Are councillors campaigning in last council session before election?
TORONTO – The business being brought forth at Toronto’s last city council meeting before the election could be considered posturing.
Some of the more than 400 items on the agenda are motions which Denzil Minnan-Wong suggests might be props in the individual councillor’s campaign.
“There’s no question that some of the member’s motions are, let’s say, motivated a little bit more by trying to make their campaigns a little bit more… robust,” he said.
An item entitled, “Taking Back Our Streets” is being considered with the intent to keep developers from blocking lanes of traffic while projects are under construction.
“New York actually forces developers to build within the property line,” councillor Josh Matlow said. “I think we should do that in Toronto.”
Matlow dismissed the idea the motion was a campaign tactic however and pointed out that no one is running against him in Ward 22.
Mayor Rob Ford is trying to put a popular stamp on what has been a tumultuous term in office by asking for more coordinated traffic signals at intersections.
“It’s working very well,” Ford said. “I want to see if we can implement it a little more quicker.”
Ford tried unsuccessfully to make some last-minute changes to the agreement with Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) for a new Toronto Raptors practice facility on the CNE grounds.
He wanted MLSE to consider dedicating 10 per cent of recreational time to young people from Toronto Community Housing.
Councillor Gord Perks said Ford hadn’t been a part of the process until now.
“I don’t try to speculate on the motives of Mayor Rob Ford,” Perks said. “It just hurts my head and doesn’t accomplish anything.”
But the posturing didn’t stop with the motions.
Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam sent out a tweet early Monday morning suggesting she would be wearing pink to “commemorate the end of #RobFord as Toronto’s worst mayor ever.”
Other councillors arrived at the start of meeting clad in the same colour.
“I actually wear pink quite often,” Wong-Tam said. “Today, I decided to wear pink. Pink is the colour of anti-bullying.”
Wong-Tam introduced a motion meant to deal with excessive motorcycle noise in the city and how to enforce current bylaws to keep streets quiet.
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