- How Property Taxes Work In Toronto
- City Hall Budget Terms, Explained
- The Torontoist Glossary of City Hall Terms
- How City Council Procedure Works
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Good morning! We’re liveblogging from Council Chambers, where the debate on this year’s operating and capital budgets is beginning.
A quick overview of the morning so far:
– CUPE’s Toronto Can Do Better campaign for a budget with more services and investment concluded with a rally outside City Hall. Various lefty councillors submitted petitions.
– New councillor Neethan Shan (Ward 42, Scarborough-Rouge River) made his début.
– City Manager Peter Wallace gave a brief presentation on the budget “big picture”.
Oh, yes! We also had the 2017 Annual Gord Perks (Ward 14, Parkdale-High Park) Request To Debate the Property Tax Rate and Budget Items Together, Which Would Allow Council To Adjust the Tax Increase To Services and Not the Other Way Round. As is traditional, it failed miserably.
We also anticipate the 2017 Annual Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 27, Toronto Centre-Rosedale) Motion to Reinstate the Vehicle Registration Tax and the 2017 Annual Giorgio Mammoliti (Ward 7, York West) Zero Per Cent Tax Increase Motion.
City Manager Peter Wallace has been being stern in his between-the-lines kind of way, telling councillors that they may have to “adjust things they have previously not been willing to adjust” and emphasizing that the City has essentially been coasting on record high MLTT revenues rather than cut services or introduce its own revenue tools.
Chief Financial Officer Rob Rossini confirms that they helped balance the budget with $88 million in “bridging strategies”—dipping into reserve funds, basically.
Perks draws a connection between Council drawing on (rather than increasing) capital reserves and TCHC having to close hundreds of units for lack of funding.
Janet Davis (Ward 31, Beaches-East York) asks about possible extra revenue from raising non-residential property tax rates at a slightly higher rate, which could be passed on to tenants of (commercially taxed) multi-unit residential buildings (i. e., apartment buildings).
You know you’ve been here too long when you automatically refer to apartment buildings as “multi-unit residential buildings”.
James Pasternak (Ward 10, York Centre) is bringing up a point he does every single year: that homeowners actually have the option to voluntarily pay more property taxes, which few take advantage of ($22-24,000 a year on average, says Rossini). He argues that this is proof that Torontonians do not want to pay more taxes, and wants to know whether they can figure out how much extra Janet Davis’s constituents paid.
This is an obnoxious line of argument because, arguably, homeowners trust Council to set the tax rate at what is sufficient to fulfil their promises.
Pasternak brings up something Peter Wallace mentioned in his presentation: it’s often mentioned that Toronto’s residential property tax rate is far below other cities’ by every metric—the per cent increase every year, how much revenue per capita, per household, etc. Wallace noted that these comparisons are a little dodgy because Toronto is much denser and more efficient—they can do more with less money.
Wallace slaps down Pasternak: the focus should be on the specific service levels and tax rates Toronto wants.
Rob Rossini notes that the City’s staff complement has a net decrease of 400-500 positions this year. Just an interesting fact.
Giorgio Mammoliti wants to know why the City is paying $10,000 for park ping pong tables when he can “get one at Canadian Tire for $400”.
We would note that the park ping pong tables are very sturdy concrete, made to last much longer than the particle-board thing you’d have in your rec room.
Jon Burnside (Ward 26, Don Valley West) does not know how property taxes relate to property values.
(Quick explanation: they kind of don’t, not in the way you think.)
A note: the seats are pretty full here. People with red felt hearts pinned on their shirts are part of the “Make TO Better” campaign. We are tempted to bust some myths about “paid protesters” today.
We have confirmed that Big Labour is, indeed, not paying people the big bucks to sit in Council all day, although they are getting pizza.
Upon reviewing other reporters’ livetweets we can also confirm we missed nothing while briefly ignoring Council.
@norm calls the media “the traditional media”.
@norm demonstrates a slightly better understanding of the property tax rate than the average councillor. However, the overall understanding from Council remains wisdom-neutral.
Speaker Nunziata, fed up with Perruzza grandstanding: What’s your question?
Anthony Perruzza (Ward 8, York West): I just want to dispel the fallacy of “2 per cent”.
Me: THAT’S NOT A QUESTION.
Councillors are going through remarkable contortions to find some metric where Toronto has relatively high property taxes.
