That time Rob Ford voted to create Transit City

Tuesday morning, at a Queen’s Park media scrum, Mayor Rob Ford declared, “As you know, there was never a vote on council for Transit City, and if there was I’d like to see that.”

Well, Rob.  Okay.

At its meeting of July 16–19, 2007 — four months after Mayor Miller and TTC Chair Giambrone unveiled Transit City at a press conference — City Council voted to set the plan in motion.  As part of the “Climate Change, Clean Air and Sustainable Energy Action Plan,” Council adopted the following [pdf, p. 8]:

… that City Council direct the initiation of appropriate environmental and engineering studies for the Transit City plan and request the General Manager of the Toronto Transit Commission to submit to Executive Committee in 2007 a schedule for the completion of aforementioned studies and a financial plan including funding sources and revenue tools.

That’s about as unambiguous as these things tend to get. In this context, “studies” refers not to exploratory reports but rather to formal documents that are required to proceed with a major project of this nature.

The final vote on the Climate Change Plan (of which the above was a component) was a unanimous 37-0, with Councillor Ford being present and voting in favour [pdf, p. 29]:

Although it was only one part of a much larger report, it’s not as though the whole Climate Change Plan was simply rubber-stamped, with Transit City just sneaking in there.  The meeting minutes indicate that eight different members of Council (Pantalone, Del Grande, Rae, Minnan-Wong, Walker, Carroll, Davis, and Lindsay Luby) put forward motions to amend various aspects of the Climate Plan, which suggests that councillors had scrutinized the report and knew what it contained before they voted on it.  If anyone had any objections to Transit City, they didn’t put them forward on the record.

Was this a substitute for a full debate on Transit City? No, it wasn’t.  Nor does this by itself mean that Council approval would now be required to change direction.  But if it’s a question of moral authority — as it has been framed — then, yes, City Council as a whole (including Rob Ford) signed off on Transit City.


  1. Really? That’s your vote on the “debate” on Transfer City?


  2. Jonathan,

    Thank you for doing some due diligence which neither Rob Ford  nor his staff seem able to preform for themselves.  Is lying or ignorance respectful of the tax payer?  I think it’s so important to have somebody digging into the FACTS on the sweeping statements made to date. Thanks. 

  3. Not to mention the various votes to approve the capital and operating budgets which include these projects.

  4. I’m sorry but this is not a council vote on building transit city. It is clearly a vote directing those involved to do the necessary EVA and engineering studies studies as required by any similar initiative. And quite often, once the results come back the project never moves forward.

    Let’s be clear there would need to be a council vote ‘after’ receipt of these reports approving transit city to be started. Or instructing staff and TTC to proceed with implementation of the plan. Please show me that.

  5. And in January 2009, Council explicitly voted that Transit City should be considered its top priority, ahead of the proposed Yonge Subway extension. Ford voted for the amendment adding this to a larger motion on the subway proposal, and voted for the total package.

    See on my site.

  6. I would hope that if taxpayers were on the hook for contract cancellations nearing 1/2 a billion that council will have to get in involved.

  7. Council also voted by huge margins to approve the environmental assessments for all of the funded projects. This is the formal decision point where Council determines the specific details of how a project be will be built.

  8. @Jeff…..Thank you Jeff.  Finally someone that can think clearly!

    Man these ppl sure do like to jump all over a man, that is going to save them 60 BUCKS on their car tax, NOT RAISE THEIR PROPERTY TAX and Finally build subways, which should have been build all these 50 F**kin years!

    I am so sick and tired of sheeple that bought and keep buying into Al Gore’s
    Man Made Global Warming propaganda!  These ppl must have the genetic gene of the ostridge.  WAKE UP PPL…….google search and you will see that USA Congress is investigating Al Gore with their own team of scientists that debunk Gore’s fraudulent Fear Mongering.  Look up the hacker that found emails with proof, that GW is not happening and the evidence was buried by Gore’s cronies.

    Transit City was decided upon bcos of Al Gore’s Fear Mongering, which was created for his own personal profit.  Heck, there’s even tons of info about him becoming a Billionaire, thats right, a Billionaire on the carbon tax.  And all at the expense of taxpayers world wide!

