I honestly haven’t quite recovered from that last City Council meeting. It was a fucking week long. Bullet points because there’s just too much for full sentences.
Okay, so. Top bureaucrats who have stepped down this term:
- City manager Peter Wallace (to the Treasury Board)
- TTC CEO Andy Byford (to NYC)
- CFO Rob Rossini (retired)
- Head of Transportation Stephen Buckley (to Philadelphia)
- Deputy City Manager John Livey (retired)
- Chief Planner Jen Keesmaat (to non-profits/think tanks)
A number of city councillors have also announced they’re not running for re-election:
- John Filion
- Janet Davis
- Mary-Margaret McMahon (who, admittedly, promised she would only serve two terms and is in favour of term limits)
- Josh Colle
I mean, like…does anyone get the sense they’re not running to something so much as running from something? 🤔🤔🤔
One possibility is that, after years of budget cuts and “kicking the can down the road”, the City has run out of road. And if MLTT revenue flattens or falls, which it’s bound to do eventually, we’d be well and truly fucked. As successive City Managers have said, there is no “gravy” left at City Hall. Serious cuts would have to involve mass layoffs, and the unions representing City staff would fight back. It could get unpleasant.
Or they’ve all realized that, deep down, Toronto is a potential NYC with ambitions of becoming, like…Akron, Ohio, and any forward-thinking bureaucrat or politician can make a bigger impact elsewhere.
Or some oracle has revealed to the elect that a
massive sinkhole is going to swallow up Hellmouth is going to open up under City Hall some time in the next four years, but she’s not quite sure when, and everyone’s just decided to play it safe.
Or it could just be coincidence.
I’m just being a bit paranoid, right?
So, some of the people who give me money are running for City Council in the upcoming election. Someone asked me about this yesterday and I’ve thought about it a bit, and I think it would be inappropriate for candidates to keep donating to me during the election period. (And obviously afterwards as well, if they win.)
I’ll be going through Patreon and Paypal to check who is running and message them individually, but this is just a heads up.
I’m grateful for everyone’s support, and wish candidates luck in the campaign ahead!
It’s the last Council meeting of the 2014-2018 term. Whew. Here’s a rundown of the sizeable agenda, including addressing recent gun violence, end-of-term concerns, plastic straws, affordable housing of all kinds, planning studies, and the newest addition to the PATH.
Welcome to this term’s penultimate Council meeting! There’s quite a lot on the agenda, including a slew of Integrity Commissioner investigations, laneway housing, improving deadly intersections, and more.
Warning: there are even more swears and opinions than usual. Lately I just feel civility is overrated, you know?
First of all, my apologies for getting this out late, especially because there is a lot of important stuff on the agenda. We’ve got a council appointment (and another departure), the Eglinton East LRT, #TOcore, new affordable housing opportunities, the Seniors Strategy, and more.
This month’s City Council meeting looks like it’s going to be a bit of a clip show. On the agenda: SmartTrack, the Scarborough subway, gambling at Woodbine, a 350-year-old red oak tree, and more. Read on for my overview.
Toronto City Council meets for the first time since passing the 2018 Budget. On the agenda: REimagining Yonge, winter shelter debriefs, BLOCKCHAIN!11!!!1, billboards, and more.
I’ve lost my passion for covering the City budget. Partly the clinical depression, I think, but also—it just never changes. There’s only so many times you can write another fucking “after the City Manager warns Council they can no longer ‘kick the can down the road’ for another year, Council votes to kick the can down the road” piece. It’s all too predictable. Continue reading Not Another Fucking Budget Overview
You often hear very tiresome people saying “I’m a social liberal and a fiscal conservative” as if it meant anything. In reality neither “social” nor “fiscal” issues are useful in telling left from right—especially not at City Hall, where “fiscal conservatives” have consistently championed pouring billions of dollars into an ever-shrinking subway plan. And saying that a “real progressive” wouldn’t be racist or sexist is as laughable as saying that “real Christians” aren’t homophobic, “real feminists” aren’t transphobic, etc., as well-intended as it is.
Nevertheless, I do think there is a way to meaningfully distinguish right- and left-wing politics. This is the framework I use when I talk about the political spectrum at City Hall. (That is, when I’m not talking in D&D terms.) Continue reading Sidebar: Right Vs. Left