(It’s true that “2 per cent” does not encompass the whole tax picture. There are additional levies for the Scarborough subway and the mayor’s City Building Fund, as well as the school board; and that’s only counting residential taxes. Commercial properties have a lower tax rate, which means the overall tax rate is about 1.4 per cent. Nobody really cares about this though.)
Can’t believe city councillors are just throwing suburban bungalow dwellers under the bus here.
Rob Rossini once again confirms, in exchange with Mike Layton (Ward
20 19, Trinity-Spadina), that the $88 million in “bridging strategies” just gets carried forward as a cost we have to make up for next year.
Regarding Toronto Community Housing, this is, like, one of <em>three</em> times the City’s funding model has been “we’ll chip in ⅓, the Province will chip in ⅓, and the feds will chip in ⅓”, without actually getting the Province or feds to agree to it. And then the Province and the feds are like, “uhhh what?” and the City just throws up its hands like “look, nothing more we can do, folks.”
Frank Di Giorgio (Ward 12, York-South Weston) is the latest to ask “so, what happens if the real estate market slows down?”
Maria Augimeri (Ward 9, York Centre) asks Rossini to describe the range of programs the City has that allow low-income people and seniors to get property tax exemptions or deferrals. This is a pre-emptive move to rebut the councillors who argue that if Council raises property taxes, people will be unable to stay in their homes.
“The real cost of this tax rate,” says Joe Cressy (Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina), is 75 TCHC units being cut, shelter staff being cut, Newcomer Office budget request turned down, families on affordable housing waitlist waiting longer. “It’s a less affordable city, a less fair city to live in.”
“This infatuation with low taxes is making it harder to live in this city,” concludes Cressy.
Giorgio Mammoliti tables the 2017 Annual Giorgio Mammoliti (Ward 7, York West) Zero Per Cent Tax Increase Motion.
We refuse to report on Giorgio Mammoliti’s further antics.
Half of Council is secretly thinking “Kill…me…” and the other half is not-so-secretly laughing.
Jim Karygiannis (Ward 39, Scarborough-Agincourt) stands up to call Mammoliti on what sounds like an inference that we can’t afford newcomers. Karygiannis accuses Mammoliti of saying that newcomers are “on the welfare line”.
Shelley Carroll (Ward 33, Don Valley East) says a senior citizen at the Scarborough budget consultation asked why councillors think residents can’t afford at-inflation property tax increases, but can afford the way-above-inflation hikes to user fees, TTC fares, daycare costs, etc.
Carroll says her residents would prefer a $250/year gradual phase-in tax hike rather than $1000 a year in 2024 on road tolls (which, anyway, have been nixed).
She also mentions that road tolls were only meant for capital costs rather than the costs of operating services, a point often forgotten. Operating services: “always the bridesmaid, never the bride” of the budget debate.
James Pasternak says many of his residents are seniors on fixed incomes who can’t afford a higher tax rate.
Me: BUT THERE’S A CITY PROGRAM FOR TAX EXE—ughdfhaldjfladjklfakdlfkjafw;
Oh, bless. Gord Perks has a well-intentioned but doomed motion for a 4.26 per cent property tax increase rather than 2 per cent.
Coming up next: Carroll or Davis moves a well-intentioned, slightly more reasonable, but equally doomed motion for, like, a 3 per cent property tax increase.
“I want you all to remember that from 2018 to 2021” TCHC is going to close down 7,000 units, says Perks.
But those people were never gonna pay residential property taxes anyway, so f— those guys right?
Perks says his proposed increase (about $60-something a year) would amount to less than one round-trip TTC ride a month.
“If you care about affordability…”
It’s almost like these councillors don’t actually care about affordability, but catering to the propertied bourgeoisie at the cost of the working poor
Giorgio Mammoliti gives $250,000 as an example condo price. Where is this condo, Scarborough?
Perks is attempting to refocus the debate from “people who can’t afford to stay in the homes they bought” to “people who can’t even afford to rent”, to no avail.
Cesar Palacio (Ward 17, Davenport) accuses Perks of implying that “some people are sitting on 100 per cent equity”.
Me: SOME PEOPLE ARE SITTING ON ZERO PER CENT EQUITY!!!!!!
