The Economist reports, Toronto city council has succumbed to political gridlock

Well the Economist newspaper has published a listing of our mayors trips and falls and thrown in a bit about our detached from necessity city council, for all the world to see.

Not to paste up everything we have all followed and endured with the council of shambles, the blog has pasted below some insight – as the Economist usually injects into its stories some real information and ideas about our city.

 

excerpt of insight from the article below full article here

But some of his fellow councillors want Mr Ford to step aside temporarily to curtail the uncertainty at city hall. The council could call a by-election or appoint a temporary mayor. Mr Ford’s term has been “a constant sideshow of litigation, gaffes and a distracting focus on high-school football,” said Josh Matlow, who represents a central ward. If the city council is to deal with Toronto’s problems, “this circus” must come to an end, he added.

Stand on the platform at St Andrew subway station in the city centre and Toronto’s problems are evident. The walls are grimy, and sections of vinyl panelling are missing. Renovations begun in 2009 are unfinished. Chronic underfunding of an overburdened public-transport network, and the council’s lengthy wrangling over a new plan have created a shabby and truncated subway that is unfit for the world-class metropolis Toronto claims to be. Although several new light-rail lines funded by Ontario’s provincial government are being built, the lack of public transport means that more than 70% of Torontonians with jobs drive to work. They face longer journey times than commuters in car-obsessed Los Angeles.

A second problem is that, whereas Chicago and other American cities have turned their waterfronts into attractive, accessible public areas, Toronto’s is hidden by a wall of apartment towers and separated from the city by an elevated expressway. Last year Mr Ford withdrew the city’s support for a redevelopment plan endorsed by the previous council as well as the provincial and federal governments, which both own parcels of lakefront land. He wanted to replace a proposed park with a mega-mall and a giant Ferris wheel. After much debate and delay, the city has reverted to the original plan.

Toronto still ranks highly on international lists of desirable places to live. But its politicians’ inability to come to grips with its problems is alienating some admirers. Richard Florida, an American urban guru who moved to Toronto in 2007, says the city is now “a more divided and contentious place, its once enviable social cohesion at risk, a growing split pitting downtown against the suburbs”.

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