T.O.'s clash with province over Council downsizing may end up in Supreme Court


spaminator
#1
T.O.'s clash with province over Council downsizing may end up in Supreme Court
Antonella Artuso
Published:
November 15, 2019
Updated:
November 15, 2019 5:51 PM EST
Toronto city council chambersErnest Doroszuk / Toronto Sun
The battle over the size of Toronto Council may land on the lap of the Supreme Court of Canada.
The City of Toronto announced Friday it is seeking Leave to Appeal a court decision that upheld Bill 5 — the Doug Ford government’s legislation that shrunk council to 25 councillors plus a mayor.
It’s the latest move in a legal seesaw battle that began when the Ford government passed a law just before last year’s municipal election that thwarted a plan by the city to grow council to 47 councillors from 44.
Ford, a former member of Toronto Council, opted to align city wards with federal and provincial riding boundaries, shrinking the number of councillors to 25.
The city challenged the provincial law, which came mid-campaign, and Ontario Superior Court Justice Edward Belobaba found it to violate Charter rights.
Story continues below
The Court of Appeal of Ontario, in a 3-2 decision, backed the province’s view and the election went ahead with 25 ridings.
Jenessa Crognali, a spokesperson for Ontario Attorney General Doug Downey, said the government was pleased that the Court of Appeal for Ontario allowed an appeal of the Ontario Superior Court finding.
“The Court accepted Ontario’s position that the Better Local Government Act, 2018 (“Bill 5″) did not infringe the Charter s. 2(b) freedom of expression rights of either municipal voters or candidates,” Crognali said in an email Friday.
Dispute over council size lights up
LEVY: Downsized council one year later ... same old, same old.
If the Supreme Court opts to hear the appeal, city lawyers will argue that the case raises issues of national and public importance that require important constitutional interpretation.
“Interference with the framework in the middle of an election has the effect of disrupting the electoral expression of participants and upending the political discourse at the heart of an election,” city lawyers say in a written argument. “This case provides the Court with an opportunity to address this issue not only for the city, but for all municipalities across the country that are subject to democratic elections.”
aartuso@postmedia.com
http://torontosun.com/news/local-new...-supreme-court
 
Mowich
+3
#2  Top Rated Post
More Ontario taxpayers money being spent on frivolous law suits. Tory needs to take his lumps and realize that the council is bloated and needs to be trimmed.
 
Mowich
+3
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by Mowich View Post

More Ontario taxpayers money being spent on frivolous law suits. Tory needs to take his lumps and realize that the council is bloated and needs to be trimmed.


"A city committee is pressing pause on a plan to spend $400,000 on a study to assess modernization options for Toronto’s council chamber, amid one councilors cry that the sum is an outrageous amount of taxpayer money to blow on a report."

https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/an-absurd...ions-1.4691028
 
spaminator
+1
#4
LEVY: $180M flushed down the drain on poverty strategy?
Sue-Ann Levy
Published:
November 18, 2019
Updated:
November 18, 2019 8:01 AM EST
Canadian currencyGETTY IMAGES
If there was ever an example of absolute insanity at City Hall, it was the handling by the mayor’s executive committee last week of the money pit called the Poverty Reduction Strategy.
Without any clear idea of how $181 million was spent during the past four years on the strategy’s 17 recommendations — and whether it was money well spent — Tory and his committee of lemmings unanimously approved another four-year plan.
Led by the late councillor Pam McConnell, the poverty reduction initiative was approved in 2015 to make Toronto a city “with opportunity for all” by 2035.
Toronto Mayor John Tory (Ernest Doroszuk, Toronto Sun) Ernest Doroszuk / Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun
To make matters worse, the new four-year plan presented had no dollar figures attached — leading Councillor Paul Ainslie to meekly and almost apologetically ask whether the bureaucrats could spell out what is being spent in each area and what they’re preparing to spend on the next phase of the plan.
That led city manager Chris Murray to respond rather curtly: “We can certainly provide you with that.”
Story continues below
Well, uh yes, that would be nice. Perhaps that should have been done before the new plan was even put forward.
The only thing we heard was that 67% of the initial actions have been completed, a number are ongoing and new ones are being proposed.
What has been completed is a mystery, along with the cost of each.
Not that any councillor bothered to ask.
For example in the city report, the strategy’s “flagship initiative” is touted as the Transit Fare Equity program which provides 21%-33% TTC discounts to low-income residents. The report says up to 84,000 residents are eligible for this discount–so far.
But there is no mention whatsoever of revenue foregone by this initiative.
Yet why should city officials be concerned when the TTC appears happy to allow fare evasion to continue throughout the system with the faulty Presto card.
The virtue signallers on the executive committee seemed to be more enthralled with the idea that the new plan will include Indigenous-led Poverty Reduction proposals and that gender expression and gender equity will be recognized.
Still, the plan was so amateurish, so open-ended, and so devoid of financial details (let alone breakdowns), the bureaucrats who prepared it and the city manager who enabled it would never last in the private sector if they tried to slip something like this through.
For example, one proposal is to “expand the availability of free or low-cost, high-quality programs for low-income children and youth.” Another is to apply “equity standards to TTC fare structure and policies.”
Could these proposals possibly be vaguer or less open to interpretation?
I suspect this will end up being a boondoggle and taxpayers will never ever know whether value for money was received for the $181-million already doled out or countless other millions of dollars that are to be spent in the next four years.
But this, I suppose, is what substitutes for management at City Hall these days.
Management by Humanity instead of Management by Objectives as Tory lectured me when I brought up the $10-million price tag of the Runnymede shelter the other day.
”It (the shelter) is an investment in the humanity of this city … to help people build themselves back up,” he told me last Thursday.
LEVY: Union prima donnas will not strike
LEVY: Vigil held for tot killed in a freak accident outside her TCHC highrise
LEVY: Is state-of-the art incineration technology in the cards for Toronto?
And at that executive committee meeting not only did Tory seem satisfied to hear that 67% of the actions were completed but he reminded everyone that the $181 million will repeat itself over the next four years.
“These are not time-limited programs,” he proudly declared.
I guess the message is that one is inhumane to dare question what the heck they’re actually doing or to expect accountability from virtue-signalling city programs.
What a lousy way to run City Hall.
SLevy@postmedia.com
http://torontosun.com/news/local-new...verty-strategy
 
