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Rob Ford Has Lost His Boilerplate

Council's executive committee approves motion to replace the Ford-approved stock paragraph that appears on all City press releases.

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It seems there was another power that could be stripped from Mayor Rob Ford after all: council’s executive committee decided December 5 that Rob Ford’s beloved boilerplate would no longer grace each and every City press release.

The boilerplate message has been a source of controversy for a while now. In 2012, Josh Matlow (Ward 22, St. Paul’s) wrote a letter to city manager Joe Pennachetti in which he described the form wording as “inappropriately ideological, partisan, and aspirational in nature.” City communications staff agreed, and offered to rewrite it. Ford, though, was apparently not interested in changing a single word of the passage, and so until now, it’s looked like this:

“Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. Toronto’s government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

The paragraph being offered in its place (and likely to be approved by Council in two weeks’ time) fails to mention customer service excellence, cost-cutting, or “subways, subways, subways,” although it does introduce the notion of “quality of life”:

“Toronto is Canada’s largest city, sixth-largest government and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. Toronto is one of the best cities in the world to do business, consistently ranked at or near the top in global competitiveness, innovation, entrepreneurship and quality of life. Toronto is proud to be the Host City of the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games, the world’s third largest multi-sport Games. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, visit www.toronto.ca , call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on twitter @torontocomms.”

And, in case you’re in the mood to wax nostalgic about a time when a Toronto mayor was inclined to celebrate things like environmental awareness and creativity, we give you the David Miller boilerplate:

“Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents. For information about non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

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