As part of the last council meeting, Councillor Janet Davis brought forward an administrative inquiry, asking several pointed questions about the supposed ‘death’ of Transit City, the new transit plan cooked up by the province and the mayor’s office, and the TTIL organization headed by Gordon Chong.
City Manager Joe Pennachetti penned a response to Davis’ inquiries and, though its rather light on detail, the document does contain confirmation of something that’s been an open question since this whole transit mess began: council does indeed get a vote on this. Ford cannot act unilaterally.
Pennachetti outlines several areas where a council vote will be required. First, council must officially adopt the memorandum of understanding signed by the mayor and the province:
The TTC is not a signatory to the Memorandum. The Memorandum is a non-binding framework for the negotiation of agreements to be approved by Council. Therefore the Mayor signed the Memorandum as indicating his desire that the parties give consideration to the new Transportation Plan. Any agreements to implement the Memorandum will require Council approval.
Council will also get to debate and vote on any financial penalties that arise from the cancellation of contracts relating to Transit City:
Any liabilities associated with the agreements necessary to implement the provisions contained in the Memorandum will be set out in the report or reports seeking Council approval.
Lastly, council will also have to approve any funding arrangement drawn from the Federal Government’s P3 fund:
It is anticipated that any federal P3 funding agreement will be conditional on Council approval.
So council must vote. The question still lingering is when will council vote? At the very least, why hasn’t the memo outlining the new agreement between the city and the province/Metrolinx — which was released in March — come before council for approval? What’s the delay?