Mowich
+2
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by spaminator View Post

LEVY: $180M flushed down the drain on poverty strategy?
Sue-Ann Levy
Published:
November 18, 2019
Updated:
November 18, 2019 8:01 AM EST
Canadian currencyGETTY IMAGES
If there was ever an example of absolute insanity at City Hall, it was the handling by the mayor’s executive committee last week of the money pit called the Poverty Reduction Strategy.
Without any clear idea of how $181 million was spent during the past four years on the strategy’s 17 recommendations — and whether it was money well spent — Tory and his committee of lemmings unanimously approved another four-year plan.
Led by the late councillor Pam McConnell, the poverty reduction initiative was approved in 2015 to make Toronto a city “with opportunity for all” by 2035.
Toronto Mayor John Tory (Ernest Doroszuk, Toronto Sun) Ernest Doroszuk / Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun
To make matters worse, the new four-year plan presented had no dollar figures attached — leading Councillor Paul Ainslie to meekly and almost apologetically ask whether the bureaucrats could spell out what is being spent in each area and what they’re preparing to spend on the next phase of the plan.
That led city manager Chris Murray to respond rather curtly: “We can certainly provide you with that.”
Story continues below
Well, uh yes, that would be nice. Perhaps that should have been done before the new plan was even put forward.
The only thing we heard was that 67% of the initial actions have been completed, a number are ongoing and new ones are being proposed.
What has been completed is a mystery, along with the cost of each.
Not that any councillor bothered to ask.
For example in the city report, the strategy’s “flagship initiative” is touted as the Transit Fare Equity program which provides 21%-33% TTC discounts to low-income residents. The report says up to 84,000 residents are eligible for this discount–so far.
But there is no mention whatsoever of revenue foregone by this initiative.
Yet why should city officials be concerned when the TTC appears happy to allow fare evasion to continue throughout the system with the faulty Presto card.
The virtue signallers on the executive committee seemed to be more enthralled with the idea that the new plan will include Indigenous-led Poverty Reduction proposals and that gender expression and gender equity will be recognized.
Still, the plan was so amateurish, so open-ended, and so devoid of financial details (let alone breakdowns), the bureaucrats who prepared it and the city manager who enabled it would never last in the private sector if they tried to slip something like this through.
For example, one proposal is to “expand the availability of free or low-cost, high-quality programs for low-income children and youth.” Another is to apply “equity standards to TTC fare structure and policies.”
Could these proposals possibly be vaguer or less open to interpretation?
I suspect this will end up being a boondoggle and taxpayers will never ever know whether value for money was received for the $181-million already doled out or countless other millions of dollars that are to be spent in the next four years.
But this, I suppose, is what substitutes for management at City Hall these days.
Management by Humanity instead of Management by Objectives as Tory lectured me when I brought up the $10-million price tag of the Runnymede shelter the other day.
”It (the shelter) is an investment in the humanity of this city … to help people build themselves back up,” he told me last Thursday.
LEVY: Union prima donnas will not strike
LEVY: Vigil held for tot killed in a freak accident outside her TCHC highrise
LEVY: Is state-of-the art incineration technology in the cards for Toronto?
And at that executive committee meeting not only did Tory seem satisfied to hear that 67% of the actions were completed but he reminded everyone that the $181 million will repeat itself over the next four years.
“These are not time-limited programs,” he proudly declared.
I guess the message is that one is inhumane to dare question what the heck they’re actually doing or to expect accountability from virtue-signalling city programs.
What a lousy way to run City Hall.
SLevy@postmedia.com
http://torontosun.com/news/local-new...verty-strategy

