Posts Tagged ‘politics’
Justice John Sproat overturned an application asking him to remove Ms. McCallion, 92, from office. The application alleged that in 2007, Ms. McCallion breached the Municipal Conflict of Interest act when she voted on a bylaw amendment that would have saved her son’s development company millions of dollars.
The judge says he found McCallion was “wilfully blind” to her son’s development company proposal when she took part in a regional council vote in 2007.
However, Justice John Sproat says McCallion’s “deemed financial interest” in the vote was insignificant and unlikely to influence her vote.
Ms. McCallion, flanked by her lawyers Elizabeth McIntyre and Freya Kristjanson defended her actions to reporters and said that she will be prepared in the event Elias Hazineh, the Mississauga resident who brought forward the allegations, files an appeal.
Taking issue with the judge’s opinion that she should have made more inquiries into the status of her son’s building application, Ms. McCallion said she avoided opening up the issue to prevent that information from influencing her discussions with city council.
The mayor also announced her plans to request that Premier Kathleen Wynne consider amending the conflict of interest act, strengthening the grounds on which an applicant can request a review.
Toronto city councillors voted on Monday in favour of extended voting rights, different balloting, and online voting that could be a groundbreaking step towards electoral reform in Canada’s biggest municipality.
If adopted, a key part of the proposed new measures would mean voting would no longer be restricted to only Canadian citizens, but also the hundreds of thousands of permanent residents living in the city, said Coun. Joe Mihevc.
“People who pay taxes, who participate in our community, who work in our cities,” said Mihevc.
Mayor Rob Ford opposed the motion that was narrowly passed in a 21-20 vote by council.
“I don’t support it. I think we have a good system, it doesn’t make sense, how can someone who’s not a Canadian citizen vote?” said Ford.
Desmond Cole, former project coordnator for I Vote Toronto, said the naturalization rate in Canada is over 80 per cent and extending voting to permanent residents should be encouraged.
“I think it’s about extending an opportunity to people, and invitation to take part in the city building that we’re all kind of a part of now,” Cole told Metro Morning host Matt Galloway. “The more people contributing to the future of this city, the better.”
A staff report from April concerning electoral reform notes permanent residents pay the same property taxes and user fees for city programs, without representation. It goes on to say that if the amendments are accepted by the Ontario government, the changes would allow those residents to run for office.
Gerry Nicholls‘ Toronto Star opinion piece makes the sad but plausible argument that the ongoing polarization of Toronto into downtown and suburban camps explains why Rob Ford’s popularity hasn’t budged.
It’s telling, for instance, that we talk about a “Ford Nation” but never a “Harper Nation” or a “Hudak Nation.”
And “nation” is actually a good word to describe Ford’s support base because in politics tribal instincts run strong.
Stripped to its basic element, politics is really nothing more than a never-ending battle between two warring tribes: “Us” and “Them.”
We vote for a party or for a politician to defend “Us,” the good guys, from “Them,” the bad guys, the outsiders, the people who oppose our interests.
From the Ford Nation’s perspective, “Us” are hard-working, middle class, suburbanites, while “Them” are downtown elites, special interest groups, the media and public sector union bosses.
So what happens when “Them” launches a ferocious attack on Ford Nation’s top man?
The same thing that happens when outsiders attack any nation: its members close ranks and rally around their leader. That’s what Ford Nation is doing now.