    Transit City is the WORST PLAN yet that these sheeple politicians have come up with to date.
    I am ecstatic that it is dead.  Send those iconic streetcars where they belong and that is to clunker heaven, once and for all.  We out grew pioneer village and don’t want to go back.

    Focus on getting our HYDRO lowered.  It was raised bcos of this GW hoax!
    Geeze Louise, have any of you bothered to see what employees of Hydro get paid? Don’t be swayed by the glorified titles for their job description.  They are merely meter men, personnel clerks, accountants etc.  AND HYRO IS FULL OF NEPOTISM!  Tell me you won’t be shocked when you click on that link below.   The private sectors pay less than half for the same work!  Check out what the high end guys get and the perks.

    It boggles my mind that ppl want to pick on the only man in politics that is looking at ways to save you monies, since we have all been taxed to the point of tears to build and spend on special interests groups, and all you do is make cheap shots about his weight, his choice of verbage and the fact that he has the moxie to forge ahead with the only sensible, long term cost effective, PERMANENT solution for ALL commuters. 
    Check out Calgary’s LRT nightmare.  Read the forums and see what the people have to say.  Do you really want that for our community/caring ppl city/province?

    Come on fellow Torontonians… we really need to keep spending and spending on everything other than finally going full steam ahead with subways?  Wouldn’t it be grand to get rid of HST, cut hydro in half, cut property taxes in half (which also means lower rent), which means a grander life for all concerned.  Not to knock Miller, but did you see all the multi-millions allocated to things that can wait. 
    ie:  hockey rink down at Queens Quay, extra libraries, streetscape etc. (I can’t find the link that showed all the expensive Miller plans and costs, maybe you can find it. And there are contracts to build!)

    Ridiculous, just ridiculous and who pays for all this……WE DO.  How?  By increasing taxes until there is no more to give, that’s how!  Mommy, can I have a sled for Christmas?  No.  Why, bcos the special interest groups want, want, want and mommy has to pay more taxes, so that they can have and not you!
    Nice, real nice.

    And what about all these refugees/immigrants that are limousine driven to all the top paying social service departments and fine housing, while our own people do without!  Why do you not b*tch about that?  Canada, after World War II was full of refugee/immigrants.  They did not have this luxury and they survived.  They worked very hard and built themselves up without all these hand outs!  We have Canadians that are really ill or seniors that have no decent food or place to live, and they don’t get this Royal Expensive Treatment.   Enough already!  Enough!

    It’s time to look at the big picture.  We have been taxed to death.  It’s time to stop.  It’s time for a reality check.  If special interest groups want an ice-rink or a hockey rink, let the private sector build it.
    Take up donations.  But leave our taxes alone!

    Our priority should be getting people home safe, fast, warm in the winters, cool in the summers and the only way to accomplish that is via subways…..period.

    Sorry for the Rant, but it had to be said.

  9. p.s. Missy, you want to stop spending, yet build subways? Um, it makes no sense.. do you realize this? Back to math class for you (and for Ford)!

  10. Ah, Rob Ford. An indifferent, even ignorant, bull-in-a-china-shop Councilor and now an over-confident, but still ignorant, windbag of a Mayor.

    P.S. Why does the delusional “MISSY” read like a resentful middle-aged libertarian dude? Is “she” another fabrication like “@QueensQuayKaren”?

  11. Add up the St. Clair nightmare with the cost of the Eglinton LRT future nightmare, cancel those damn expensive, useless, health hazard windmills & solar panels and you got enough monies to build subways.
    And Stop McGuinty from spending on the stupidest of things, then flip flopping all over the place and re-spending again.
    You do your own math.  All you want to do is ban car use period.

    This tells me you people are in 9-5 types of over paid government jobs.  
    You are so IGNORANT of the fact that most of the tax paying public work in the private sector and need their cars to eek out a living.  We don’t have unions gouging YOUR taxes to give us a job.

    Wait until this over bloated government is cut down to size and you need to find work in the private sector, which will require a car.  Then we’ll talk.

    Easy to act superior when you don’t need the road to earn a living like most of the people do.  

    Think of ways of moving jobs OUT OF THE CITY and into the burbs everyone is coming from to work downtown……but I guess that solution would be to easy.  Better to destroy our roads with nightmare LRT’s which in the long run, only create more problems than they are worth.

    Subways are the only way to go.  End of story.

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