Whats Going on at City Hall

Toronto City Hall from Sheraton hotel room

Image via Wikipedia

Quite a lot has been happening at Toronto city hall. The three main things are the cutting of councilors expenses, the removal of the car tax and the move to make the TTC an essential service.

The first “Victory” of the day for Mayor Ford was the removal of the vehicle tax that added $60 to your fees every time you updated your license plates on your car. The concerns from many councilors was that he reason the tax was brought in was because the city was short of money. This made many citizens happy because they now don’t have to pay a tax. A tax that no one really had to pay anyways.

The next was a the cut of city councilors expenses by $20,000. That’s quite a lot isn’t it. Well it used to be $50,000. That’s more than lots of people make in a year. Just for things they might have to spend money on while doing their jobs. The reason it was cut was because people had been complaining about the over spending going on with expenses because councilors had been claiming things that weren’t business related. The cut could be a good thing because now councilors will be spending less. Or will they? Perhaps more councilors will start spending everything they are allowed to spend instead of what they used to, just to make things awkward.

The final act was to pass a motion to make the TTC an essential service. This is one of Mayor Ford’s big election campaign promises. Of course what he failed to mention was that city council cannot actually decide whether the TTC becomes an essential service but they can make a recommendation to the provincial government that it should become one. If the TTC became an essential service it would mean that they can’t go on strike and must always continue service, even during labour disputes. This doesn’t mean that they can’t go on work-to-rule which means they can slow down service and things like that. Although many transit riders will say they wouldn’t notice anyways.

Those are the main things that have been happening so far with the new council. Lets hope it stays good. All you people outside Toronto. Wish us luck.

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