The real crusaders, Perks says, are those who showed up to city hall this morning to ask council to have a heart and increase city services
— Jennifer Pagliaro (@jpags) February 15, 2017
Personally, I think these are the real crusaders in the City of Toronto.
no, wait, that’s Constantinople, sorry
Davis recounts the waiting list figures: 18,000 for childcare subsidies, 100,000 for affordable housing, 187,000 for recreation programs.
“I’m embarrassed and ashamed that we are cutting any staff” from shelters or long-term care, she says. “But we found money to keep leaf pick-up in Etobicoke?”
Here’s Davis’s rather technical motion.
We kind of wish Council would vote to increase property taxes to fund the Clerk and IT divisions to revamp the content management system so we could actually hotlink directly to a motion.
“What does a two per cent property tax mean to us?” asks Sarah Doucette (Ward 13, Parkdale-High Park), gamely beginning a plea for less reliance on one-term funding and more services for the most vulnerable people.
Palacio echoes Pasternak’s “people aren’t voluntarily giving us more money” line. It’s a bad look, man
“Today we are talking about the size of the pie,” says Joe Mihevc (Ward 21, St. Paul’s), introducing his motion. I’m hungry.
Mihevc bemoans all the grand plans the City draws up without having the means to fund.
Jon Burnside (Ward 26, Don Valley West) is very, very insistent that we should be taking property values into account when it comes to comparing tax rates. But…but…that’s…that’s not how it…!
We feel like Sisko in that episode of Deep Space Nine. “Don’t you understand? It’s REAL!”
“The rent is too high!” bellows Anthony Perruzza.
Would you say…it’s too damn high?
Frank Di Giorgio is explaining how budgeting works. We lean forward, listening intently, to absorb the wisdom of this seasoned financial whiz.
Karygiannis is giving a brief history of anti-immigrant sentiment in Toronto
“I’m likin’ this Jim!” says Mike Layton at the conclusion of Karygiannis’ denunciation of using “gravy train” rhetoric against immigrants and newcomers.
At the beginning of every Denzil Minnan-Wong speech you know there is like a 50 per cent chance it’s going to end up with you losing your faith in humanity.
John Tory, the last speaker, refers to the “odd couple—not Oscar and Felix, not Archie and Jughead, not Roadrunner and Wile. E. Coyote”—Mammoliti and Perks. Perks: “I’m Roadrunner!”
He casts his budget as moderate and a compromise.
Tory says he hasn’t heard anyone but @norm talking about “the real cause of the problems we have here”—the provincial and federal governments not giving us money.
Tory says he has been the only one with the courage to come in here and put forward road tolls. This is objectively false.
Immediately after citing poll results to support his proposed tax rate, Tory says he is interested in doing “not what is popular, but what is right”.
By the way, here’s some old Council minutes from December 1966 with William Dennison making a speech about the need for Toronto to have better revenue tools and more funding from higher levels of government.
Now they’re voting.
Mammoliti’s zero-per-cent-tax-increase motion fails miserably with only him and Holyday in favour.
Now Perks’s equally doomed 4.26 per cent motion is up. It fails 10-32. “Five times what Giorgio got!” Perks exults.
Davis’s motion to adjust the industrial tax rate from 0.67 to 1 per cent fails 12-30. Her lefty colleagues congratulate her for the least-failing motion so far.
Mihevc’s motion on calculating the inflation rate carries easily, 27-15.
On the item—for these tax rates—35-8.
Now on to the actual budgets. First, Speaker Nunziata has a few rulings on Executive Committee recommendations which she has found to be out of order.
Here’s the actual budget item, which is extremely long. This writer offers a personal apology for not being able to cover it in more detail.
The debate is starting off as a rerun of the Budget Committee and Executive Committee ones, with Joe Cressy getting the Shelter, Support and Housing head to confirm that with occupancy rates in the 90s (per cent), they are adding no additional beds and cutting 10 staff.
Giorgio Mammoliti is harping on “$10,000 ping pong tables” again. Staff politely explain that the concrete ping pong tables, made to withstand decades of outdoor use, are $3,700, and laying the concrete pad underneath, excavation, and installation cost $6,000 on top of that.
Mammoliti: No one plays ping pong in the winter! There are walkways unshoveled in my parks!
Who uses swimming pools in the winter? Just buy some kiddie pools at Canadian Tire! Who even goes out in the winter?! Just stay at home and stew in your crippling depression! That’s what I do!
Joe Mihevc is up next. He is asking about the Newcomer Office, funded by the federal government.
