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Newsstand: July 16, 2014

Municipal debates—so hot right now. In the news: the first mayoral debate since Rob Ford's return from rehab, Joe Cressy considers running for Adam Vaughan’s old council seat, and former mayor Barbara Hall gets a park named after her.

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Well, there was another mayoral debate last night in Scarborough. The showdown was hosted by the Canadian Tamil Congress at a Pentecostal church, and was the first since Mayor Rob Ford’s return to work. Ford walked in late and then rattled of a dubious list of his achievements in office. Councillor Josh Matlow (Ward 22, St. Paul’s) took exception to some of the claims Ford made during the debate, taking to Twitter to clarify that it was council, not the mayor, who should take credit for them. Predictably, transit was a big topic of the evening, with Ford referring to himself as the “subway mayor.” He criticized John Tory and Olivia Chow for their support of the LRT, despite the fact that John Tory doesn’t actually support the LRT at all. We can only guess that he meant David Soknacki, who made his case for an LRT in Scarborough and was met with a lot of noisy heckling from the audience. Karen Stintz tried to make some witty barbs at her fellow candidates early on that fell flat. John Tory took some strategic shots at Ford’s track record, pointing to over-budget projects such as the Union Station renovation, while keeping topics like job creation and transit focused on Scarborough. If you want to watch the whole thing online, you can find it on the CBC News website.

Is an interesting turn of events, Joe Cressy, the NDP candidate who lost the recent Trinity-Spadina federal by-election to Liberal Adam Vaughan, says he is seriously considering running for Vaughan’s old Ward 20 council seat. Cressy says he has received a lot of encouragement from the community to consider entering the municipal race. The seat is currently occupied by interim councillor Ceta Ramkhalawansingh, who has said that she will not run in the election this fall. But that doesn’t mean the pool of candidates for the seat isn’t already pretty full—so far 22 people have registered to run for council in Ward 20, and there is still time for more people to join the party since nominations don’t close until September 12.

Today a ceremony will be held to rename Cawthra Square Park—located on Church Street north of Wellesley Street—Barbara Hall Park, in honour of the former Toronto mayor who has been a major supporter of the LGBTQ community. Hall, who is now chief commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, was the first mayor ever to walk in the Pride parade and has been lauded as being one of the first vocal political allies of the LGBTQ community in Toronto. In a statement, Hall said that she was humbled and thrilled by the honour.

Comments

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    Scarborough: a subway will cost you a lot of money in new taxes. The LRT is for free. What are you thinking?

    • Graeme

      They don’t think. They’re from Scarborough.

      • OgtheDim

        You know, I’m no fan of that subway but its talk like this that will get Tory elected.

        • nevilleross

          Bullshit, Rek’s right. Everybody and anybody with a lick of sense know that subways won’t work in Scarborough- everybody and anybody but the people of Scarborough who are members of Ford Nation that want this next billion dollar mistake that’s just as bad as the Sheppard Stubway to be built.

          • OgtheDim

            bobloblawbloblawblah said it better.

        • mytwocentsworth

          Or, Ford, God forbid.

      • bobloblawbloblawblah

        Soknocki’s from Scarborough. One could make the case that he’s put forth the most thoughtful ideas of this race.

        • Graeme

          Fair point. I’m unfairly generalizing. I just get frustrated by willful ignorance, and I see a lot of it in Scarborough.

          • bobloblawbloblawblah

            I have family out in Scarborough who are for LRT. Despite what Ford thinks not everyone in Scarby is a supporter of a subway. A lot of people realize that they’ll still be riding buses to get to that subway extension and the LRT would reach more neighbourhoods. I do get the frustration but there’s a lot of ignorance around transit in general and that combined with Scarborough’s resentment over transit and we get an issue tailor made for our awful Mayor and his divisive politics. At present the signed master agreement between Toronto, Metrolinx and the Province is still for an LRT. It wouldn’t surprise me if the debate is opened again after the election.

        • AboveTheCity

          Agreed – if it was a vote on logical, commonsense, rational and the factual, David Sockonaki should be Mayor. He came across very well last night I thought. But these days – apparently that approach does not win elections! Look who we have as PM. Look who we have as Mayor.

    • Squintz

      To top it off, the subway will be at mccowan, meaning they would have to take a bus to get to the location of the debate last night. If they went with LRT and the extension was built there would be a stop north of Markham at Progress a short walk from the door. Makes no sense that people are fighting against what would benefit more people for essentially a downtown centric commuter spur line.

      • vampchick21

        That’s the bit that makes the least sense. It’s essentially a replacement for the current SRT, which we all know does need to be fixed/replaced, but without the additional stops/length of the proposed LRT. It’s just burying the SRT and not actually doing anything to solve the transit issues in the Scarborough area.

