Friday, 6 July 2012

Toronto has a 'part-time Mayor,' says Councillor Adam Vaughan

Toronto has a 'part-time Mayor,' says Councillor Adam Vaughan

Thursday, July 05, 2012 3:27 AM
Though many say it’s more than a full-time job, one city councillor seems to think that Toronto has a “part-time” mayor.
Adam Vaughan, during a phone interview on The Jim Richards Show on radio station Newstalk 1010 on Wednesday, criticized Ford suggesting he was slacking in his mayoral duties.


“It’s quite apparent we have a part-time mayor, who talks a lot about making telephone calls to people, and I’m sure he does … but the follow-up on those telephone calls is non-existent,” Vaughan said.
Ford trumpeted his track record of personal relationships such as telephone calls or visits with his constituents during his time as city councillor and during his mayoral campaign.
At a press conference at one such visit on Thursday afternoon, Ford shrugged off a question about Vaughan’s statements, saying his work ethic is unmatched at city hall.
“It’s not even worth commenting on,” Ford said. “I work harder than any person down there.”
From development files to transit, Vaughan told Newstalk 1010’s Richards, that local councillors were doing most of the work.
“Most of the work is coming from local councillors,” Vaughan said. “The mayor, quite honestly, is missing in action - which could be a good thing.”
© Global News. A division of Shaw Media Inc., 2012.

Toronto bans plastic bags by the start of 2013
By Don Peat, City Hall Bureau Chief
Thursday, June 7, 2012 4:19:26 EDT PM
Call it a swift kick in the plastic bag.
Toronto city council voted Wednesday to ban plastic bags effective Jan. 1 and to scrap the city’s five-cent bag fee starting July 1.
City councillors voted 27-17 Wednesday to prohibit all Toronto retail stores from providing customers with single-use plastic bags starting next year. Councillors also voted 23-21 to trash the three-year old nickel fee for plastic bags effective next month.
Canada’s largest city came to the decision to ban plastic bags in a surprising way. Councillors had been debating Mayor Rob Ford’s push to kill the plastic bag fee when Councillor David Shiner introduced a motion to ban bags. The bag ban vote came without legal advice, with no public consultation, no report from city staff and no statutory notice.
While he applauded the end of the bag tax, Ford said a plastic bag ban “doesn’t make any sense” and was “ludicrous”.
“I think we’re going to get sued,” he told reporters. “I don’t see how we’re going to win that.”
“It’s not a smart move by council to ban plastic bags.”
Shiner moved to ban plastic bags starting in 2013 after being inspired by Councillor Anthony Perruzza’s push to ban the bags by 2014.
“Just get rid of the damn bags!” Shiner told councillors in a pre-vote speech lamenting the bag fee but urging a bag ban.
Shiner and Perruzza celebrated the successful vote by ripping up a plastic grocery bag.
“I think it’s a great victory today because we’ve gotten rid of the fee and we’re getting rid of the bag and that’s really what we want to do,” Shiner said.
The Ward 24, Willowdale councillor predicted the vote marks “the end of the plastic bag.”
“And it’s the end of (retailers) making $5 million to $6 million a year on the poor shoppers,” he said.
Councillor Norm Kelly predicted the bag ban will “never see the light of day.”
“In order to pass a ban you have to pass certain tests and none of those tests were in evidence today,” he said.
“I suspect this will be challenged immediately and our ability to defend it in court as a result of the way we passed it will be slim to none.”
Marion Axmith of the Canadian Plastics Industry Association said they were pleased council rescinded the bag fee bylaw but “shocked” they moved to ban bags.
“There will be no winners here,” Axmith said. “Jobs will be lost and investment in the city will be lost.
Asked if the association would fight the ban, Axmith said they were “considering all their options.”
Councillor Adam Vaughan stressed the vote shows Ford “can’t get an issue steered through council without all hell breaking loose.”
“(Ford)’s the greenest mayor we’ve ever had,” Vaughan quipped.

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