August 02, 2018

Christine Van Geyn: Ford's Toronto council cuts are good for democracy

Ezra LevantRebel Commander

On last night's episode of The Ezra Levant Show, guest-host David Menzies and Christine VanGeyn, Ontario Director for the Canadian Taxpayer Federation, discussed Premier Ford's plan to reduce the size of Toronto City Council from 47 to 25.

Mayor John Tory and the usual cast of left-wing city councillors are complaining about a lack of public consultation, while NDP leader Andrea Horwath has called Ford's move "dictatorial". But Ford's decision will actually improve local democracy.

WATCH our video to see how the new council wards will give Torontonians more equality in their representation at the municipal level.

Comments
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commented 2018-08-03 02:56:17 -0400
This was long overdue.
commented 2018-08-03 02:10:36 -0400
Ms. Stephenson -“Can you name a policy of Trudeau’s that you actually kinda think is good in principle”.. OK, you’ve got me – I CAN’T!…
commented 2018-08-03 00:06:30 -0400
See … I told you..
Well done Andrew..
commented 2018-08-02 23:42:52 -0400
“Trudeau’s own party isn’t even democratic any longer. ie. He said that all Liberal MPs MUST be pro abortion, no exceptions. He told his party to just do as he says and not to question or challenge him; regarding his ridiculous gun control. Sounds like the words of a dictator to me; and yet Liberals are saying that Premier Ford’s actions are undemocratic?
Welcome to Trudeau’s ‘post national state’. An inside coup against our political system. Funny how he didn’t expose his intentions before he was elected. Is this what he meant by transparent government and political reform? Anyone following him is just as guilty of treason as he is. "

It’s called “Whipping”. They all do it. In fact, it’s so typical that they have to specify a free vote when they allow one. Ford does it as well – not sure if you pay attention to the comments being made by Ford’s cabinet ministers but it’s pretty clear that they don’t fully agree with his policies but are being forced to do it. (e.g, the minister who announced the rollback of the minimum income policy … was clearly not happy to be doing so).

“flatwater.. flatearth commented 1 hour ago
Andrew… Once again judging by your latest post I can see that you were on board with the Trudeau government being a dictatorship behind the scenes and Doug Ford is right on the money… I’m glad to see you’re changing your way of thinking .!! ’

It’s interesting that you think that it’s a gotcha for a leftie to actually impartially evaluate the issues. I’m not a blind partisan who hates Ford for purely partisan reasons, the way you seem to with Trudeau. I don’t think discussing municipal governance is a bad thing, but the reforms should be province-wide, and done with extensive consultation and a reasonable timeline. So… in principle it’s not a bad idea. However, the way it’s being approached is absolutely devastating.

So, Ford’s not entirely wrong, even if how he’s doing it is terrible.

Can you name a policy of Trudeau’s that you actually kinda think is good in principle .
commented 2018-08-02 17:58:22 -0400
I think that the leftists across the most populated province in Canada are terrified at not only the numbers that voted in Doug Ford but how he has taken the bull by the horn’s and is reducing public spending in the first month of his tenure… I also believe that if there is even a decent success with his efforts as premier they are terrified that he should expand his ambition to the position of prime minister and apply his logical thinking from coast to coast and let the provinces develop their natural resources from one end of the country to the other.. Smaller government and bigger people with the powers that be out of your life out of your wallet and out of your bedroom…

Go Doug go.!!!
commented 2018-08-02 17:08:31 -0400
Imagine that… Andrew Stevenson as a conservative .!
commented 2018-08-02 17:08:10 -0400
You see Andrew… It’s not so difficult thinking the way normal people do and I’m glad to see you on board .!!
commented 2018-08-02 16:50:41 -0400
Don’t worry Andrew, eventually, Doug will do something you like.

You may have given an answer you are happy with – prolong the inevitable…many want him to trim the fat now. If you think Toronto council is “perfectly effective” I have a ocean front property near Algonquin Park to sell you.
commented 2018-08-02 16:42:43 -0400
“Tammie Putinski-Zandbelt commented 2 hours ago
Leftists wants referendums when it suits their cause…the rest of the time, they are oblivious to authoritarian policies in which the people were never consulted and it doesn’t bother them.”

I’m generally fine with referenda or some other mechanism of direct democracy when it comes to things like how government structures itself. That being said, the results should be respected if you do. Unlike, say, a certain previous referendum on municipal reform in Toronto.

“Why should Doug wait for four years? Really, how does this square with his campaign promises? It doesn’t, and, people are sick of ineffective councils. "

I already answered that. If it’s a good idea, it will still be a good idea in the next cycle, and it might actually be properly implemented. Do you make major life decisions on a whim? No? Then why should government do the same? This came out the day before the registration deadline closed. As of right now, the City’s still running a 47 ward election.

