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politics

Council Bulletin: Bixi to Expand, and New Affordable Housing Units

Some of the key policy items councillors debated today, as the mayoral crisis continued.

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Today Rob Ford made the cover of the Wall Street Journal, admitted he may have driven drunk while mayor, threatened to sue his former staffers, got a TV show on Sun News Network, launched millions of conversations about oral sex, trampled the media, and was told by his cherished Toronto Argos don’t want to have anything to do with him. It was a normal day.

Since it was a normal day, council did a lot of other business while the mayor was doing his thing.

The details are still confidential, but council passed a plan to support BIXI that was championed by Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 27, Toronto Centre-Rosedale). It appears as though the plan involves using section 37 funds (these are negotiated with developers to invest in local infrastructure) to expand the program to make it more viable.

Council approved 71 affordable rental units for the waterfront, which the mayor vociferously opposed. He argued that current community housing tenants should have their units repaired first, that prime real estate like the waterfront is unsuitable for this housing, and no one does more on community housing issues than him. Councillors pointed out that this wasn’t a TCHC project, that 20 per cent of waterfront housing is mandated to be affordable, and that he really knew nothing about the issue. The mayor was one of two votes against the motion, the other being his brother.

Council also unanimously adopted the integrity commissioner report, finding that the mayor again violated council’s code of conduct. The report outlined how how the mayor used City property (official letterhead) to solicit private donations. This may sound familiar, from the other time he did exactly the same thing and, through a series of events, almost wound up losing his job. Well this incident happened after all of that, which is normal in its own way too.

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