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Newsstand: May 9, 2012

Greetings. Stifle your yawns, because there's news! Glorious news: the mayor is defeated by council on the issue of hiring external planners for the Ontario Municipal Board; Kristyn Wong-Tam and Denzil Minnan-Wong duke it out over the fate of Yonge Street; Peter Milczyn may not understand the definition of "holistic"; and the Mayor officially opts out of the pre-Pride flag-raising ceremony.

Mayor Rob Ford lost a city council vote yesterday. By a lot. And no, you are not reliving a day from the past. You are not Bill Murray. What happened this time is: at yesterday’s council meeting, the mayor attempted to quell the hiring of external, non-staff planners, brought on as consultants to the Ontario Municipal Board, the panel that reviews appeals of development disputes. Despite Ford supposedly getting real vocal about the so-called wastefulness of it all, councillors were quick to challenge him, defending the importance of using outside planners to protect residents’ interests. And challenge him they did, to the sad, sad tune of, for three votes, 34–4, 33–5, and 33–4. For the third item, the mayor apparently missed the vote. He ducked out to take a phone call. He’s serious about this issue, but, y’know, someone called, so.

Two city councillors have reached a fork in the road (don’t be mad!) regarding the future of Yonge Street. Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 27, Toronto-Centre Rosedale) is proposing a one-month trial, from mid-August to mid-September, wherein traffic lanes are reduced and sidewalks widened from Gerrard Street to Richmond Street, to promote pedestrian traffic and sidewalk businesses. Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 34, Don Valley East) wants both Yonge and Bay Street to become one-way south of Bloor Street, as a means of easing gridlock. He also suggested that this could create more space for designated bike lanes.

Councillor Peter Milczyn (Ward 5, Etobicoke-Lakeshore) is proposing that the city hire special prosecutors to specifically handle legal issues surrounding strip clubs, massage parlours and holistic centres…. Apparently, body-rub parlours and “holistics” are a big problem in his ward. So, like, yoga studios? ’Cause everyone knows how out of hand that shit can get.

Mayor Rob Ford will officially not be attending the flag-raising ceremony outside City Hall on May 17, held in honour of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. And no, unlike the weekend of the Pride Parade, he will not be at his cottage on May 17. Actually, who knows, he might be, as his reasons for not attending have not been stated.


  • rudy

    “everyone knows how out of hand that shit can get” is journalistic GOLD

  • Anonymous

    We’ve got such a great mayor here.

  • Anonymous

    Here we ago again Denzil Minnan-Wong dictating to Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam what should happen outside his ward. At least this time it was Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam idea.

    • Canadianskeezix

      I don’t mean to defend Minnan-Wong here, because I think his idea for one-ways on Bay and Yonge is moronic, but to be fair to him he is the Chair of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, so has a role to play in these issues on a City-wide basis. And, frankly, while Wong-Tam has a special role to play in the area as the ward councillor, Toronto Council would be a lot more effective if councillors stopped treating their wards as personal fiefdoms, and if we, as the electorate, started expecting our councillors to be looking at the bigger picture as well as micro-managing ward issues.

      • Anonymous

        Your right in what your saying, and I will admit my bias against Minnan-Wong I have always felt he is against anything council does, like Ford an automatic no, or as in this case reworking something to be his idea.

      • Anonymous

        Denzil is a moronic little butt-kisser with a napoleon complex and a bad haircut.

        But yes, we should be fair to him.

        • Canadianskeezix

          @dsmithhfx – I’m just saying if you are going to criticize the man, criticize him for something he is doing wrong, not for speaking on issues within the ambit of his role. And it would be great to focus on the substantive issues. The name-calling reminds me of the Ford fans in the comments section of the Toronto Sun website.

          @butterfly99 – Fair enough.

          • Anonymous

            OK… In the “ambit of his role”, DMW has consistently played the weasel.


          • Canadianskeezix


  • Anonymous

    Oneway on Church St. makes more sense than on Bay. Church north bound from the Esplanade to where it hooks up with Yonge. Yonge south bound from Bloor. Both reduced to 2 or 3 lanes, widening the sidewalks, put in bike lanes. A whole new dynamic for both streets. That or Kristyn Wong -Tam’s proposal.

    • Canadianskeezix

      The Toronto experience with one-ways is that drivers treat them more as arterials, vehicular speeds increase, pedestrians shift to other roads and businesses suffer. A bike lane won’t solve those problems. I agree that it would a whole new dynamic on Church, but not a good one.

  • Anonymous

    Denzil is clueless. One way streets are shitty. That’s why Richmond and Adelaide are being changed back to two way.

  • Anonymous

    Everything DMW says is a Trojan horse for retrograde idiotic Ford directives.

    • Anonymous

      Denzil has a dog. And it bites.

  • Mr Kanyo

    I wonder if there will be just as many public episodes of Rob Ford’s homophobia as there are chapters in R.Kelly’s masterpiece hip-hopera. Dudes are both trapped in the closet.

  • observerator

    Ford is just baffling. The flag-raising ceremony is such a complete no-brainer – show up for 30 minutes, symbolically show support for the fight against homophobia, go home. That’s all he needs to do and he’s not even willing to go that far.

    • Anonymous

      He knows which side his bread is buttered on.