$181 mil goes poof and not one single straight answer as to where it went or what exactly it was spent on. Good frickin' grief. No wonder Ford wants to cut the number of useless tits sitting on council. What a bunch of virtue-signalling profligate assholes.
 
spaminator
+1
#6
LEVY: The Poverty Reduction Strategy's new math
Sue-Ann Levy
Published:
November 19, 2019
Updated:
November 19, 2019 8:47 PM EST
TTC streetcar in Toronto, Ont. on Thursday July 11, 2019. Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun/Postmedia
In January 2015, Mayor John Tory decided — arbitrarily and without much thought it seems — to make riding on the TTC free for kids as part of his Poverty Reduction Strategy.
At the time, he was quoted as saying that his harebrained idea would cost about $7 million — or rather it would result in $7 million in foregone revenue annually to the TTC.
It didn’t matter to Tory that 75% of the kids who don’t live in poverty would benefit and there was no thought given to the culture it would create — one in which kids over 12 would try to get on for free, too.
Reports are that scammers are rampant and the increase in “child” ridership would seem to suggest that.
According to figures provided by TTC spokesman Stuart Green Tuesday, the number of “child” rides has more than doubled, increasing from 10.9 million in 2015 to 25.4 million last year.
Story continues below
In fact, 90.5 million “child” riders have taken advantage of the 12 and under program.
Contrary to the $7-million estimate quoted by Tory in 2015, the revenue foregone jumped to 16.8-million in 2018.
According to Green’s figures, some $55 million in revenue has been lost from this free program since 2015.
Yet, instead of perhaps admitting he created a monster, Tory last February lauded the program as “hugely successful” because of the 130% growth in the number of rides taken by “children” 12 and under.
There has never been any mention of the $55 million in revenue lost to the TTC from this boondoggle and when Tory’s executive committee met last week to rubber-stamp a new four-year Poverty Reduction strategy (with no numbers attached) the under-12 kikds program was never mentioned.
That’s because of the huge cost — probably higher because of fare evasion. Green told me they don’t track the scammers but “know anecdotally it is happening.”
So in addition to the $181 million spent over the past four years on a tossed salad of Poverty Reduction strategy initiatives — that have not been tracked as to how the money was actually spent and whether any have reduced poverty for anyone — we can add $55-million in lost TTC revenue for Tory’s bright idea.
I was informed by city spokesman Shane Gerard, after several attempts to get clarification on what was provided to me, that a $5.4-million subsidy was provided to the TTC in 2015 to help prop up the free rides.
That subsidy appears to be part of the TTC’s operating budget — talk about robbing Peter to pay Pau l– which means the TTC’s revenue loss has been at least $35 million in the past four years, including those who have no right to ride free.
Heck let’s just add that to the $64-million in TTC revenue which was lost in 2018 due to fare evasion and malfunctioning Presto equipment, as pointed out by the auditor general this past February.
That said, as I also discovered combing through the 534-page 2019 budget book Tuesday, some 33 new positions were added to the city this year just for what has been termed as poverty reduction initiatives — some of which appear to be rather questionable. Another 50 positions were added to a community wellness category, which includes poverty initiatives (see what I mean about a tossed salad?)
For example, there’s $222,000 budgeted to acquire and install menstrual hygiene dispensers in shelters and $300,000 to expand student nutrition programs to independent schools.
According to Gerard, the city is paying for the Transit Fare Equity program — which provides 21%-33% TTC discounts to low-income residents. The city has budgeted $10.6 million so far.
EDITORIAL: Are poverty reduction programs working?
LEVY: The intolerant radicals and their Meghan Murphy circus
LEVY: We should expect better from TCHC board
As for any figures attached to the new four-year poverty reduction plan approved by Tory and his executive committee of lemmings last week, Gerard said the 2020 figures will be presented in a Poverty Reduction Strategy briefing note in the new year.
Whether we’ll ever get an accurate accounting of the $181 million spent to date (plus the foregone TTC revenue of at least $35-million) is beyond me.
This is truly one for the forensic auditors.
SLevy@postmedia.com
http://torontosun.com/news/local-new...tegys-new-math
 
