The case against Rob Ford's cancellation of Transit City
"Rumours of Transit City's death have been greatly exaggerated," Joe Mihevc told a scrum of reporters earlier today at City Hall. The confident proclamation comes after the Toronto city councillor solicited legal advice on whether or not Mayor Rob Ford had the authority to cancel unilaterally the transportation plan put forward by the Miller administration when he first took office over a year ago. In a nutshell, the legal document contained below puts forward the argument that only city council itself has the power to take such action. According to Mihevc, "the mayor was speaking for himself and no one else."
So what was the last plan that city council did approve? Why, Transit City, of course. Contrary to claims that council never approved the plan that Ford cancelled, Mihevc and his lawyer contend that there is a record of votes on Miller's LRT-based project. "Transit City came to Council as part of the Climate Change, Clean Air and Sustainable Energy Action Plan in 2007," reads the report. "After that, City Council considered and voted on the necessary elements of the program as they came before Council. The process was granular, because this is how City Council does its work."
You can peruse the document below for a closer look at the legalese, but perhaps what's most interesting about today's news — if it can really be called that — is the timing. Coming just a week after Karen Stintz and other councillors have started to push for transit plan based on compromise, Mihevc's entrance into the fray might lead Ford to dig his heels in even further on his vision for underground transit.
Or not — it's not as if he sounded amenable to changing course in the first place, after all. And based on the general trend around city council, perhaps this legal backing will embolden Mihevc's fellow councillors to demand that transit planning be put back on council's agenda. Stranger things have happened.
Transit City Legal Advice
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