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Etobicoke York Councillors to Dalton McGuinty: Actually, We Are Irrelevant

Eight councillors proclaim their own illegitimacy by asking the province to set aside last week's council decision on transit.

Etobicoke McGuinty Letter

Last week, frustrated by the results of a major transit vote that didn’t go his way, Mayor Rob Ford told reporters that it didn’t matter—council’s decision and the entire meeting were “irrelevant.”

Yesterday, at least eight of those councillors agreed with him.

As reported by John Lorinc in the Globe and Mail, those councillors signed a letter to Premier Dalton McGuinty, asking him to hold a free vote at Queen’s Park on the vexed question of whether we should build subways instead of light rail. Put another way, they asked him to disregard the vote of council and have the province make the decision for us.

In short, they proclaimed themselves illegitimate.

It’s one thing for elected representatives to contend that poor decisions were made due to a lack of pertinent information, a climate that dampened honest debate, or other circumstances that limited their ability to discharge their duties properly. It’s quite another for one group of councillors to say that a vote by council should be set aside because they disagree with the majority on policy grounds—because they simply aren’t on board with the outcome. Because then why should any councillors get to decide anything, ever?

Councillors either have power, or they don’t. They are either chosen by their constituents to make decisions, or they aren’t. And this applies either to all councillors or to none of them.

It is a necessary effect of representative democracy that not all representatives will agree with the democratically made decisions of the legislative bodies in which they serve. (Just ask the NDP in Ottawa or the Tories at Queen’s Park.) Asking the province to set aside last week’s decision is more or less equivalent to asking the province to babysit us, because we are conceding that we can’t manage ourselves. Any maybe some councillors really do think that. But then we have to ask: why on earth did they run for office?


  • Toronto Bikeroo

    Addressing the premier improperly in this letter is definitely not a good way to show much professionalism.

    • Anonymous

      ‘Mr. Premier’? No-one refers to the Premier like that. This isn’t the US.

      • Toronto Bikeroo

        Precisely. The letter should be addressed “Dear Premier,” or “To the Honourable Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario,”

  • The_Architect

    Mammoliti and the others are idiots. Sour grapes, much?

  • Anonymous

    Shouldn’t the third paragraph read. A MINORITY of councillors, residents and…..

    What a bunch of losers! The province should fire the lot of them and call for byelections in their wards!

  • qviri

    They will all be resigning, right?

  • Michael Kolberg

    These guys should resign. Period.

  • cogitate

    Why was this sent on City letterhead?

    • qviri

      Seems like they’re claiming it as an official Etobicoke York Community Council message.

  • Corbin Smith

    Cause I’m too lazy to look it up myself: are all of these councillors of the group who voted against Stintz’s proposal?

    • Anonymous


      • Corbin Smith

        Okay, so this is really just some inappropriate meddling.
        Imagine the backlash if councillors opposed to the motion to remove particular bike lanes (Pharmacy? Jarvis? I forget) that passed did something similar.
        Incredibly childish.
        However, does this (or could this) really carry much more weight than Rob Ford suggesting that Premier McGuinty would support subways regardless of the outcome of this recent vote?

        • Anonymous

          It’s likely to be ignored. It’s not in any elected official’s interest to undermine the legitimacy of other elected officials, and it’s not in any legislative body’s interest to undermine the authority of another level of government.

  • Anonymous

    In others news, Mayor Ford sought to hide a TTC report from nearly a year ago that cast cold water on the 25-yo rationale for the Sheppard subway:

    To wit, “it is ill-advised to build subways when job numbers, office development and transit ridership are so low”

    So much for getting all the information…

  • Anonymous

    Interesting that not even all of the 11 would sign. I wonder if it’s just the drafters couldn’t find the holdouts when it came time to sign, or if they wouldn’t.

    Signs of a schism even in the loyalist camps?

    Anyway, looks really bad from a messaging perspective to have the empty spots there – they should really have figured out who would sign before circulating. This makes it looks like they don’t even have a handle on who agrees with them, which is a really bad message to send when you’re trying to convince people of your group’s legitimacy.

