Not a good look, Deputy Mayor.
— Denzil Minnan-Wong (@DenzilMW) January 25, 2017
Deputy Mayor Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 34, Don Valley East) has long had an obsessive dislike for Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 27, Toronto Centre-Rosedale). It showed in the Rob Ford mayoral term when Minnan-Wong was Public Works Chair and he pushed the removal of the Jarvis bike lanes in Wong-Tam’s ward, and when he wanted to remove the Yonge and Dundas scramble that’s also in her ward. He has condescendingly mocked her concerns, and called her arguments disingenuous.
And so it’s no surprise that Minnan-Wong feels so free to mock Wong-Tam on Twitter. In the tweet above, the Deputy Mayor dismisses the downtown councillor’s concern about spending $500,000 on a report to contract out waste collection. After all, a staff report reviewed by consultants in 2015 said doing so would not save money. The latest report says the opposite, but the numbers behind the recommendation remain confidential. Minnan-Wong comments that his council nemesis (really!) likes to waste cash like she did on her Expo 2025 bid, and that she shouldn’t be trusted around taxpayer® money. There are a few things wrong with this. As Wong-Tam points out, the money to study the Expo 2025 bid was raised privately, so it didn’t come out of the City budget.
And then there are the dubious projects that Minnan-Wong has supported, and Wong-Tam has opposed.
- The East Gardiner Project, which now totals $1.4 billion. Wong-Tam supported the “Boulevard Option” at $461 million, which also unlocked more economic development.
- Minnan-Wong voted against the three-stop Scarborough subway at $3.56 billion, which he decried as a “vote-buying exercise.” Then, ally John Tory took office, and he voted for the one-stop Scarborough subway at $3.2 billion.
- The much-beleaguered Astral street furniture contract. Minnan-Wong really loves Astral street furniture.
Minnan-Wong opposes small symbolic items (he hates the waterfront’s pink umbrellas) while he’ll liberally defend large projects that have a much bigger impact, and less evidence behind them.
One might say that it’s sad how the longtime councillor represents the very thinking he so vehemently opposes, but don’t cry for him—he wouldn’t want your crocodile tears.
This article has corrected language about Wong-Tam supporting additional spending on a study to contract out garbage.