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article imageCity Council votes on garbage proposal in Toronto

By KJ Mullins     Oct 24, 2011 in Politics
Toronto - Without answers City Councillors are asking for another month to discuss and review the information to make an informed decision when it comes to where to go with garbage collection in Toronto.
Today the Toronto City Council was to vote on whether or not the city would privatize garbage collection. Many of the members though had many concerns about just how the proposed contract will give serve the city's residents and business. As Councillor Adam Vaughan said the questions were coming from across the ridings in the city with real concerns.
The City Council was being asked to approve a contract quickly. As many questions were left unanswered some of the councilors fought against voting today.
The company in question has not said how many employees would be working on collecting garbage in Wards 7-23 and Ward 27 with 30 less trucks than the city of Toronto. Without this question and others that have been posed many at City Hall said that they could not vote for the proposal with due diligence.
Councillor Joe Mihevc said that the basic elements of a good decision are not before the council.
Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti was aggressive as he said that the residents of Toronto want the council to make a decision today.
Ward 23's John Filion said that many in council were in favor of getting a private company in but they have found that questions have yet to be answered.
Ward 29's Councillor Mary Fragedakis said that the cheapest contract may not be the best. She supported the deferral motion to make sure that the company which would be serving Toronto for the next seven years.
The deferral to November 29 vote was 20 to 22 did not carry forcing the council to make the decision today.
Councillor Perks said, "If someone walks up to you on the street and offers you a gold watch for 10 dollars, you keep walking." He then spoke up for the city employees, saying that Mayor Ford was making Toronto worse.
An amendment to the proposal was also asked to make it so that the city manager would not be the only one to make decisions on the proposed contract by Councilor Glenn De Baeremaeker after stating that "This is a very lowball bid."
Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti said that people in his ward said that they want to go forward with this after the garbage strike last summer.
"Residents are upset. Garbage is everywhere," Mammoliti said that half of the garbage doesn't make it in the truck and is left of the street. He also accused CUPE Local 416 president Mark Ferguson of threatening him.
Councillor Shelley Caroll said a bad bargain starts with a bad shopping list.
Councillor Raymond Cho asked if City Hall is working for the mayor or the residents of Toronto.
Councillor Janet Davis said that Toronto is taking a big risk, with a company that put a bid in 26 percent lower than the other bids. Davis said that Kawatha Lakes rejected the company.
Pam McConnell said voting to contract out is punishment to the city workers for the garbage strike that took place two years ago.
"We'll always go after the people with the least amount of power…and do the dirtiest work, the hardest pieces of work," said Joe Mihevc.
Severalmotions were also put forth.
For the next two hours discussions and arguments were heard before the final vote.
Adam Vaughan brought up the fact that while the council brought up the fact that the more complex the issue the less information the council is given to make a decision. "On a wing and a prayer we're going to send this vote out."
Vaughan spoke about one of the residents in his ward how brings the workers lemonade or coffee so that others have the time to get their garbage out. Vaughan smiled as he said that she knew what she was doing stalling the workers but noted that she knew the names of all of the city workers. He then said that Toronto is about to loss those workers if the vote passes.
The city council has adopted the report on contracting out garbage by a vote of 26-16.
A vote on banning shark fin set for today will be heard tomorrow.
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