2018 Municipal Election Postmortem

So after all the protests and petitions, court dates and emergency Council meetings, Doug Ford’s Thanos’ing of City Council went ahead. And it turned out the only way it could: a newly elected council even more homogeneous than the last one, and even less representative than the city it serves. I’m sure a lot of people are wondering, “Why even bother?” I know I am.

Anyway, I dashed off this quick summary of how everything shakes out, and a few remarks on what may happen this upcoming term. (Skip to Analysis if you want.)

Continue reading 2018 Municipal Election Postmortem

Nightmare Rectangle Round-up: Municipal Finance, Black Widows, Migrants, and More

Header: This image from Lisa Jackson’s Biidaaban depicts a decaying Toronto City Hall surrounded by forest, on the edge of a flooded Nathan Phillips Square.

Trying a bit of a new thing. I occasionally do linkdumps via Twitter threads, but I felt like doing something more permanent. Title inspired by this ever-relevant @TechnicallyRon tweet:

Continue reading Nightmare Rectangle Round-up: Municipal Finance, Black Widows, Migrants, and More

Does Anyone Else Have a Bad Feeling About This?

Okay, so. Top bureaucrats who have stepped down this term:

A number of city councillors have also announced they’re not running for re-election:

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. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I’m just being a bit paranoid, right?