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?

Subscribers & Toronto Election Stuff

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!

The Cheat Sheet: July 2018 City Council

Livestream · Meeting Monitor

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.

Continue reading The Cheat Sheet: July 2018 City Council

The Cheat Sheet: June 2018 City Council

Livestream · Meeting Monitor

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?

Continue reading The Cheat Sheet: June 2018 City Council

The Cheat Sheet: May 2018 City Council

Livestream · Meeting Monitor

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.

Continue reading The Cheat Sheet: May 2018 City Council

The Cheat Sheet: April 2018 City Council

Livestream · Meeting Monitor

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.

Continue reading The Cheat Sheet: April 2018 City Council