Canada: Edward Keenan: Doug Ford has done what no one else could: united Toronto city council - PressFrom - Canada
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CanadaEdward Keenan: Doug Ford has done what no one else could: united Toronto city council

19:35  15 may  2019
19:35  15 may  2019 Source:   thestar.com

Ford’s cuts are falling heaviest on Toronto

Ford’s cuts are falling heaviest on Toronto When Premier Doug Ford cut Toronto’s city council in half in the middle of last year’s municipal election campaign, the Star said it amounted to “spitting in the face of the city and its voters.” Little did we know that was just the opening salvo in what’s turning out to be a sustained campaign by the Ford government to undermine the city’s authority at every opportunity and single out Toronto for specially harsh treatment as it pares back provincial spending.

Even the staunchest right-wingers on Toronto city council are opposed to Premier Doug Ford ’s budget cutbacks, writes Edward Keenan . It was actually Doug Ford who first got his own family into politics by joining a Doug Holyday campaign in 1994. Stephen followed his old man onto council , and

When Premier Doug Ford cut Toronto ’s city council in half in the middle of last year’s municipal election campaign, the Star said it amounted to “spitting in Meanwhile, those of us in Toronto have ours Edward Keenan is a columnist based in Toronto covering urban affairs. Follow him on Twitter.

Edward Keenan: Doug Ford has done what no one else could: united Toronto city council© Cole Burston A motion from Toronto city council urging Premier Doug Ford's government to reverse its cuts to the city passed 25-1 on Tuesday. Only Ford's nephew voted against it, writes Edward Keenan.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Premier Doug Ford has recently taken to characterizing those who oppose his massive retroactive cuts to Toronto Public Health. It’s just a “bastion of lefties” wasting “ridiculous amounts of money,” he said this week.

Let us, then, venture into this bastion to see these lefty spendthrifts in action, at Tuesday’s Toronto city council meeting, where a motion from the former leader of Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party, Mayor John Tory, was being debated. The motion called for the province to reverse the cuts immediately.

Province slashing funds for Tourism Toronto, city estimates $100M total shortfall from funding changes

Province slashing funds for Tourism Toronto, city estimates $100M total shortfall from funding changes Mayor John Tory says it's difficult for the city to "precisely" determine the impact of recent funding cuts due to a lack of specifics from the province, but said for this year alone, it's likely "well north" of a $100 million shortfall.

Suddenly, this city 's budget is in disarray: Edward Keenan : Doug Ford has done Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has no interest in taking Ontario Premier Doug Ford up on his offer to have an Council may have to make some hard choices for 2020, such as deciding how, or even whether, it will fund

Opinion | Edward Keenan : Doug Ford does what no one else could — unite Toronto city council . Why else would he unilaterally cut in half the size of Toronto city council in the midst of an election, slash provincial funding for public health at a higher rate than in other cities and decreasing

Councillor Stephen Holyday, of Ward 2 Etobicoke Centre, rose to speak.

“Nobody should be surprised, I’m one of the first councillors here to openly admit that I’ve questioned many programs in the city. And I question them fundamentally,” he said.

Indeed, he is a second-generation small-government skinflint. His father was for a long time young councillor Rob Ford’s mentor and only ally, and shared with the late mayor the opinion that almost no government spending was good government spending.

Edward Keenan: Doug Ford has done what no one else could: united Toronto city council© Bernard Weil Etobicoke Councillor Stephen Holyday, who is perhaps council’s most consistent vote against program spending of almost any variety, says the city is getting "shafted" by the province's budget cuts.

Stephen followed his old man onto council, and has hewed closely to the family ideology, steadfastly opposing bike lanes, LRTs, the King Street Pilot, road tolls. He’s said and made clear through action that his priority is keeping “government costs contained.” He publicly supported Doug Ford’s cut to the size of city council last year in the middle of the election. He is perhaps council’s most consistent vote against program spending of almost any variety.

Edward Keenan: In the war against Doug Ford, public opinion is the strongest weapon John Tory has

Edward Keenan: In the war against Doug Ford, public opinion is the strongest weapon John Tory has And so, we’ve reached the point in our city and province’s long-running real-life political drama — call it Game of Throne Speeches — in which the warring factions of Toronto’s six kingdoms realize they desperately need to band together to fight the Great War. Premier Night King has made it increasingly obvious he is intent on essentially reducing the city’s government to rubble — halving its membership and rewriting its governance, robbing it of authority, slashing resources deeply on multiple fronts and in multiple ways that get right to the quality of life of residents.

