Morning Brew: Paula Fletcher wants the chance to de-amalgamate, Pennachetti says City's proposed cuts would only save $29-million, Holyday proposes DVP toll lanes, the Bike City that could have been, and a rap luv song for Rob Ford
De-amalgamation? Could that really happen? City councillor Paula Fletcher sure hopes so. She believes the current budget debate reflects that the unification of Toronto, York, East York, Scarborough, Etobicoke and North York (you know, those places the downtown elite wouldn't dare travel) doesn't work. But don't get too excited, there's a catch with Fletcher's proposal: for some reason, every other municipality in Ontario can request a de-amalgamation except Toronto. Fletcher plans to ask council to endorse a request that the province allow Toronto the same rights as other municipalities in this regard.
Apparently, despite all the hoopla, the city's proposed cuts would save the city only $29-million, according to city manager Joe Pennachetti. This is a far cry from Pennachetti's earlier prediction that the cuts would have saved $100-million, but that was before our mayor got cold feet and backed down from many of them. So it looks like the gap will be filled by more buyouts and layoffs, a hike in property tax, and user fee increases.
Or maybe road tolls! Well, it's actually unclear where the revenue generated from a strategy would go, but Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday proposed the idea of adding toll lanes to the DVP. Although the mayor is opposed to road tolls in general, Holyday speculated that becuase they wouldn't occupy the entire expressway, perhaps it might be something that he'd consider. Stranger things have happened, but council wasn't exactly thrilled with the idea. What do you think?
Did you know that Toronto was once touted as North America's top cycling city by cyclist advocates? Okay, so that was back in the late '70s, and the city's obviously lost that title, but a post in Spacings by Fred Sztabinksi wonders what could have been...
Ever wanted to pen a love song to Rob Ford? Who hasn't, right? Well, there's (lengthy) one going around the web now called "luv song for rob ford." I think it works best as a rap song myself.
Photo by Cobby17 in the blogTO Flickr pool
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