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.