|Photo from Xtra (Andrea Houston?)|
Adrienne Batra is leaving the Ford Team to join the Ford cheerleaders at the Sun comment page, Newstalk and filling in on SUN TV. Really, it's a logical fit for her (she's written for Sun Media before) and she's done a pretty good job as Ford's media handler. Doing that job for a year- and another year on the campaign- would be some of the toughest media work around and she's lasted as long as you could expect someone to. I'm also told that when she's not cutting off questions mid-sentence she's a really nice person. So while I look forward to criticizing future Sun editorials, good for her.
Yesterday was day one of the council meeting where they predictably defended community environment days. What's notable about it is this charge was led by conservative Ford ally David Shiner, who proposed keeping them at a reduced cost. Denzil Minnan-Wong, Shiner's Public Works colleague, argued against this and Shiner probed for areas of compromise as Josh Matlow solemnly nodded his head behind the two of them. The fact that Shiner has been coming across as the reasonable one lately (on Public Works and here) due to the prominence of the likes of Minnan-Wong in this administration? Amazing.
Remember how the Mayor was going to stick up for the little guy and stop the nonsense at City Hall? Yesterday councillors discussed the water and trash budget. In the water budget, councillors voted to give high corporate water use and polluters a break in the morning. In the afternoon? They voted to have non-profits, churches and the like pay for garbage collection so the city can collect $2.9 million. If this sounds like exactly the opposite of Ford's rhetoric, then you're reading it correctly.
On the subject of corporate water use, Norm Kelly asked council why they would want to confuse an environmental and economic issue. Oh Norm.
But what council meeting would be complete without Norm Kelly's monthly Contrarian Book Club Recommendation? This month you're assigned to read Thomas Sowell, the libertarian economist and social critic who doesn't really like multiculturalism. He also once compared Obama to Hitler, so there's that too.
As for this morning, you know that Lawrence Heights revitalization project? It passed another vote, 27-3. The three votes against with the two Fords and James Pasternak. I'd love to know what Pasternak was thinking.
Last night Mike Del Grande criticized the library for carrying popular movies, 'like Pirates of the Caribbean' and carrying items in languages other than English. I get that Del Grande really cares about keeping costs down, but I'm pretty happy that my library system serves diverse communities and doesn't act in an overly prescriptivist way. I'd also point out that one of the library's most popular items are Hindi movies, which are 1) not books and 2) not English.
Lastly, Edward Keenan and a revitalized Royson James both have outstanding columns on the tomfoolery in the city budget for The Grid and Star. I'll be getting back to these columns for a future post.