are built differently,” said Vaughn, who will no longer sit on the Toronto Police Services Board.
City councillor Adam Vaughn.
City councillor Adam Vaughn.
Next order of business
On Thursday, the first meeting of the new executive committee will take place. The first order of business for the committee is something that has been one of the mayor’s top issues during his mayoral campaign and that is the $60 vehicle registration tax.
“We promised we're going to cancel it and we are going to move forward,” said Etobicoke Councillor Doug Ford, reports CBC News.
For a detailed list of city council’s schedule and meetings, click here.
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