This wasn’t something he campaigned on. People may be “sick” of ineffective councils (usually a coded term that actually means, perfectly effective, but not in the way you want) but it’s not clear that arbitrary chaos will fix that.
commented 2018-08-02 15:27:21 -0400
Andrew… Once again judging by your latest post I can see that you were on board with the Trudeau government being a dictatorship behind the scenes and Doug Ford is right on the money… I’m glad to see you’re changing your way of thinking .!!
commented 2018-08-02 15:16:04 -0400
TAMMIE PUTINSKI-ZANDBELT
ANDREW STEPHENSON
About referendums: “Referendums are bad things to happen because it gives people a chance to lash out at institutions.” Justin Trudeau.
Trudeau’s own party isn’t even democratic any longer. ie. He said that all Liberal MPs MUST be pro abortion, no exceptions. He told his party to just do as he says and not to question or challenge him; regarding his ridiculous gun control. Sounds like the words of a dictator to me; and yet Liberals are saying that Premier Ford’s actions are undemocratic?
Welcome to Trudeau’s ‘post national state’. An inside coup against our political system. Funny how he didn’t expose his intentions before he was elected. Is this what he meant by transparent government and political reform? Anyone following him is just as guilty of treason as he is.
commented 2018-08-02 14:44:38 -0400
Leftists wants referendums when it suits their cause…the rest of the time, they are oblivious to authoritarian policies in which the people were never consulted and it doesn’t bother them.

Why should Doug wait for four years? Really, how does this square with his campaign promises? It doesn’t, and, people are sick of ineffective councils.
commented 2018-08-02 14:36:10 -0400
“Tammie Putinski-Zandbelt commented 1 hour ago
I don’t see a reason to wait, this bloated council doesn’t get much done in a timely manner….too many chefs in the kitchen. If council was a business, there would be firings.
Doug campaigned and won on reducing government waste & size, eliminating inefficiencies etc…he is the Premier and is implementing the plan to carry this out. "

25 isn’t going to fix the ‘too many chefs" problem, although if you look at how Council votes, there is often a clear consensus – one which the Ford brothers often found themselves on the wrong end of. That problem may actually be worse, since it’s the empire-builders who will survive the merge. Council isn’t a business – and the difference between business and government is one Ford’s run afoul of before.

Doug Ford was elected *provincially". He was rejected by Toronto in 2014, and lost the city both by ridings and total vote to the NDP in this election. He should worry about his own job and not meddle in the affairs of other governments.

“flatwater.. flatearth commented 37 mins ago
Andrew… So it sounds to me by the spin that you applied to your lasts post is that you’re agreeing with the rest of us saying that the cuts were a good idea and the counsellors that are left have obviously been hand-picked and more qualified for the job based on the work history of the public servants.. "

I’m apathetic to the reduction in and of itself. My objection is primarily the timing of it. Put it to referendum so it’s actually democratic, and for the next cycle so the City can actually do it properly, and I really have no concerns. Having lived in a chairwarmer’s ward (Palacio) I can’t really get too upset to see him gone, as he inevitably will be as a Ford-allied conservative in a riding where Ford got 16% of the vote.
commented 2018-08-02 14:05:54 -0400
Joanne, it’s refreshing to see a politician do what they say they will while on the campaign trail, we need to hold elected officials to higher standard instead of what’s been happening for decades.
commented 2018-08-02 13:59:14 -0400
TAMMIE PUTINSKI-ZANDBELT
Isn’t it great to see someone actually doing what they said they would do! Hopefully people will see what is supposed to happen and start holding these politicians to their campaign promises.
commented 2018-08-02 13:50:16 -0400
Andrew… So it sounds to me by the spin that you applied to your lasts post is that you’re agreeing with the rest of us saying that the cuts were a good idea and the counsellors that are left have obviously been hand-picked and more qualified for the job based on the work history of the public servants.. The counsellors left were probably the ones doing the work of the dead wood anyway and the ones that were cut we’re considered fluff or “deadwood” and like any private/efficient sector would be let go the moment they do not produce more then they earn..!! Good for you Andrew that you have finally seen the light.
commented 2018-08-02 13:36:50 -0400
I don’t see a reason to wait, this bloated council doesn’t get much done in a timely manner….too many chefs in the kitchen. If council was a business, there would be firings.
Doug campaigned and won on reducing government waste & size, eliminating inefficiencies etc…he is the Premier and is implementing the plan to carry this out.
commented 2018-08-02 12:16:49 -0400
If it’s such a great idea, it will still be great in 2022, and implementing it then will be much more orderly and organized than trying to rebuild a central piece of a massive organization in a matter of a few months, in the middle of an election. There is absolutely no advantage to putting it in for this cycle, unless you’re Doug Ford and still upset about losing the mayor election in 2014.

Of course, by 2022, Toronto will be approaching parity in its wards and by 2026, with parity achieved and another Federal redistricting implemented, they will be basically identical to today, removing this argument entirely. Further.
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