Indifference By The Dozen

I’m feeling my coverage of incumbents seeking re-election is incomplete. There’s my 12 Must Haves and my 13 Need To Gos, leaving the 12 remainders in some sort of shadowy, no-man’s-land. indifferent2Hey, All Fired Up in the Big Smoke! You love these ones and hate those ones. What about these ones?

Ok. This is our Group M’eh. We’re largely indifferent, neither here nor there, but it could be worse. Maybe.

Some of these 12 probably would’ve been given thumbs up if it weren’t for their support for the Scarborough subway. Councillors like Anthony Perruzza Ward 8 York West, Michael Thompson Ward 37 Scarborough Centre and Chin Lee Ward 41 Scarborough Rough River. Hell, for his Deputy Mayor work alone, Norm Kelly Ward 40 Scarborough-Agincourt should be acknowledged because, lord knows, as a councillor he was eminently forgettable although, watching Kelly in action and it’s not difficult to get a sense of how exactly John Tory would go about conducting business at City Hall if elected.

A group shrug with the one caveat. indifferent1It could be worse.

Councillor Jaye Robinson Ward 25 Don Valley West showed up to defend proper development on the waterfront (except for her apparent openness on island airport expansion) and was quick to call the mayor out on his bad behaviour but her antagonism toward the city’s Ombudsman was more than a little unsettling. It was difficult to get a read on her. Such opaqueness left us cold.

Again though, it could be worse.

For all the work Councillor Ana Bailão Ward 18 Davenport did in helping save the TCHC from the mayor’s ill-intention came undone in her support of the Scarborough subway. That’s not entirely true. Councillor Bailáo was regularly all over the map, a slippery entity with little rhyme or reason about where she stood on issues.

Unlike the above group of councillors, there is no It Could Be Worse asterisk for Councillor Bailão. indifferent3She is being challenged by a very interesting candidate in Alex Mazer, so there’s no need for voters in Ward 18 to fearfully embrace the status quo.

The same thing could be said in Ward 30 Toronto-Danforth. I’ve got no particular beef with Councillor Paula Fletcher nor am I giddy at the prospect of her re-election. There’s simply a better candidate in Jane Farrow running against her.

Councillors John Filion Ward 23 Willowdale, Pam McConnell Ward 28 Toronto Centre-Rosedale, Mary Fragedakis Ward 29 Toronto-Danforth and Raymond Cho Ward 42 Scarborough-Rough River, all made little impression during this past term unless you count football pools with the mayor, getting run over by the mayor or running for your 3rd party in a non-municipal election as making an impression. indifferent4Indifference describes my attitude toward their respective candidacies. But it could be worse.

That leaves Councillor Josh Colle Ward 15 Eglinton-Lawrence. This one, this one gets our Biggest Enigma Award of the term. He was the face of the 2012 budget pushback that began the mayor’s slow, train wreck slide toward irrelevancy. Yet he stood and gave perhaps the most cynical speech I have ever witnessed when he spoke out against transit funding revenue tools. He voted in favour of the Scarborough subway. In fact, his percentage alignment with the mayor’s voting pattern at City Hall hasn’t varied all that much over the course of the past 4 years, in the low 40s from 2010 to 2014.

Councillor Colle is smart but I don’t have the slightest idea what he stands for. With a better, more constructive administration at City Hall, would he be a better, more constructive councillor? indifferentI can’t honestly answer that question. Councillor Colle hasn’t earned that kind of benefit of the doubt.

But again, it could be worse.

12 councillors, 12 various reasons for, yeah, well, whatever. Their re-elections wouldn’t necessarily damage the city but it’s hard to see how it would make much positive difference either. Do with that information what you will.

shruggingly submitted by Cityslikr

6 thoughts on “Indifference By The Dozen

  1. Chow would PROVIDE more services whereas Tory claims to make the City more affordable(laugh)

    Luke LaRocque is up against a Sicko
    Not Stephen Holyday in W3
    Not Chris Stockwell in W4
    Not Kinga Surma in W5
    Princess Boucher in W8; which is more Coloured than Italian…
    “JP” Boutros in W16
    Joe the son of Gordon in W20
    Not Thompson in W37
    Franco Ng in W39
    Not Kelly in W40
    Not Lee(endorsed Tory) in W41

  2. It’s also important to differentiate between council accomplishments and ward-specific accomplishments. At city hall Filion and Fragedakis are quiet, but they have a solid list of accomplishments in their respective wards. It could also be the reason why other councillors – whom I know little about their community work, like Moeser or Shiner – continue to get elected, much to the surprise of Torontonians not living in those their wards.

  3. You’ve made it clear on multiple occasions how much the idea of the Scarborough subway bugs you – so much so that this single issue has driven many of your councillor endorsements (and to a greater degree your hit list).

    For the record, I agree that an LRT makes more sense, both financially and in terms of the service that would be provided. But I don’t live in Scarborough, and haven’t had to put up with that atrocious SRT for years. I see a parallel with the sovereignty debate in Quebec, in which federalism is often described as being about the head, while separatism is about the heart. I think there’s a similar dynamic in place in the Scarborough subway debate as well.

    You place (not without justification) much of the blame for the current situation on “pandering” politicians sniffing for votes in the inner suburbs. But you can’t pander to desires or sentiments that aren’t there, and this is where the picture becomes complete only once two other groups are mentioned. The first group consists pretty much of anybody not living in Scarborough who has ever used the term “Scarberia”. The second is those media outlets that like to play up the location of violent crimes that happen to occur in Scarborough (I’m looking straight in the direction of One Yonge on this one).

    And, while not a major factor, I don’t imagine many Scarborough residents appreciate being instructed on how to vote in their own wards by downtown bloggers.

  4. Whether you live in Scarborough or the rest of the city, the billion plus in extra costs of the Scarborough subway weigh heavily. TTC riders who pay 70% of operating costs would be forced to pick up the extra $30 to $40 million in yearly operating costs. (Province would pay much cheaper LRT maintenance costs)

    If we care about improving transit service for people in Scarborough, the longer 7 stop option serving multiple trip generators is much better and capable of being expanded to Malvern.
    If one focuses instead on connecting Scarborough to the rest of the city, then shifting scarce transit funds towards providing (unneeded) high capacity to Sheppard & McCowan, instead of the desperately needed DRL, we risk leaving Yonge & Bloor train riders (including those from Scarborough) on the platforms waiting for space to enter.

    The entire GTA would be negatively affected if divisive Toronto politicians continue to punish downtown by blocking transit expansion. Downtown office expansion over the last 40 years, has only been sustained by the the large numbers of people who have moved within walking distance of jobs, and GO expansion to Union Station.
    The Fords have been a misinformation train, latched onto and given credibility by Councillors that should know better
    This transit debacle was (and will continue to be) one of the major litmus tests to assess Toronto’s reps. Are they there to protect the public interest or go with the flow?

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