Archive for the ‘Toronto’ Category
The rookie councillor routinely calls out his City Council counterparts when he feels they are shirking their duties. Last week, he excoriated Councillor Jaye Robinson (who was bedridden with a chest infection at the time) for missing a Civic Appointments Committee meeting. Ford decried her supposed shiftlessness and claimed that her absence caused the meeting’s cancellation (which, as it happens, was an outright lie — the meeting proceeded as scheduled, with Ford himself in attendance).
The week before that, on the CFRB radio show he co-hosts with the mayor, Ford chided the 18 Toronto councillors who attended the recent FCM annual conference in Vancouver for not doing their jobs. Later on in the show, he backed away from the prospect of not doing his job by running in a Provincial election, and announced that he will instead focus on not doing his job by continuing to act as the mayor’s self-appointed Polonius. He’s turned his attention to “the job at hand with Rob into the next election.” But giving his brother a hand with his job is not the job Ford was handed.
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Nearly 25% of Ward 2 residents live in poverty [PDF], and transit options are limited throughout the ward. A 2008 study conducted by PollutionWatch, which shows a positive correlation between poor air quality and poverty, indicates that air pollution levels in some sections of Ward 2 are amongst the highest in Toronto. The southeast corner of Ward 2 falls within Weston-Mt. Dennis, one of 13 priority areas in Toronto identified by the City as requiring considerable attention due to inadequate community services and high rates of poverty, crime, and unemployment. This, clearly, is a ward that needs an engaged and informed city councillor.
Unfortunately, Ford is neither of those things. His web site, for example, is bereft of substance: links to Twitter, Facebook, email, and RSS that lead nowhere, a ward profile with three bullet-point factoids and nine more dead links, and a homepage that refers to only two ward-specific events — one that took place two weeks ago, and another that happened last summer (although both are advertised as upcoming).
It’s possible that Ford has heard some distant rumour of the problems that plague his ward, but he appears to have done nothing substantial to fix them — no transit initiatives, no environmental initiatives, no housing initiatives.
Instead, he has put forward motions like EY21.48, wherein he motioned that a condo developer be permitted to erect three times as many A-frame advertising signs as the Municipal Code permits; EY19.40, wherein he motioned that certain properties at risk of violating driveway-widening regulations be granted an extension to the one-year extension they’d already been granted to comply with the regulations; MM7.7, with which he sought to provide the Toronto Catholic District School Board with $75,000 to build a change room; and EY11.17, with which he sought to block a pedestrian walkway with a 1.8-metre chain-link fence, as requested by a number of residents.
By this point, almost everyone reading this blog will have been apprised of the news that Toronto mayor Rob Ford has been hospitalized for a large abdominal tumour. Given his father’s death from colon cancer, and Ford’s own history of hospitalizations, the news is not good.
How do you feel about this? Do you feel much sympathy for the man? He is a human being suffering what might well be a terminal illness (ignoring steadily-growing pain for three months is a bad idea), a husband and a father and a man loved by many in his community. He is also, as is abundantly documented, a frequently crude and multi-faceted bigot who has brought shame to Toronto with his numerous ill-judged behaviours.
What do you think of it all?