The 9th Day of Christmas

December 20, 2011

On the 9th day of Christmas, the ladies stopped dancing to hear who’s next on our 12 Councillors of Christmas list.

Kristyn Wong-Tam, Ward 27

I think it’s safe to say that no rookie councillor standing in opposition to Mayor Ford took it harder on the chin in 2011 than Councillor Wong-Tam. She was blindsided by the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee when it pushed forward a motion to tear up the Jarvis bike lanes without prior notice. Later on, Councillor Denzil “The Dark Hearted” Minnan-Wong threatened the Dundas-Yonge scramble intersection in her ward with a demand for a staff report on its feasibility and adverse affect on vehicular traffic. In fact, Minnan-Wong seems to be the Team Ford point man for taking gratuitous swipes at Wong-Tam. Does he bear her added ill-will because they share similar surnames? Yeah, I do think the man’s that petty.

Rather than wilt in the face of such tiny-minded mean-spiritedness or try to make nice with the powers that be, Councillor Wong-Tam has stood firm. She’s been a quietly strident critic of the mayor both in council and out. She publicly called the Ford brothers onto the carpet for their unilateral decision not to submit a bid for the 2020 Olympics. She went out on a limb and suggested a novel idea for generating revenue: a city owned bank. Councillor Wong-Tam was one of 3 councillors who brought the shark fin ban to a vote, handing Mayor Ford one of his more lopsided losses. Another item, which would pull the city out from under the jurisdiction of the OMB, she’s working on with fellow rookie councillor Josh Matlow goes back to council in February.

While it’s no surprise ideologically why Team Ford seems especially focussed on the Ward 27 councillor, it does seem like a strange waste of energy on their part. What is about her that they deem to be such a threat? My guess is she’s being used as an example for the other, more moderate and easily pliable rookie councillors – Bailão, Berardinetti, Colle, Crawford, Crisanti, Matlow – of what can happen when you defy the mayor. Mess with him and we’ll make you lives miserable.

Our advice to those councillors in 2012? Be a little more independent minded like Councillor Wong-Tam. It’ll server you better in the long run.

two to tangoly submitted by Cityslikr