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  #61  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2018, 3:53 PM
kwoldtimer kwoldtimer is online now
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Originally Posted by lrt's friend View Post
Ottawa is a little different because it has a very large rural expanse. Reducing the size of council too much will result in no rural representation on council and therefore no say on affairs that affect rural residents. Someone said to reduce council to 8 in Ottawa, 4 inside the Greenbelt and 4 outside the Greenbelt. At that point, those 4 councillors outside the Greenbelt will mainly serve the large suburban satellite cities. The other concern when reducing council is that the mayor's powers increase. This is something that Doug Ford supports and is worrisome. I prefer the consensus model of running a city rather than having a strong man acting as a CEO dictator. From an Ottawa perspective, I can see how this can become problematic as the current mayor is already very effective at running the city 'his way'.

Others have stated that reducing council makes councillors look at the bigger picture more, and that it is a good thing to forget about local issues. I question the latter part of this argument. If nobody elected is concerned about issues at a neighbourhood level, how do we make sure that neighbourhoods are working well, that things are repaired and that neighbourhoods don't descend into crime ridden slums. I do not think we can rely on community associations alone as these are very hit and miss and they are non-democratic bodies often with specific agendas. My own neighbourhood has not had a community association for decades because of lack of cohesion.
As long as councillors are elected by ward rather than at large, I'm not sure why this would be so. More likely, their focus would remain on an expanded "local".
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  #62  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2018, 4:56 PM
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Strong-Mayor system should be in place in Canada's largest cities. It makes more sense for the Mayor, to get directly elected with a Mandate but still have to sell to Council their positions and vice-versa. If the Mayor falls on their face then in 4 years they are quickly tossed aside. Let a Strong-Mayor do appointments, craft and sell a policy to Council, and have the power to Veto anything from Council that seems like a lump of coal.

Large cities need big vision policy that leads the city as whole well into the future. Toronto is stuck as its Council is full of lifers who only care about getting re-elected and the tree in their backyard.

25 person council forces large city Vision, but this should be dove-tailed with the creation of robust Community Councils to manage the finer-grained details of the City. I don't support Doug Ford's move but I am so over Toronto City Council that any shake-up at this point will be for the better. In my life, I have never seen a more inept City Council, things need to change in how they operate.
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  #63  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2018, 5:32 PM
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Originally Posted by lrt's friend View Post
I think the bigger issue isn't the reduction itself but that it was being implemented the day before nominations closed. People have already committed themselves to run and probably raised money for the campaign. Now, some candidates will be scrambling. This creates chaos for the 2018 municipal election which is never a good thing. This all comes across as political retribution. If it was not, then this could have been implemented for the 2022 municipal election.
It's all to prop up printing companies. Any candidate who printed their signs/stickers/etc. as "Vote ... for Ward 28" will need to reprint their kit.

Last edited by rbt; Aug 2, 2018 at 5:48 PM.
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  #64  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2018, 6:17 PM
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She explains it more on her twitter, but basically she believes that cities should have more power to control their own affairs.
A much easier way to achieve this would be to replace FPTP by PR at the provincial level. This would ensure that whoever is Ontario Premier knows he's only there because the GTA put him there.
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  #65  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2018, 6:21 PM
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I am fine with what Ford did in principle. I mean city council has not made the DRL a priority in 30 years. That should tell you something.

The way Ford did it was a joke. Using political capital early. I don't think it will go through, but some changes should be done.

Let people run in parties, so you can whip them. Have a stronger mayor, who can actually set an agenda. Or cut seats. Pick one, city will run better.
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  #66  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2018, 7:35 PM
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I am fine with what Ford did in principle. I mean city council has not made the DRL a priority in 30 years. That should tell you something.
And empowering the suburban conservatives on council would do that?
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  #67  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2018, 7:36 PM
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Calgary has 14 councillors for a population of ~1.3M, not too far off the new ratio in Toronto.
Funny how Nenshi's reaction didn't mention anything about 14 councillors being enough for Calgary. Instead he said Ford is acting like a tin-pot dictator.
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  #68  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2018, 7:46 PM
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Funny how Nenshi's reaction didn't mention anything about 14 councillors being enough for Calgary. Instead he said Ford is acting like a tin-pot dictator.
I would have actually preferred he stick to the former and avoid the latter.

Not great from someone who has the rep that he enjoys. (And he should also know that however ill-timed, Doug Ford's move is legally and constitutionally permissible.)
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  #69  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2018, 7:56 PM
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Also, under the Ford formula Calgary would have 10 councillors not 14.
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  #70  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2018, 8:38 PM
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I wonder if it isn't an ominous sign to have even someone of the calibre of Naheed Nenshi descend into the nasty political name-calling that dominates public discourse in our era.