    • Anonymous

      Gloria Lindsay Luby has been ill for a while (she was absent for the special council meeting too), and Milczyn said he wouldn’t sign it for something along the lines of “I’m not going to just sign every new thing someone puts in front of me.” Don’t know about Doucette.

      • qviri

        Doucette is a pinko who voted for the LRT plan, and Lindsay Luby signed the original LRT meeting petition. I guess they just put down all councillors whose wards are even partially in Etobicoke/York.

        • Anonymous

          Well now, that’s just kinda dumb of them. Amateurish really.

        • Anonymous

          It was brought up at Etobicoke-York community council, where Milczyn, Doucette, and Luby are all members.

    • Anonymous

      Luby was one of the councillors who signed the letter demanding the special meeting to affirm council support for (most) parts of Transit City over Ford’s unauthorized scrapping of TC.

  • Anonymous

    Well that’s a new low. Acting like the Fords is becoming trendy.

  • Matt Madill
  • Anonymous

    Maybe all the councillors who want the province to build the approved plan could send letters, too. Then the premier could count the number of signatories and choose the side with more support.

    This is just dumb.

  • Anonymous


  • Grant

    Am I missing something, or are they complaining that council’s decision to build rapid transit in Etobicoke (as opposed to nothing under Ford’s plan) will “have a significant impact for Etobicoke residents, particularly their access to rapid transit”? Uh… yeah… that’s kind of the fucking point.

    And that’s not even mentioning the deliberately incorrect framing of the MoU; the idiotic sloganeering they insisted on shoehorning into the letter; and the fact that what they’re doing is the rough equivalent of the Prime Minister losing a vote, then asking the Governor General to sign it anyways because he knows better.

    I’m sure the Premier’s office is having a good laugh.

    • Bradley

      The argument Doug Jr put out there is that “LRTs destroy neighbourhoods” because St Clair is in ruins and businesses went under. He claims that only subways (which magically cause no construction issues) will do, even though Doug Sr voted with Harris and Hudak to kill the Eglinton subway into Etobicoke in 1995.

  • Anonymous

    Not surprised to see mark Grimes name on their, he’s the councillor for Etobicoke Lakeshore where I live and has always voted 100% of the way the Fords tells him to, the man has no spine and will do anything to improve his personal position with the mayor’s office.

    When I emailed him asking him to support the LRT plan this is the main part of the response I got back “please be advised that Councillor Grimes will listen to the debates and information provided at the council meeting and then vote his conscience on the transit issues. He continues to look for a solution that includes Etobicoke Lakeshore while better serving the whole of Toronto”

    Considering his voting record it appears the Ford brothers are his conscience and that he seems to think the whole of Toronto is somewhere east of Victoria Park. Needless to say I will be campaigning for who ever has the best chance of getting Grimes out of office next election.

    • Tombstonecanuck

      Going to be hard to get grimes out, he grew up and lives in his ward, a local boy. the only reason why he won in the first place. :(

    • rob88

      Grimes isn’t necessarily a Ford ass kisser, he’s just plain useless.

    • Anonymous

      As an Etobicoke Lakeshore resident, in the lead-up to the last election I asked Mark Grimes if he was a Ford supporter, and he replied that he approaches each issue with an open mind, without influence. In retrospect, I’d have to say that was a lie.

  • Anonymous


  • guest

    What a beautiful logical puzzle for the Premiere’s office:

    Let’s say they accept the Councilors’ position – that City Councilors should be ignored. Should they also ignore this letter, since it came from Councilors?

  • Sue

    If you’ve deemed yourselves irrelevant, I’d like the finance dept to stop issuing you paycheques immediately. That night be gravy.

  • Chris Cudmore

    And at the same time, we’re asking the government to exempt us from OMB decisions. Either we’re grown up and can govern ourselves or we’re not. Pick one.

  • Sam B

    It’s the ugliest Valentine’s Day card ever.

  • Hollow Island

    Remove Councillors Minnan-Wong, Di Giorgio, Kelly, Palacio, and Crisanti from the TTC board.