Key Votes at City Council
VoteToronto has selected 14 key votes on issues that many Torontonians
care about. While they do not give a full portrayal of a councillor's
voting over their entire term at City Hall, the 14 votes are
representative of their positions on these key issues. They also show
where the councillors truly stood when it came time to vote.
Many of these votes are now key issues in the election campaign.
Candidates are making numerous promises about issues voters care about
– TTC, the environment, childcare, the Island Airport, and others. But
promises are cheap – how did they vote on these issues in council? Many
incumbent councillors may ‘talk the talk’, but did they ‘walk the
walk’, and actually vote for the issues they claim to support?
The key votes that VoteToronto selected were on the following issues:
- Increasing TTC Funding: this
proposal to restore $10
million in funding to the TTC, in order to prevent a fare increase, was
- DVP Widening: a proposed study on
expanding the Don Valley
Parkway was narrowly defeated.
- Funding Traffic Calming: a
motion to increase funds for
traffic calming on Toronto’s streets was defeated.
- Creating a Lobbyist Registry:
this motion approved the
creation of a lobbyist registry, where all lobbyists would have to
register with City Hall to act on municipal business.
- Demanding an MFP Enquiry: this vote
against settling with
MFP led to the now-famous enquiry into the city’s tainted computer
- Disclosing Police Spending: this motion proposed to
disclose police salaries over $100,000, and investigate why some
constables’ base pay is almost doubled by overtime work
- Front Street Extension: this vote approved a plan to
extend Front Street by 2 km west of Bathurst to Dufferin Street, with a
new interchange to the Gardiner Expressway.
- Island Airport: this vote
approved three major components
of an expansion of the Island Airport – a fixed link to the airport was
approved in principle, unlimited commercial air traffic was permitted,
and a lawsuit by the Toronto Port Authority (who run the airport) was
settled for $48 million by City Council.
- Childcare Subsidies: this
motion proposed to restore 200
childcare subsidies, but failed to pass due to a tie vote.
- School Pools: this motion was to audit school pools in
order to determine which ones could be kept open. The vote failed to
pass because less than two-thirds of council voted in favour.
- Pesticide Ban: this vote
approved a ban of certain
pesticides on lawns, to be introduced in April 2004, and fully
implemented by 2005.
- Homeless: this vote approved a
request for city staff to
study methods of preventing and prohibiting the homeless from sleeping
on the street.
- Garbage Privatization: a motion
to contract out garbage
collection in Scarborough to a private company was defeated.
- Union Station Lease: this vote approved a 100-year lease
of Union Station to Union Pearson Group, despite the exposure of a
scandal-ridden bidding process.