        • Squintz

          For the added cost of $1.5 billion from our “cut the gravy, no spending is good spending” overlords.
          Oh and the other obnoxious part is Karen Stintz and her “the debate is over line. Funny how she didn’t feel that way the last time she reopened the debate to flip flop.

          • vampchick21

            Yet another point that feverent Ford supporters overlook. The fact that the reason our property taxes are going up and up is because he secured this pointless subway that doesn’t solve anything at all.

            I didn’t watch the debate last night, but I am generally unimpressed by Stintz. She took a stand a few years back and then went wishy-washy.

          • dsmithhfx

            Stintz apparently had some quality coaching, and did fairly well until the end, when she started to come across as a phony act. She would probably make a better mayor than Rob Ford. Thankfully we will never get to test that theory.

          • quidnunc

            I thought Stintz was there campaigning for DeBeaermaker her new best friend.. She’s a waste of time and space and I hope she stays in the race rather than running for her council seat again.

        • Jacob

          For Scarborough it’s become a matter of self esteem rather than actual usefulness.

          The people here think they “deserve” a subway, simply nothing else will do, and they will ignore all its shortcomings.

          It’s stupid as hell, but it’s the fact of the matter. And Ford is 110% to blame, since he dragged it up and pushed it as a wedge issue.

          • Squintz

            But that’s not even true. Multiple polls have shown a majority of Scarborough residents support the proposed LRT over the Subway. http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2014/02/03/scarborough_residents_prefer_lrt_to_subway_poll.html
            Just because there is a vocal minority does not mean they are representative of Scarborough. Making statements like that just plays into Ford’s divisive politics and reinforces the outsider/false victim status of the Ford Nation minority that parrots these unproven talking points.

          • Jacob

            I live in Scarborough and most people here just don’t know the facts on it. They don’t care to look into the facts, either.

            When he says “streetcars”, it’s easier for them to blindly accept that than go on the internet and google it. There’s people I’ve talked to who still think the SRT/LRT replacement will block traffic. Because he said so.

            Of course, the tide is turning. Some staunch Ford supporters I know have moved away from him recently, but he still has a stubborn core here.

          • Squintz

            And I don’t deny that. I think that would represent the 30-40% that are still under the spell of the lies. Focusing on those people though ignores that there is still a significant (and larger) portion of Scarborough that does not agree and even you admit that the Ford base is weakening.
            To continue harping on the “Scarborough gets the short end of the stick and we need subways to right the wrongs of the past” message does nothing but reinforce those lies.
            I’m not saying ignore those people, but lets recognize that Scarborough isn’t the raving mad Ford Nation supporters that many make it out to be.

          • bobloblawbloblawblah

            Well, those polls show that LRT gets a huge boost in support when people are told how much mnore they’ll have to pay for that subway vs the fully funded LRT. A lot of people don’t realize there’s also an operating cost which the TTC has to cover from the farebox along with a subsidy from the city. Less riders means a higher subsidy form the city. The present plan by the TTC is to turn back every second train(or third) at Kennedy if the subway is extended because there isn’t the ridership to justify the operating cost of a subway extension.

          • bobloblawbloblawblah

            This is exactly it. I lived in Scarborough for over ten years. Taking transit out there means transferring. Some buses only run every half hour at night. There’s a feeling that Scarborough has got the dirty end of the stick when it comes to transit. People have long resented that transfer at Kennedy and they see downtown with subways so they want theirs too. Resentment is a very large factor in this and it was a large factor in getting our clown Mayor elected.

      • AboveTheCity

        Indeed – David Sockonacki maybe had the best line of the night when he asked if people wanted a fast and efficient transit stop right outside where they were last night – an LRT would do that. Of course raucous boos and jeers drowned him out. I guess Ford supporters like sanding forlornly waiting in the snow, rain, wind and heat for a bus that comes in frequently!

        • dsmithhfx

          Chris Selley got in a good rejoinder under his breath to Rob babbling on about his “billion dollars saved”, something to the effect, ‘that’s one opinion about that; there are others’.

        • Jacob

          Do you think the supporters there last night actually take transit? The people who boo the LRT the most are people who never actually set foot on transit.

      • bjhtn

        And because the subway’s “STC” station is really at McCowan, they will need to walk an extra 5 minutes to actually get to STC.

    • vampchick21

      It’s really a small group of individuals, whom I strongly suspect don’t actually live in Scarborough, who have chosen either through ignorance or bullheadedness or both to believe every single lie that drips from the drunken mouth of a Ford.

      • Notcleverguy

        Some people will do anything for $20 and a hotdog. It’s a shame to see such low standards of self respect.

        • vampchick21

          What do you wanna bet that all those people clamouring for a free hot dog and holding a crisp $20 bill from Doug actually don’t bother to vote?