Sign of the times I guess.
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  #71  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2018, 9:05 PM
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Meanwhile, the Ford government plans on fighting Trudeau over the imposition of a carbon tax which they're basically guaranteed to lose. While Ford is very likely to get his way, opponents of his changes have a stronger case than Ford does vis-a-vis the feds, albeit an uphill battle.
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  #72  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2018, 9:21 PM
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Meanwhile, the Ford government plans on fighting Trudeau over the imposition of a carbon tax which they're basically guaranteed to lose. While Ford is very likely to get his way, opponents of his changes have a stronger case than Ford does vis-a-vis the feds, albeit an uphill battle.
The carbon tax battle is 100% political. Ford really wants control over federal power. He doesn't care if this were to destabilize the federal-provincial power balance. The same thing with the pipeline in BC.

It is a sad sign of the times. We would rather tie up the whole country in litigation than actually move forward on anything meaningful.
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  #73  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2018, 9:37 PM
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Originally Posted by osmo View Post
Large cities need big vision policy that leads the city as whole well into the future. Toronto is stuck as its Council is full of lifers who only care about getting re-elected and the tree in their backyard.

25 person council forces large city Vision, but this should be dove-tailed with the creation of robust Community Councils to manage the finer-grained details of the City. I don't support Doug Ford's move but I am so over Toronto City Council that any shake-up at this point will be for the better. In my life, I have never seen a more inept City Council, things need to change in how they operate.
That's where I stand too.

I see Doug Ford's ploy for what it is: a petty political retribution and a way to dilute downtown progressive opposition to him (consider the population of downtown ridings vs. suburban ones).

But at the same time, it's hard to defend Toronto City Council. It has to be down there with the current US Congress in its level of ineptness and dysfunction. Sometimes I relish taking a sledgehammer to the whole thing, too.

Unfortunately, the few good councillors who are out there (i.e. the downtown ones) would be the ones that would lose their seats under DoFo's plan. The shiftless suburban councillors who either show up to collect their paycheck or to throw hissy fits and vote against everything and anything will likely keep their jobs.
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  #74  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2018, 9:52 PM
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If Jennifer Keesmaat and a very progressive council miraculously got elected, Ford would probably strip the Toronto city council of its powers on the grounds of saving taxpayer dollars and "getting things done."
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  #75  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2018, 9:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Docere View Post
Funny how Nenshi's reaction didn't mention anything about 14 councillors being enough for Calgary. Instead he said Ford is acting like a tin-pot dictator.
I think the point is not how many councillors Toronto has, but that it should be Toronto that decides and not one man representing the province. He is acting like a vindictive dictator with this pointless move.
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  #76  
Old Posted Aug 2, 2018, 11:47 PM
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Toronto was the last municipality in the GTA to adopt Presto, the only GTA municipality to ban other municpalities transit agencies from operating in its borders, and the only GTA municipality not to have any sort of transit fare integration agreement with a neighbour. The rest of the province is merely treating Toronto the same way they have been treated by Toronto: either with hostility or indifference. I have no sympathy. Toronto politicians act like the city is in its own Universe, it's finally time they got a reality check.
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  #77  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2018, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by lrt's friend View Post
I think the bigger issue isn't the reduction itself but that it was being implemented the day before nominations closed. People have already committed themselves to run and probably raised money for the campaign. Now, some candidates will be scrambling. This creates chaos for the 2018 municipal election which is never a good thing. This all comes across as political retribution. If it was not, then this could have been implemented for the 2022 municipal election.
This is the biggest problem, really. There is no example that I can think of (and no one has brought up) where the government has changed the municipal election law during an election process, to implement those changes during the process. They always went into effect as of the next election. The municipal election process started before the provincial election was finished, so he didn't have a chance to do that for this election, and the next municipal election is after the next provincial election, so if he doesn't implement this now, he has no allies in Toronto—his power base—in 2022.

With few exceptions, we're not hearing much praise for Doug Ford here in Thunder Bay. Even people who generally support Conservatives seem pretty sketched out by what he's been doing so far.
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  #78  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2018, 3:30 PM
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Osgoode law professor and former MP Craig Scott thinks Toronto has a case:

https://www.thestar.com/opinion/cont...-election.html
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  #79  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2018, 8:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
I would have actually preferred he stick to the former and avoid the latter.

Not great from someone who has the rep that he enjoys. (And he should also know that however ill-timed, Doug Ford's move is legally and constitutionally permissible.)
Nenshi makes every issue about him. He seemed to back away from his constant media baiting after his narrow election victory last year, but narcissism is hard to control. I agree he could have provided some context as to Calgary maintaining 14 councilors since the 1970's despite the population tripling.
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  #80  
Old Posted Aug 3, 2018, 8:38 PM
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Ironically Calgary has more MLAs than city councillors.
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