Glenn de Baeremaeker (Ward 38, Scarborough Centre) is passing around a tray of healthy snacks: apple slices.
The Newcomer Office has requested funding for two extra staff to improve access to settlement services, among other things, which is not included in this current budget.
Mihevc moves on to the budget cut for the Hot Weather Response Plan, which includes cooling centres. Staff explain that due to climate change’s impact on vulnerable people, they changed the criteria and have requested a funding increase to open cooling centres on the first day, rather than the third, of a heat alert. It’s $17,500, which is also not in the budget.
We’d like to add that, as Peter Wallace said, the City is a $12 billion corporation.
Perks is now asking about lack of funding for greenhouse gas reduction programs.
Do you ever think about how our society would rather satisfy its greed for money and hatred of racial and religious minorities than prevent catastrophic climate change, destroying in a few centuries ecosystems and civilizations that have persisted for millennia, and then feel really sad and helpless and not really feel in the mood to cover City Council? Just throwing that out there.
Burnside is pointing out that Toronto’s childcare subsidies are several times that of other places’, like Ottawa’s and Durham Region’s. He does not follow it up with a leading question, but from watching previous meetings we can fill in the blanks and tell you that he thinks this is a bad thing.
Wong-Tam is asking about how staff can better ensure the budget doesn’t disproportionately disadvantage women. The answer is why even bother because Council as a whole does not care.
(It’s that time of day, sorry)
While more data is always great, years of votes demonstrate that Council will not sustainably fund programs and services that we already know do a lot to help women, particularly the most marginalized women—childcare, recreation programs, better transit service, etc. Councillors don’t vote this way out of lack of data, they vote this way because they have different values and priorities.
Stephen Holyday (Ward 3, Etobicoke Centre) is like, why are we entirely funding these childcare subsidies and asking the Province for more?
It seems like he is making an argument for playing chicken with the Province.
Nunziata is all like, so you’re not totally eliminating these shelter services, just reducing them, right?
Staff: we’re going to ask current staff to do more with less.
Pam McConnell (Ward 28, Toronto Centre-Rosedale) is speaking (for the first time today, we believe) on the need to maintain shelter staff levels, citing a recent strep outbreak.
No way is this going to be over today (as we previously predicted). Someone else suggested it would be done by lunchtime tomorrow, which is more realistic.
Carroll is all like, are we going to keep asking divisions for these arbitrary cuts forever? Isn’t it getting harder?
The answer is a) yes and b) yes
Carroll: Aren’t you worried about morale?
Wallace: I think staff morale is in good shape.
Back from the short evening break. Questions of staff are over, we’re on to motions and speeches.
Crawford thanks the staff who worked on the budget, the public who came out to consultations, and his staff.
Crawford reels off a list of achievements (adding childcare subsidies, funding the Poverty Reduction Plan, increasing the TTC budget, etc.) which we should probably fact-check in more depth. Well, it’s not that he’s lying, just that it’s a bit misleading without the context.
Crawford has noted in the same speech that
1. they kept property taxes low, as promised, and
2. they could have done more if they had been allowed to move forward on road tolls.
This is something some view as hypocritical and others unproblematic—that Council can refuse to raise property taxes while simultaneously asking for extra powers to create new revenue tools.
Joe Cressy has a motion to restore the $1 million cut from the Shelter, Support and Housing Administration budget.
The money would come from the Property Tax Stabilization Reserve:
Mammoliti has two equally doomed and outrageous motions that are not worth reporting on, look them up yourselves.
Mammoliti consistently says services like public transit and childcare should be entirely handed off to the province, which is, of course, a non-starter. Uploading anything to the province is very hard.
Palacio has a motion asking for a report on the impact of reducing the street-sweeping schedule.
Palacio describes the public outcry he got regarding the proposal to end the childcare occupancy grant. This is something that will sway politicians where facts, data, logic, and basic human decency fail. You gotta put the fear of God in ’em.
David Shiner (Ward 24, Willowdale) has a motion that would take the money for a project to pedestrianize part of Yonge and put it in a reserve. Here’s some background. Basically, Shiner thinks it will make traffic worse.
Fact check: counterintuitive as it seems, taking space away from cars does not make traffic worse.
“It’s a very ethnic strip…and it’s hard to reach [the merchants],” says Shiner of the largely Iranian-owned businesses near Yonge and Sheppard.
