No Mo’ Money? No Problem
A motion to freeze the salaries of Mayor Ford and Toronto’s city councillors for 2011, put forward by Councillor Mike Del Grande (Ward 39, Scarborough-Agincourt) and seconded by Councillor Doug Ford (Ward 2, Etobicoke North), was debated today at council. The motion, MM3.2, which cancels the cost of living increase for 2011 salaries, stated: “Businesses are struggling in this crisis, they are faced with tough choices, often either laying off workers or shutting down. City government is no different in this regard; we have to make tough choices in order to resolve the structural deficit and bring the City’s budget back on track.” And speaking to the motion today, Del Grande added: “We don’t need to have a protracted debate on this. It’s stand up and be counted.” Some councillors disagreed and raised questions about the conflict of interest inherent in voting on their own salaries, whether the cost-of-living increase is actually needed, and if cancelling it is merely a symbolic gesture. Del Grande’s motion, with an amended title, was carried, 39–3. A motion from Councillor Joe Mihevc (Ward 21, St. Paul’s) to direct the funds saved by the salary freeze to the Student Nutrition Program was referred to the budget committee.