Last week I wrote about the dispute over freezing Toronto City Councillor pay. It seems it’s nothing more than a symbolic move, saving the city about $90,000 (a bit less than the annual salary of a councillor).
The Toronto Star offers up a debate between Councillor Joe Mihevc, who is against the freeze, and Councillor Case Ootes, who proposed the pay freeze. It’s worth reading.
The Star also highlights three significant issues (at least to Toronto City Council) to be debated today and tomorrow:
Yonge subway: Toronto will likely endorse a $2.4 billion project to extend the Yonge subway line into Richmond Hill, but not without first imposing conditions to ease chronic overcrowding on that section of the system.
Playground smoking ban: Council will consider whether to ban smoking within nine metres of a city playground, splash pad or wading pool. While officials say enforcement will be only on a complaints basis, officials argue just having a ban will have an impact. Violators would face a fine of $305.
Snow clearing: Given how much snow has fallen this winter, councillors are sure to debate the city’s snow-clearing rules.
And on this Budget Day, where the Conservatives are promising a $4-billion Infrastructure Stimulus Fund in advance of announcing the actual budget (an unusual but sly political maneuver), Toronto is looking for $6 billion in capital funding for Transit City – its plan to augment public transit with a light-rail network.