“There’s no money in the capital plan to build this,” Shiner adds. iceberg
Kristyn Wong-Tam may well be the first person to put intersectionality in Council records.
Mary-Margaret McMahon wants to vote to extend the meeting until 9 p. m. It is decided they’ll wait till it’s closer to 8 (and they might vote on whether to extend the meeting till they’re done, with no specific time).
Standard issue request-for-report motion from Michael Thompson (Ward 37, Scarborough Centre).
Council patting itself on the back for voting for road tolls is starting to grow slightly stale.
Re: the shelter cuts, Pasternak says it is more important to address the root causes of homelessness and do outreach on the streets.
This would sound more sincere if he mentioned the corresponding increases to Toronto Public Health’s budge…oh.
Nunziata remarks that Mammoliti, who just moved to get rid of the MLTT, in fact voted for it when it was first introduced. “He’s talking out of both sides of his mouth…You can’t suck and blow at the same time.”
Karygiannis rises on a point of privilege: “I’m disturbed by the language.”
Carroll: “Duly noted.”
Nunziata: “It was used in the House of Commons!”
If anyone familiar with Hansard could dig that up, we would be grateful.
Council votes to stay until the budget is passed, even if it’s later than last call at the pub.
Davis remarks that the budget debate is like Groundhog Day—the same thing, every year.
Davis says daycare closures should be discussed at standing committee as part of reviewing service levels—not when it comes to budget cuts.
Layton makes an impassioned speech about cuts to recreation programs. Pasternak is like, we don’t have room to expand those programs anyway!
Mike Ford (Ward 2, Etobicoke North) has a pretty terrible motion to cut cost-of-living increases for all management and non-unionized staff and put the money into various other divisions. This is quickly getting unwatchable.
It’s inventively bad, but still bad.
Pro tip for anyone who thinks they may eventually be a newbie councillor: when proposing some novel change, look into 1) if anyone has already looked into this, and 2) wh…oh, screw it, you can’t teach common sense.
Holyday has a slightly milder motion asking for a report in “how to bring the compensation of all employees into alignment with the private sector”.
Wow. Holyday has a really impressively bad motion which may find its way into next year’s 10 Worst Motions list.
Perks has a motion to use some $1.2 million from the Extreme Weather Reserve to help meet greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.
Perks is all like “if you really support saving money, you’ll support this.”
Personally I feel Council’s conservatism is, in practice, more about
1) decreasing the size and scope of government, and
2) concentrating wealth and resources in the hands of fewer people,
regardless of whether it saves money or not.
Burnside has a motion restoring proposed funding cuts:
John Filion (Ward 23, Willowdale) has a motion to restore funding for the Reimagining Yonge project that Shiner opposed.
Glenn de Baeremaeker mentions that he thinks the TTC is on track to make the system accessible by 2025, which is laughably false.
Well, he probably really does think that, but he’s wrong.
Mihevc has a lovely bouquet of Toronto Public Health-related motions.
Mihevc reads an adorable grade five class’s letter asking if Council will help the homeless people.
*takes drag of cigarette* Listen, kids…
Mary Fragedakis (Ward 29, Toronto-Danforth) has a transit-related motion.
Josh Colle (Ward 15, Eglinton-Lawrence) is way peppier right now than any human being has a right to be.
McMahon has “a swimmingly good motion” to save that pool Penny Oleksiak tweeted about (and the Mayor voted against). “Why should you vote for this? Because you have a heart…”
Boy are you in the wrong room
Justin Di Ciano (Ward 5, Etobicoke-Lakeshore) has a motion that is basically just “Nu-uh.”
Pam McConnell, who has previously defended the way the administration has gone about whatever it’s doing with the Poverty Reduction Strategy, has a motion to undo the shelter staff cuts:
“This is not very good TV,” Carroll jokes as proceedings pause so the clerks can prepare a motion by Tory.
It’s an amendment to Di Ciano’s motion putting a specific date on when the report should be back.
Tory would like us all to know that he has totally been in a shelter!
Tory’s main concern is getting out ahead of the negative headlines. We are not in charge of writing headlines, but we’ll see what we can do.
Tory Was Not Listening When Staff Repeatedly Said Cutting Staff Would Affect Service Levels
Oh my god he is literally reading out the various achievements like “…could in no way be described as a cutback”.
