The 7th Day of Christmas

December 22, 2011

On the 7th day of Christmas, the swans were a-swooning for…

Councillor Sarah Doucette, Ward 13, Parkdale-High Park

Do not let the prim and proper British accent with a Julie Andrews flourish fool you. Residents of Ward 13 have elected a representative to City Hall with steely resolve. Pip, pip and all that, what?

Inheriting the same stomping grounds that the then outgoing and supposedly vilified mayor, David Miller, once strode as city councillor, Doucette ousted incumbent Bill Saundercook by nearly 11% with 47% of the popular vote. Those numbers sound vaguely familiar. Where have I heard them before? Oh yeah. Rob Ford elected as mayor in a landslide with a huge mandate.

Upon assuming her council seat, Doucette was the lone rookie councillor, and only one of 6 councillors in total to vote against repealing the vehicle registration tax. So a year on, with the city and its supposed no revenue problem now desperately searching for revenue, nary a peep of woeful contrition comes from Councillor Doucette. Taking a principled stands means never having to say you’re sorry.

Perhaps Mayor Ford was unaware of the councillor’s steadfastness when he put her on the board of the Toronto Public Library, bamboozled by her accent into thinking she’d maintain a stiff upper lip when he commenced his assault on it. It’s been just the opposite, in fact. Doucette has been a tireless defender against the completely arbitrary 10% the administration seems determined to inflict upon the organization which has led to a looming showdown with Team Ford as the budget process gets down to brass tacks in the new year. The budget chief’s vow to extract the cuts from the TPL suggests he too is underestimating who he’s running up against in Councillor Doucette.

While still finding her sea legs in the rough and tumble of the council chambers, she does yeoman’s duty at the committee level. She is especially effective during public deputations, serving up a calm and reassuring presence to oftentimes nervous members of the public. During this month’s budget deputations, Councillor Doucette provided some childcare duty to a single mom who was there to speak to the committee, holding her baby while she spoke. “I have one question,” the councillor asked the deputant afterwards. “Can I keep her?”

So disarmingly civil. Just don’t mistake it for being a pushover.

spoon full of sugarly submitted by Cityslikr


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