The city hall headlines of the day are once again being made by the newly elected councillor from Ward 2 – Etobicoke North, who — it must be continually said — is neither the mayor nor deputy mayor. Nor does he chair any of the city’s standing committees. He recently moved back from Toronto after living in Chicago and has never, to my immediate recollection, been sighted on a TTC vehicle.
But I digress.
In an interview by the Globe & Mail’s Anna Mehler Paperny, Doug Ford fantasizes about a world where he and his brother don’t need to worry about the meddling of other duly elected officials:
It’s been a tough transition for the Ford camp to shift from a highly partisan, highly successful mayoral campaign to the enforced diplomacy of governing, attempting to woo councillors and win votes on a 45-person council with no party system, in which the mayor has only one ballot to cast.
“You’ve always got that council. You’ve got to have your 23 votes to get it passed,” Mr. Ford said.
He’d like the mayor to be able to override council “100 per cent. … So the mayor has veto power.”
In the abstract, I would agree — as I did when Miller was in office — that the amalgamated Toronto could use some changes to its governance model. This would include elements of a strong mayor system at the top but also some devolution of powers down to the community council level, allowing the former municipalities of Metro Toronto to govern their local affairs more independently.
More specifically, though, I have to wonder what motivated this outburst from Doug Ford. I don’t have him pegged as the type who gets all charged up about the structure of municipal government. Is there something on the Ford’s immediate agenda that they know they don’t have the votes to pass? If so, what is it?