This is totally not Groundhog Day because…reasons?
Perks’s proposed extra 2.25 per cent or so tax increase wouldn’t solve all of our problems, Tory says.
Cressy is indignant that Tory was not listening all those times he got staff to say cuts would affect service levels. “What evidence have you seen that would justify cuts?!”
Tory: you can find cuts anywhere!
Cressy: “Will you pinky-swear that if staff say things have gotten worse, you will take their recommendations?”
Layton offers to personally go to Queen’s Park and call out the Premier.
Layton tries to call Tory on the “these cuts were recommended by staff” thing, arguing that staff only recommended the cuts because Tory asked them for a 2.6 per cent cut.
Tory: They could have cut literally anything in the budget!
Tory doubles down: “Just because you have more people doesn’t mean you’re going to provide better service.”
Davis is looking at the wording of the motion: “What is a true service level impact…as opposed to a ‘false’ service level impact?”
It’s an ~alternative~ service level impact.
BINGO! Janet Davis is the first one to say “alternative facts”.
“So what is the true impact of restoring leaf pickup in Etobicoke?” Davis asks. “What level of scrutiny, what level of facts do you require?”
“Leaf Etobicoke alone!” puns De Baeremaeker from across the room.
Is “pun” a verb? We feel it is a verb.
“These cuts have been here before, and they will continue to come,” says Davis. This has all happened before and this will all happen again.
“No good deed goes unpunished here,” Tory says glumly.
Lol, Tory admits (to Fletcher) that he picked the report due date arbitrarily.
Perks wants to get Tory to say he’s not voting to reinstate hours cut at long-term care homes.
(To clarify, yes, he says it)
Tory says “it’s only tangentially related” and is essentially a bookkeeping thing.
Tory: the level of care you provide to people isn’t necessarily related to the number of people providing it.
I put it to you, Councillor Perks, that the most vulnerable people in the City of Toronto are in fact people who pay residential property taxes
Mihevc says there’s so little room in this budget for the usual tweaks and amendments.
“We’re done?” someone pipes up.
Nunziata: “Councillor Mammoliti…”
A trickle of what might have once been vaguely pro-labour sentiment bubbles out of Mammoliti’s mouth like acid reflux into an esophagus.
Mammoliti is incorrect: no one’s going to be fired or laid off; they just won’t hire replacements when they leave.
“We had a death last year and everyone went wild in here,” says Karygiannis, warning Tory that he will be blamed if anyone dies on the streets
Tory is like, Everyone blames me for all the terrible decisions Council makes even if I disagree with them
Tory passionately defends his view that members of Council should not take a pay cut. It would be awesome if he were just as passionate about homeless people but oh well
Wow, maybe the new staff person will find shelters run better with fewer staff just like the other new staff person found that it was actually cheaper to contract out garbage collection in Scarborough
(Come on now, we were all thinking it. Weren’t we?)
They are now getting ready to vote on a very complicated list of motions. Just letting everyone know in advance, I am not even going to try to livetweet this.
For vote results and vote counts: see literally every other City Hall reporter
Councillors race each other to get the motion papers in the right order to vote on.
Tory says he is declaring a conflict of interest on a De Baeremaeker item because it mentions cellphones in some way.
Colle says he is declaring a conflict of interest on the one about councillor salaries. :trollface:
Mammoliti asks for individual items in his motions to be voted on separately, presumably because he felt too well-liked.
Lol, Mike Ford’s motion dies ignominiously.
Cressy’s motion to restore shelter staff out of the tax stabilization reserve fails 19-25, no surprises except for Filion being against.
alkjdlfajwiofjaldjflkajlkdfj lakjd lMammoliti’s motion literally reads “delete the Land Transfer Tax”.
Nunziata rules that they have to vote on Mammoliti’s motion all in one piece, since it involves various slices of funding and if it partially passed it would unbalance the budget.
It fails 3-40. (Maria Augimeri pressed the wrong button.)
This time Ford, Holyday, Mammoliti and Robinson are the only ones voting in favour. It is unclear if Robinson pressed the wrong button or not.
Button-mashing: great for Super Smash Bros., not so good for municipal politics, and you don’t get to be Kirby, who can float.
The various parts of another Mammoliti motion are failing miserably but not unanimously.
Seems like Shiner’s move to scuttle the Yonge-Sheppard pedestrianization thing passed narrowly.