July 27: Premier Doug Ford made the news official. He said the plan to reduce Toronto council down to 25 31: At Ontario Superior Court, Justice Edward Belobaba said a ruling could be expected by the 13: Toronto City Council held an emergency meeting on the election, in which City Clerk Ulli

Ford has maintained cutting Toronto city council to 25 seats from 47 is necessary to streamline decision-making and save taxpayer money. Ford has said Tory legislators will be free to vote as they wish on the council - cutting bill and a major public service union urged them to break from party lines.

“But I opened up the public health budget agenda item, because I thought that it was important to read and understand how all the numbers work. And I asked the medical officer of health some high-level questions about how does this all fit in.

“A couple things jump out at me. The provincial subsidy to Toronto Public Health is $183.5 million. It’s no small figure. Sixty-five million of that (the impact of the provincial cut in 2019) is very, very material.

“I contrast that to the net expenditures of Toronto Public Health,” he said — the amount the city contributes — “and their whole proposed operating budget was $64 million. So according to the staff’s number, the cut is larger than the amount we even give to Toronto Public Health,” he said.

“I’m quite willing to have a conversation about the different services that are in Toronto Public Health, but the conversation has to include understanding what exactly is ours to deliver by rule, and perhaps by rule of the province, and understanding what exactly those cost to deliver, what are the ones council has set and created on its own. And are those within our control to make changes? Perhaps, but there’s going to have to be a long process, through the budget committee.

Toronto can't cut or tax its way out of provincial cuts — and so the fight is on

Toronto can't cut or tax its way out of provincial cuts — and so the fight is on After weeks of back and forth, the bean counters at Toronto city hall have finally been able to attach a number to the municipal funding cuts resulting from the provincial budget. The damage? Nearly $178 million — and counting. So what happens next?

On October 25, 2010, Ford was elected as councillor to Toronto City Council in Ward 2. He succeeded his brother, Rob, who ran successfully for Mayor of Toronto . Upon election, Doug Ford announced that he would donate his 0,000 annual salary to community organizations.[19].

When Ontario Premier Doug Ford decided to cut Toronto City Council in half just weeks before the municipal election, with scores of candidates already registered and spending Why create needless chaos? Because this is who Doug Ford is. This is what he does . Let no one say they weren’t warned.

“Where I have a big exception, is to change the funding mid-year. I mean this is baked in, $183 million worth of funding. And to rip $65 million out of them, I mean we’re getting shafted.

“I don’t know how we’re going to make that. I don’t know if anybody in this room knows how we’re going to make up that gap as proposed. It seems to me it’s just not practical and couldn’t happen that way,” he said.

“This is a very, very serious thing,” he said. “We’re in an untenable position,” he said. “That is just not an acceptable process, to switch things right in the middle of the game, and we need to send that message that it’s not workable the way that it is,” he said.

When Tory’s motion came to a vote, it passed 25-1. Those voting with Tory against Premier Ford included Holyday, as his speech indicated. They included Mark Grimes of Etobicoke-Lakeshore, who Rob Ford used to affectionately call “The Midnight Mayor.” They included Denzil Minnan-Wong of Don Valley East, who was a Progressive Conservative candidate for MPP under Doug Ford’s leadership in last year’s provincial election.

City manager says Toronto homeowners could get ‘second tax bill’ due to Ford government cuts

City manager says Toronto homeowners could get ‘second tax bill’ due to Ford government cuts It won’t be possible to cut nearly $180 million from the city budget in 2019 without affecting services, the city’s manager told Toronto council on Tuesday. “It will not be achieved through efficiencies without scaling back services,” said Chris Murray. “You can’t rule out there being a second tax bill.” Council is meeting today and Wednesday and at the top of the agenda is a report on provincial cuts to funding that city staff have calculated will cost a total of $177.65 million in 2019, including a $65 million reduction to Toronto Public Health; an $84.

Governments have a greater role to play in our economy than just saving money. The erosion of full-time employment and benefits in our country will eventually hurt everyone by eroding the tax base, pension Edward Keenan : Doug Ford does what no one else could — unite Toronto city council .

Edward Keenan : Doug Ford does what no one else could — unite Toronto city council . Premier Night King, Doug Ford , has made it increasingly obvious he is intent on essentially reducing the Toronto ’s government to rubble, writes Edward Keenan .

Some bastion of lefties this is, opposing the provincial plan for public health. It includes, apparently, the entire ideological spectrum of city council. It includes everyone, it seems, except one person — one lone supporter of Doug Ford’s cuts to public health spending. Who’s that?

A blood relative of the premier. His nephew, Michael Ford.

Edward Keenan is a columnist based in Toronto covering urban affairs. Follow him on Twitter: @thekeenanwire

Watson turns down Ford's 'strange' offer to help find cuts.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has no interest in taking Ontario Premier Doug Ford up on his offer to have an auditor comb the city's books to find savings, he said Wednesday.

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