CP24 reports. It looks like this campaign is John Tory’s to lose now.
Earlier on Friday, two key strategists who worked on the campaigns for Karen Stintz and David Soknacki threw their support behind Tory.
Tory welcomed Stintz’s campaign chair Paul Brown and Soknacki’s adviser Gordon Chong outside city hall Friday morning, but did not specify the exact roles they will play on his campaign.
“To me this is important evidence of the fact that we are gaining momentum and that we are gaining new people to our cause to bring the city together and to create one Toronto,” Tory said. “I am just very happy to have them show this gesture of confidence in me, our campaign and perhaps more importantly what this campaign is about.”
Chong, a former councillor, was a member of Mayor Rob Ford’s transition team when he was elected in 2010 and authored a 2012 report on how to fund transit expansion in Toronto titled “Toronto Transit: Back on Track.”
In that report, Chong advocated parking taxes or levies and a special regional sales tax to pay for new infrastructure. On Friday, however, he told reporters that he believes Tory can in fact follow through on his SmartTrack proposal using Tax Increment Financing.
Under TIF, a government borrows money to fund the cost of a project and then pays it back using additional tax revenue generated by higher property values and increased development.
The Scotsman reports on one thing I found interesting in yesterday’s referendum in Scotland, on the majority support for independence in Glasgow in its area. Three of the four ridings in Scotland that returned majority support were in the Glasgow urban area. Some speculation I’ve seen elsewhere suggests that the scale of Thatcher-era economic collapse helped create this upset with the British state.
With three quarters of registered adults in Glasgow voting – a turnout of 75% – the Yes campaign won by 53.5% to 46.5% of votes for No.
All of the city’s eight Scottish Parliament constituencies favoured Yes. Although the result did not change the national picture, it represented a significant blow for Glasgow’s Labour-led local authority and Johann Lamont, the leader of Scottish Labour.
[. . .]
In Glasgow, 363,664 votes were cast. In some wards, the Yes vote was conclusive, with a majority of nearly six thousand in Maryhill and Springburn and Glasgow Provan, results that will give Labour politicians in the city much cause for concern.
Although the turnout was lower than other parts of the country, it still made electoral history in the city. In the 1997 referendum on Scottish devolution, the region recored an unenviable turnout of just 51.2%, the lowest of any local authority and well under the national average of 60.2%.
On the ground yesterday, numerous polling stations across the city’s boundaries reported lengthy queues when they opened at 7am. One, in the southside area of Battlefield, reported 150 votes cast in the first 10 minutes. Throughout the day, the turnout remained very high, with the vast logistical operation seeming to run smoothly. In all, there were 438 polling stations in 200 buildings across the city, with 1,188 staff on hand.
Given the size of its population, the largest count in the country was expected to play have an influential bearing on proceedings. In the end, it was good news for Yes, but it came too late to bolster a flagging campaign, although it will likely cause tremors in Glasgow’s political landscape for some time to come.