          • Notcleverguy

            Maybe not the last time around, but now, I think it’s a safe bet.

            I like seeing the Fords piss their money away though.

  • istoronto

    Ford lies and makes stuff up and the other candidates don’t call him on it. No wonder his still in the race.

    • Steveinto

      Is he really in the race? I see him as a side show. His supporters have no interest in him, they are there for the bully platform. People like this will eat their own, the fear being the amount of destruction they do before they destroy themselves.

      • Squintz

        We’ll see, more than a few people thought the same last time.

        • quidnunc

          “The past is the past” as someone keeps saying. The same someone who refuses to recognize that World Pride attracted 2 mil people, and even if a million of them were tourists, that’s a lot of TO folks. The same someone who refuses to recognize that there were no (none, zero)provincial Conservatives elected in Toronto a few weeks ago. The same someone who claims he’s gonna work with the Wynne government. The same someone who’s poll numbers are produced by the same firm that predicted a Con majority in that provincial election (I don’t recall any firm called it right).
          When I get the calls from the pollsters I either hang up or lie about my opinions and voting intentions. They’re just another form of robocalls.
          You can’t win this election with no fundraisers, no campaign manager and only zealous bigots for volunteer soldiers. I don’t need a Sobriety Coach to figure that out..

    • Chris

      I think the problem is that he lies so damned much that if the other candidates spent their time responding to all of them, they’d never have time to discuss their own platforms. At this point, it’s probably fair to say that only the most die hard of Ford Nation (you know, the ones that still don’t think its a problem that they support a crackhead racist homophobic alcoholic as Mayor) don’t yet realize that he’s completely full of isht.
      Not to mention, spending your limited debate time responding to Ford nonsense just gives him a more inflated sense of his own importance and relevance. It’s hard enough to get in any serious policy discussions in these silly debate formats without wasting time responding to the false utterings of a nincompoop. Better to treat him as the sideshow he’s become and leave it to the adults to have a discussion.

      • vampchick21

        I’d love to see every single debate from this moment forward to NOT include Rob Ford.

  • Notcleverguy

    I used to walk my dog in Cawthra Square Park when I lived in the area, nice little park, and the renaming is a nice honour for someone who served the city well.

  • Jacob

    I don’t know what’s worse: Rob Ford, or his supporters that gladly take everything he says at face value.

    Rob Ford could tell them the sky is purple, and you could take them outside, point to the blue sky, and they’d still claim it’s purple.

    • Notcleverguy

      I find it frustrating watching serious candidates have to put up with a sociopath, while said sociopath’s ideologues cheer him on no matter what spills out of his gob. It’s just so counter productive to actually getting anything done.

      • bobloblawbloblawblah

        If Ford continues to show up at debates with a retinue of supporters( I wonder if Doug gave them twenties?), it wouldn’t surprise me if fights broke out among Ford fans and supporters of his opponents. I don’t understand what polite, nice Toronto did to deserve the awful, ignorant Rob Ford.

      • AboveTheCity

        Indeed, I guess those folks did not want a fast easily accessed transit stop right outside the door where they were debating last night. An LRT would give them that – as David Sockonaki pointed out, but was shouted and booed. Perhaps they prefer to stand waiting forlornly in the rain, snow, wind, heat for a bus that comes infrequently!

  • AboveTheCity

    Apparently, Rob Ford has “built” subways – note the past tense. He said this repeatedly last night. Good grief – he’s built nothing! Just one of many lies, falsehoods and misleading comments from Rob Ford last night.

    • bobloblawbloblawblah

      But, 180 cranes in the sky!! Subways! He’s the Mayor of Subways!!! St Clair Disaster!!! Subways!! Respect for taxpayers! Gravy!!

    • quidnunc

      My favorite Big Lie: “No one’s done more for youth in this city than I have.”
      Appropriate responses might have included. How do you know Anthony Smith? What kind of constituency work were you doing with the Dixon Bloods? Were you responding to complaints from 15 Windsor about a POThole or sidewalk CRACK? The 911 calls from your home – were you testing response times?
      There’s an elephant in the room but nobody’s noticed.

      • quidnunc

        OOOPS,, sorry. I forgot Tory pulling out his treatise on ETHICS (yawn) again (yawn).

      • bobloblawbloblawblah

        In Ford’s defence, he’s helped a lot of youth score some good weed. He does know a lot of dealers.

        • Notcleverguy

          The best was the soccer coach in Rexdale that said he used to see Rob Ford in alley ways with 15 year old kids, and when he asked what was going on, Ford would give him a, ” None of your business bro”.

          This was an account written about in a Star article not too long ago. I’ll try and find it.

      • AboveTheCity

        . . all that and the one legit job that he did have “helping youth”, he was fired from!

        • dsmithhfx

          …and banned from coaching anywhere in the TCDSB.