A Tale Of 2 Community Councils

The downtown versus suburbs pissing match flared up again this week, ignited by the usual suspects, councillors Doug Ford and Giorgio Mammoliti, pissingmatchover the redevelopment of a northern portion of St. Lawrence Market.

“When it comes to the downtown part of the city, it freaks me out,” Councillor Mammoliti spouted, “it freaks me out that everybody can find money to be able to do these things when the rest of us are told no.”

“We’re going out and we’re spending (a) disproportionate amount of money downtown all the time,” Councillor Ford mouthed. “Etobicoke North we get crumbs,” the Toronto Sun’s Don Peat quotes the councillor saying, “people out in Scarborough get crumbs.”

It’s a very easy political fight to pick. All appearances would back the councillors’ claims up. crumbsAttending the North York Community Council meeting yesterday, it was wrapped up before lunch. On its agenda were some 56 items, accompanied by about 10 deputations from the public.

This allowed for enough time to get back downtown to City Hall and take in the Toronto-East York Community Council meeting when it resumed after lunch. Its agenda included 128 items with over 20 deputations for one item alone. (For the record, the Scarborough Community Council meeting dealt with 37 items and the Etobicoke-York Community Council, which both councillors Ford and Mammoliti are part of, had 52 items before it.) If you’re counting along at home, the 3 suburban community councils had just 17 more items combined than their downtown counterpart.

Certainly the Toronto-East York Community Council represents significantly more of the city’s population than the other three, with just under 1/3 of the entire population of Toronto. And without question, it’s the area of town getting the lion’s share of the development, what with the business core within the boundaries while sitting on a good chunk of the waterfront. pieceofthepieThis is where a majority of the action’s at, baby.

But that somehow this translates into receiving a disproportionate piece of the total budget pie? The claim never really comes with any concrete proof or reliable sources. It’s cache comes purely through the repetitive chant not any actual facts.

We’ve written a few times about the study commissioned back in the day by Councillor Norm Kelly, Fair Share Scarborough. Ostensibly it set out to see if Scarborough was getting its fair share of city services under amalgamation. Turns out there was no solid proof Scarborough was either getting ripped off or making out like bandits in the situation. A wash, let’s call it.

Nothing since that study has surfaced to prove otherwise.

Yet that doesn’t stop the likes of Doug Ford or Giorgio Mammoliti (Councillor Frances Nunziata is also a avid proponent of the divisive tactic) from trying to make political hay out of it.

Oh, but what about all that Section 37 money the downtown gets and the suburbs see nothing of? The slush fund. The dirty bribe money. section37moneyWhy does it only go to the wards where the development is?

“Distribute the money equally to all the boroughs not just downtown all the time,” Councillor Ford demanded.

Fair’s fair, right? All for one and one for all, yeah? We’re all in this together.

Except for the development part of the equation.

Seems the likes of Councillor Ford is all for section 37 funds as long as the development that provides it goes elsewhere in the city.

Next time the councillor from Ward 2 Etobicoke whines about his share of section 37 funds ask him about Humbertown.

 “We’re all in consensus, we’re going to kill this thing.”

So spoke Councillor Ford at a public meeting about a proposed development in his neck of the woods.

It seems that you can suck and blow at the same time.crybabies

There are many residents of this city who can rightfully claim that they are being left out of the politics, the planning, the development of Toronto. Their claim is legitimate. But politicians like Doug Ford and Giorgio Mammoliti are simply piggybacking on that grievance, attempting to leverage it for political gain. They’re looking for others to do the heavy-lifting of governance and city-building while they just squawk away noisily in their little corners of the city.

submitted by Cityslikr

10 Responses to A Tale Of 2 Community Councils

  1. Patrick Smyth says:

    At the TEYCC yesterday Cllr Vaughan picked-up on the bizarre situation at Yonge/Eglinton where more and more new residents are being piled on the already overwhelmed TTC. He turned to the planning staff for a comment. They commented, agreeing that the situation was dire. No further debate, no other questions. Development Application passed!

    You’d call that “good governance”? I’d call it cheap politics. Good governance would be acting on the claims of abandonment by many TO residents. Cheap shots and cheap politics abounds at City Hall and all some complain about are the Fords. That’s rich!

    • torontopeter says:

      Hi Doug! How’s Rob?

      • Patrick Smyth says:

        Rob’s been a very effective Opposition on Council and he’s getting credit for the fiscal restraint he’s established. He’s managed to put a stop to a lot of the preference given to downtown and put some focus on why TO Council is so dysfunctional. Now, if he could get City Hall running more like the corporation that it is, we could get rid of a bunch of clowns down there.

    • I was actually the person whose deputation prompted Vaughan’s question to staff. For what it’s worth, I didn’t have any doubt that the development would be approved – I was doing a little windmill tilting.

      As was pointed out more than once during TEYCC, the real problem is the province. As long as the OMB gets the final say, it’s near impossible for council to say no to developers. The most they can do is get the best development possible.

      • Patrick Smyth says:

        The OMB must recognise the precedents set by councillors who are poor planners. Too many decisions made by petty politicians have kept development lawyers busy at the OMB. They need only to show how many other projects of a similar height/density have been approved to win the argument that their client should be treated the same way. The fault is not with the OMB, it is with councillor-planners and a behind-the-times Planning Dept. Given the quality of planning decisions being made by some councillor-planners, I am not in favour of removing the OMB from the planning process.

  2. Steve says:

    If the suburbs what a piece of downtown they can have the Gardner, we’ll throw in the Skydome as a bonus.

    • Patrick Smyth says:

      The suburbs want a subway and some attention paid to its needs too. Oh, and fewer pontificating downtown councillors would help.

  3. torontopeter says:

    Who do we blame more: obvious morons like Doug Ford and Giorgio or the fools that vote for them?

    • Patrick Smyth says:

      Blame the morons who can’t see the divide created by piss-poor councillors and mayors since Amalgamation.

  4. Sonny says:

    Once again Doug comes out like a wrestler & trash talks his opponents pitting the “Downtown” where people want to live rather than his ward where Toronto’s finest trashed a few buildings…

    Drove through Mammo’s ward to get some Chinese baked goods and realize that Perk’s ward is more walkable. I wonder when Mammo will get the ward the World’s biggest flag pole…

    P.S. Ford was at NPS with Art based on the Chinese zodiac. Coincidentally he is the year of the Rooster(insert Foghorn Leghorn image)

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