Council fills vacant spot on executive committee
Chris Fox and Chris Kitching, cp24.com
Published Wednesday, February 20, 2013 8:48AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 20, 2013 10:21PM EST
A vacant spot on Mayor Rob Ford’s executive committee has been filled.
After a lengthy debate Wednesday evening, city council voted 40-4 in favour of appointing Etobicoke North councillor Vincent Crisanti to the post.
The city's striking committee had recommended that Cristani be appointed to the role last week; however a majority vote from city council was needed to make his appointment official.
"It is an honour and a privilege to serve on the executive,” Crisanti told CP24 Wednesday night. “I share the same values as the mayor and I just look forward to moving the agenda forward.”
The opening at the executive table was created last month when Mike Del Grande resigned as budget chief and as a member of the executive committee.
Several councillors were rumoured to be interested in the job, including staunch Ford critic Adam Vaughan who publically campaigned for the post.
On Wednesday, Vaughan’s candidacy created quite a stir inside council chambers.
“Having Adam Vaughan on executive would be like bringing a bully to a bake sale,” Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti said. “He would put the brownies in his backpack.”
Vaughan had lobbied for appointment to the executive committee, suggesting that councillors from the city core were underepresented on the major decision making bodies at city hall while councillors from the mayor's Etobicoke neighbourhood were overrepresented.
Speaking with CP24 following the debate, Coun. Doug Ford said it is important that the members of executive committee share the mayor’s vision.
“Any mayor, no matter who the mayor is, should have the folks on the executive to drive the agenda that he was elected on,” he said.“You can’t have an obstructionist like Adam Vaughan on the executive. It’s counterintuitive.”
Road renamed after Jack Layton
Earlier on Wednesday, council voted unanimously in favour of renaming an east-end street in honour of the late Jack Layton.
With a 42-0 vote Wednesday afternoon, council changed the name of the Don Jail Roadway to Jack Layton Way.
The freshly renamed roadway will be officially opened with a ceremony at the corner of St. Matthew’s Road and Jack Layton Way at 12:15 p.m. Sunday.
Layton’s widow MP Olivia Chow will be in attendance along with Coun. Paula Fletcher.
“It’s got its new name today and on Sunday we will officially open that street and we are going to do it Jack Layton style,” Fletcher told CP24 Wednesday afternoon. “In Korea they do it Gangnam Style, but in Riverdale we do it Jack Layton style.”
A former Toronto city councillor and longtime leader of the federal NDP, Layton passed away in August 2011 after a brief battle with an undisclosed type of cancer.
Debate on youth anti-violence strategy pushed back
Council was scheduled to hear Coun. Josh Matlow’s motion calling on the city to develop a youth anti-violence strategy on Wednesday, however that matter was pushed back until Thursday’s meeting.
Matlow’s proposal contains recommendations that were contained in the Roots of Youth Violence report published in 2008.
Matlow wants the city to create a youth anti-racism plan and create community “hubs” and committees to make it easier for children and families to access recreation programs, while exploring additional anti-violence initiatives.
“Prevention is a very, very important piece and that is something that recreation plays an important part in, that’s something that child services plays an important role in and that’s something that education plays a part in,” Coun. Pam McConnell told CP24. “The role of the city is to facilitate the conversation. We know that in areas of the city we have some excellent programs for kids and we just have to make sure we get them young enough and involved enough that they don’t make bad decisions and don’t get influenced by the wrong people.”
Matlow’s call for a youth anti-violence strategy comes just days after a 15-year-old boy was fatally shot outside a Jamestown Crescent housing complex late Sunday night.
It was just the latest in a series of GTA shootings involving youth in recent weeks.
“We lost a young man, a 15-year-old in my community, and I think a lot more needs to be done,” Crisanti told CP24. “I look forward to the motion coming out.”
For instant breaking news, follow @CP24 on Twitter.