Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Toronto: First Steps Toward Ugly and Mean

For those DJ! readers lucky enough to be watching Toronto's self-immolation from afar, here's a glimpse of what happened yesterday.

Basically, it was Kick Poor People to the (Nicely Plowed) Curb Day:
After two days of debate, Toronto Council approved $27.4 million in cuts from the city's core services review - sparing only a handful of programs and properties, including the Toronto Parking Authority and community Environment Days.

But gone this year is the city's Christmas bureau - a program that provides Christmas gifts to low-income children - and another program that helps destitute seniors with medical expenses.

There's a teensy bit of good news, though. Ford Nation is showing some cracks.
Six months, 19 meetings, more than 200 hours of debate. Total savings so far: $27.7-million.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford tried to put a brave face on the final outcome of his marathon review of city services, claiming “a huge victory for the taxpayers of the city” as council voted to explore selling the Toronto Zoo, cancel its free garbage tag program and outsource the Christmas Bureau, which co-ordinates holiday gifts to underprivileged children.

Matt Elliott has the scorecard and links to 'cheat sheets' provided to Fordsters.
At today’s special City Council meeting on the Core Service Review, the mayor’s team was on the losing end of seven votes. Though it’s not fair to call it a staggering rebuke, it stands as more evidence that Rob Ford is losing his grip on City Council and will continue to have trouble getting controversial policies approved without compromise.

Finally, that surprisingly large subset of City Hall watchers cum Star Wars fans came up with an amusing (to Star Wars fans, one of whom I'm not) hashtag, #StarWarsCouncil.

More at the Star.

Image source. Blogger says it came from the Hamilton Spectator, but I couldn't find an original link.

ADDED: How Toronto balanced its budgets before. Hint: think revenue.

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