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article imageToronto Mayor: LRTs 'to make the eHealth scandal look minuscule' Special

By Andrew Moran     Mar 22, 2012 in Politics
Toronto - Has Toronto Mayor Rob Ford returned to his days as the fiery Etobicoke City Councillor? During the second day of debates over the Sheppard Avenue extension, Ford shouted that Toronto wants subways – council voted 24-19 in favour of LRTs on Sheppard.
During a tense issue that is up for debate inside the council chambers at city hall, the crowd is usually the one that is raucous. On Thursday, however, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was the one who began to shout inside the chamber and laughed at one of his Etobicoke councillor colleagues.
As city council moves into its second day of debate over whether or not Sheppard Avenue should be extended as a subway or LRT, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford invoked passion and began to iterate his subway plan, which many argue is not fiscally responsible and does not help many parts of the city that need relief.
City Councillor Doug Ford speaks with Chamber Speaker Councillor Frances Nunziata during a special c...
City Councillor Doug Ford speaks with Chamber Speaker Councillor Frances Nunziata during a special city council meeting on the Sheppard transit line.
The mayor explained that the people of the city have “spoken loud and clear” and they want “subways, folks, subways, subways, subways.” He stated that after the debate last month about the Eglinton line, Liberal Scarborough Members of Provincial Parliament are now calling for subways.
Ford said that council seems afraid of what the provincial or federal budgets are going to do. “What are you afraid of? It’s their money. Let’s see what they’re going to deliver to us.”
He added that there are rumors surfacing that Queen’s Park may cut funding for Toronto’s transit, which is why, according to the mayor; he moved a motion Wednesday night to postpone any decision until Apr. 4
Councillor Josh Matlow addresses the council chamber opposing Councillor Michael Thompson s deferral...
Councillor Josh Matlow addresses the council chamber opposing Councillor Michael Thompson's deferral.
“People hate this St. Clair, they hate these streetcars, you can call them what they want, people want subways folks, subways, subways,” Ford began to shout, which received some applause from the attendees. “They don’t want these damn streetcars clogging up our city.”
“Show me an LRT in Toronto, we don’t have one, it is St. Clair, this is going to be St. Clair part two,” stated Ford. “It went from $40 million to $100 million. This is going to be a boondoggle of billions of dollars to make the e-Health scandal look minuscule.”
Ford’s dream of a subway, though, is over. City council voted 24-19 in favour of an LRT.
Councillor Anthony Peruzza speaks with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford during a special city council meeting.
Councillor Anthony Peruzza speaks with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford during a special city council meeting.
Ward 34 Don Valley East Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong told reporters during a media scrum that the mayor is one of the best when it comes to getting the City’s finances under control and addressing the important issues of reducing the cost in the size of government.
Minnan-Wong said his advice to the mayor is that this is what the taxpayers of Toronto want him to do “and those are the issues he should focus on.”
Anger prompts recess
Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong speaks with reporters during a media scrum in the council gallery at a...
Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong speaks with reporters during a media scrum in the council gallery at a special city council meeting on transit.
Following the mayor’s remarks, the debate became so heated that Council Chamber Speaker Frances Nunziata had to order a five-minute recess – many in the crowd wanted Nunziata to be replaced and one person even went to Budget Chief Mike Del Grande during a television interview about the matter.
Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby cited her ward’s support for an LRT in Etobicoke during a public meeting. The mayor started to chuckle at her and criticized her support for “streetcars.” Also, Councillor Vincent Crisanti, another representative of Etobicoke, said that Luby was wrong and that was not what he heard at the public meeting.
The mayor accused Luby of “being out of control.”
Etobicoke Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby pointing her finger at Toronto Mayor Rob Ford as he laughed...
Etobicoke Councillor Gloria Lindsay Luby pointing her finger at Toronto Mayor Rob Ford as he laughed and criticized her position on transit.
“It’s disgusting the way we’re all acting,” said Doug Ford, the mayor’s brother and an Etobicoke councillor. “I’m embarrassed to be out here, I’m absolutely embarrassed, the government system is terrible here. It’s absolutely terrible.”
Ford added that Luby was wrong and that the people of Etobicoke want subways “they don’t want streetcars.” Luby interjected by showing him the support for an LRT. Ford urged her to prove she had the support and then brought up the fact that Luby won by a small margin (300-plus votes) and “more people voted against you.”
The mayor’s opponents, including Councillors Krysytn Wong-Tam and Gord Perks, say that since Ford entered office on Dec. 1, 2010, he has divided council and has divided the city of Toronto.
More about Toronto mayor, Rob Ford, Toronto city council, sheppard LRT, Toronto transit commission
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