Mowich
+1
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by spaminator View Post

LEVY: The Poverty Reduction Strategy's new math
Sue-Ann Levy
Published:
November 19, 2019
Updated:
November 19, 2019 8:47 PM EST
TTC streetcar in Toronto, Ont. on Thursday July 11, 2019. Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun/Postmedia
In January 2015, Mayor John Tory decided — arbitrarily and without much thought it seems — to make riding on the TTC free for kids as part of his Poverty Reduction Strategy.
At the time, he was quoted as saying that his harebrained idea would cost about $7 million — or rather it would result in $7 million in foregone revenue annually to the TTC.
It didn’t matter to Tory that 75% of the kids who don’t live in poverty would benefit and there was no thought given to the culture it would create — one in which kids over 12 would try to get on for free, too.
Reports are that scammers are rampant and the increase in “child” ridership would seem to suggest that.
According to figures provided by TTC spokesman Stuart Green Tuesday, the number of “child” rides has more than doubled, increasing from 10.9 million in 2015 to 25.4 million last year.
Story continues below
In fact, 90.5 million “child” riders have taken advantage of the 12 and under program.
Contrary to the $7-million estimate quoted by Tory in 2015, the revenue foregone jumped to 16.8-million in 2018.
According to Green’s figures, some $55 million in revenue has been lost from this free program since 2015.
Yet, instead of perhaps admitting he created a monster, Tory last February lauded the program as “hugely successful” because of the 130% growth in the number of rides taken by “children” 12 and under.
There has never been any mention of the $55 million in revenue lost to the TTC from this boondoggle and when Tory’s executive committee met last week to rubber-stamp a new four-year Poverty Reduction strategy (with no numbers attached) the under-12 kikds program was never mentioned.
That’s because of the huge cost — probably higher because of fare evasion. Green told me they don’t track the scammers but “know anecdotally it is happening.”
So in addition to the $181 million spent over the past four years on a tossed salad of Poverty Reduction strategy initiatives — that have not been tracked as to how the money was actually spent and whether any have reduced poverty for anyone — we can add $55-million in lost TTC revenue for Tory’s bright idea.
I was informed by city spokesman Shane Gerard, after several attempts to get clarification on what was provided to me, that a $5.4-million subsidy was provided to the TTC in 2015 to help prop up the free rides.
That subsidy appears to be part of the TTC’s operating budget — talk about robbing Peter to pay Pau l– which means the TTC’s revenue loss has been at least $35 million in the past four years, including those who have no right to ride free.
Heck let’s just add that to the $64-million in TTC revenue which was lost in 2018 due to fare evasion and malfunctioning Presto equipment, as pointed out by the auditor general this past February.
That said, as I also discovered combing through the 534-page 2019 budget book Tuesday, some 33 new positions were added to the city this year just for what has been termed as poverty reduction initiatives — some of which appear to be rather questionable. Another 50 positions were added to a community wellness category, which includes poverty initiatives (see what I mean about a tossed salad?)
For example, there’s $222,000 budgeted to acquire and install menstrual hygiene dispensers in shelters and $300,000 to expand student nutrition programs to independent schools.
According to Gerard, the city is paying for the Transit Fare Equity program — which provides 21%-33% TTC discounts to low-income residents. The city has budgeted $10.6 million so far.
EDITORIAL: Are poverty reduction programs working?
LEVY: The intolerant radicals and their Meghan Murphy circus
LEVY: We should expect better from TCHC board
As for any figures attached to the new four-year poverty reduction plan approved by Tory and his executive committee of lemmings last week, Gerard said the 2020 figures will be presented in a Poverty Reduction Strategy briefing note in the new year.
Whether we’ll ever get an accurate accounting of the $181 million spent to date (plus the foregone TTC revenue of at least $35-million) is beyond me.
This is truly one for the forensic auditors.
SLevy@postmedia.com
http://torontosun.com/news/local-new...tegys-new-math

" some 33 new positions were added to the city this year just for what has been termed as poverty reduction initiatives — some of which appear to be rather questionable. Another 50 positions were added to a community wellness category......."

Can't get a handle on a problem..............just throw more bodies at it, eh. Torontonians are wonderful folk - so willing to see their hard-earned money going to support programs in spite of the fact that they don't have clue what those programs are supposed to be accomplishing. Meanwhile, gun play on the streets is a daily occurrence and the body count keeps rising.