Davis has a motion to restore funding for long-term care homes using a sign tax increase. It fails.
Davis’s motion to keep the Capri Early Learning and Child Care Centre open till September 2017 carries easily.
Both of Layton’s motions to cancel planned rec program user fee hikes fail.
Layton motion to increase funding in order to reduce recreation program waitlist also fails.
Perks’s TransformTO motion (it feels like it should have a hashtag) fails quite narrowly.
Burnside’s motion to restore funding for two library youth hubs carries easily.
A Mihevc motion to fund an additional position at the Newcomer Office passes narrowly.
The swimming pool motion from McMahon fails on a tie, with Tory against. Sorry Penny.
McConnell’s motion to continue funding a child mentoring program carries quite easily.
Wong-Tam’s gender equity framework motion carries.
Nunziata’s lottery motion is up. Everyone is poking fun at her. It—sorry, what?—hahaha it carried hahahahahahhahahahhahahahah
Yes, this is definitely making it into 2017’s Worst Motions.
Holyday’s “pay everyone the same as in the private sector” motion fails.
Holyday’s hilariously bad “earmark all MLTT for city building” motion fails.
Tory’s motion carries quite easily.
Di Ciano’s motion (with Tory’s amendment) passes with a show of hands.
They are now voting on various items that had to be separated out because of conflicts of interest.
Oh no, they’re voting on recommendations separately, too. We could be here a while
“Are we finished yet?” someone asks wearily.
“No, we’re not finished yet,” replies Nunziata.
We shoulda just left at 9 and come back tomorrow.
Holyday wants to vote separately on some part of a recommendation regarding the MLTT rebate. It would involve opening up the entire item again. He stands on a point of personal privilege to explain which part he is opposed to. (Various councillors tell him to put it in his newsletter or on Twitter instead.)
Out of sheer spite, we will not record what he said.
They’re voting on garbage rebates.
Di Ciano gets burned: he votes the wrong way, but a re-vote might change the outcome—which is against procedure. This was the same thing that got Paula Fletcher when she accidentally voted to remove a bike lane.
Oh, whoops. The vote inadvertently created a $2 million budget hole.
Some good old-fashioned wholesome procedural confusion.
This is the kind of procedural squabble wonks dream of.
Nunziata is permitting a vote to re-open, despite the dodgy permissibility. Is that even a word? We’ve been here so long and all words look funny
The motion to re-open fails ON A TIE this is hella ironic
So they just passed an unbalanced budget. C-can they re-open the tax rate item?
We just realized that De Baeremaeker has a leopard shark plushie to match Wong-Tam’s hammerhead shark plushie.
Who could have guessed that when you decide on revenue before expenditure you might go over budget?
— Ev Delen (@evdelen) February 16, 2017
If Council decides to sort this out tomorrow, maybe Kathleen Wynne will come and arrest them all in their beds! We’re in uncharted territory. We’ve basically been teleported into the Delta Quadrant here
In response to a question on Twitter: yes, this is even funnier than the time Council accidentally banned plastic bags.
The first, and possibly the last, time in history anyone will be like “if we’d listened to Mammoliti we wouldn’t be in this mess”
Also, if council had listened to Mammoliti or Perks, dealt with property tax rate in a different order, they could technically fix this hole
— Jennifer Pagliaro (@jpags) February 16, 2017
Also, Perks and Mammoliti not only agreed but were actually right.
Jonathan Goldsbie has compared City Hall to free theatre. This is like an absurdist play.
Perks: “I told you so.“
Nunziata says there are two ways to fix this:
1. vote to vary the order and find an offset, which Crawford says he has
2. adjourn and call a special meeting
(Yes, Council can vote to change the rules sometimes.)
The vote to pass a “late motion” passes (with 8 chaos agents against).
Crawford moves to fill the hole from the Tax Stabilization Reserve. Everyone calls for a recorded vote.
Robinson, Filion, Burnside, and Colle are the only ones to vote against it.
Now they are voting again on the budget as a whole.
It carries 27-16.
“Councillor Mammoliti, you held item 3, do you want to say something about it?”
“Not really. I’m really tired.”
@norm introduces the final routine motions to close out the meeting.
It is pretty much guaranteed they will vote on the tax rate before the budget again next year.
Good night, everyone. Thanks for following along on this wild, unpredictable journey.