The 12th Day of Christmas

Yes, I do realize that, technically speaking, the 12 days of Christmas aren’t supposed to start until Christmas day but, hell, if department stores can pipe the song in over their loudspeakers beginning on November 1st, I’m allowed a little leeway here. By the 25th of December until sometime near the Feast of the Epiphany, it’s all an eggnog and that thing you get from turkey blur around here at All Fired Up in the Big Smoke. So I’m kicking off our Yuletide special series today.

While, given the largely gruesome events at the municipal level over the past year, it would be easy to go all lump of coaly and hand out admonishments to the naughty councillors, we’re just not going down that easy path. It’s time to embrace that peace on earth, goodwill toward men crap. The spirit of the season, our hearts growing 10X that day, hey, boy, boy, is that goose still hanging in the butcher’s window?

So over the course of the holidays, we will randomly spit out our 12 Councillors of Christmas, accentuating the positives, extolling the hard workers, noting the pleasant surprises. If you think it’s difficult to come up with 12 shining stars, you haven’t been paying close enough attention. As hard as it is to believe, the city could’ve been a much worse place today than it is without the work of the following councillors.

On the 12th day of Christmas… drummers, drum roll please…

David Shiner! Ward 24, Willowdale.

Yeah no, that’s not a typo.

While it surprises me too that his name popped up, let’s call it a little wishful thinking for this wishful thinking time of year. Yes, the councillor smarmily sandbagged a rookie colleague in a Public Works and Infrastructure Committee meeting and killed the original plans for the Fort York Bridge. Too ‘fancy’, he called them, sounding like Ebenezeer Scrooge’s niece in 19th-century England.

But he did broker a deal, two in fact, after he himself was caught off-guard by a sneaky motion in a subsequent PWI session by the master of the tactic himself, Councillor Denzil “The Dark Hearted” Minnan-Wong. Along with Councillor Mike Layton, he managed to push through a less expensive version of the bridge and with both Layton and Councillor Adam Vaughan, successfully helped find Eva’s Phoenix a new home while securing property for the city to ‘monetize’.

It ain’t much, I’ll admit. Councillor Shiner still votes in line with the mayor far too often. He can be as parochial a municipal politician as any at City Hall. He’s not a stranger to the petty condescension that drives many of Team Ford who felt left out by the previous administration. He’s still… David Shiner.

He’s attempted to reach out, however, across the aisle and be reasonable. That’s got to mean something. His loyalty to the mayor doesn’t seem to be completely blind. There appears to be room to compromise. Compared to the panoply of radical right wingers that circle the mayor, Councillor Shiner seems like a moderate voice.

In 2011 Toronto, that’s as good as we’re going to get. God bless help us all.

dickensly submitted by Cityslikr

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