Frances Nunziata’s rightward tilt

How conservative is Frances Nunziata? She was besties with Rob Ford , who drove a mammoth Cadillac Escalade. She, however, drove a Prius. Fire-breather or tree-hugger? Morebucks or Warbucks? The answer has eluded me.

Here, then, for your edification are Frances Nunziata’s votes from the last city budget. Right-wing votes to cut spending are, naturally, Conservative blue. Left-wing votes to increase funding are NDP orange.


I only counted votes about actual money; a lot of City Council votes are asking a staffer to write a report about whether to spend money later. I ignored them.

My unscientific impression of the results: Nunziata isn’t as left-wing as  would like, but she’s more middle of the road than I had assumed.

Nunziata’s lottery motion gets the nod

Frances Nunziata’s half-baked plan to have a Toronto lottery took its first step toward the windmill this week when City Council voted 28: 16 in favour of asking city staff to pretend like they don’t already know what the answer is going to be.

Council asked staff to prepare a report on “the revenue potential of a City of Toronto lottery and the legislative changes that would be required”.

Butterfly garden volunteers needed.

1An astonishing 74 species of butterfly live in Toronto all year round, and many more are summertime visitors.

Patricia Videla has been trying to get a butterfly garden started in Weston, and has recently had news to set my heart aflutter: the city has given the first go-ahead.

To get the plan off the ground, she needs

  • Five volunteers
  • Some corporate donors
  • A volunteer landscape designer, perhaps a student from a landscape design class
  • A plan for maintaining it.

If you’re interested in being part of the kick-off team, email

Pearen Rink closed until next year

The yeomen at Pearen Park have thrown in the skates for the year.  Simon Chamberlain says, “Overall, many more hours were spent trying to make ice than those spent actually skating.”

The volunteers at Pearen Park are big-hearted, community-minded civic leaders. They build and maintain the rink every year, lend out skates, and teach all comers (and newcomers) one of the joys of winter. Last year and this were pretty dismal, however, with warm weather and few skating days.

Chamberlain has exciting news about that, “we are hoping for a better season next year, and also exploring options for creating a more reliable, artificially-cooled rink.”

Satin Finish meeting coming up

Frances Nunziata’s email circular says that the Satin Finish developers will be having an open house on March 2 between 7 and 9 pm at Weston Memorial.

The developers will have a lot to answer for: they’re quintupling the density, destroying the historic building, and increasing traffic on a busy street.

Hussen is not answering questions

Ahmed Hussen; our MP and the Minister of Immigration, Citizenship and Refugees; is facing tough questions in the press and in Parliament—and he’s avoiding them with repetitive answers of Liberal talking points.

On February 9, Hélène Laverdière, NDP, asked Hussen about refugees entering Canada from the USA. Hussen responded with an irrelevant response about Canadian refugee statistics.

this year alone, we will welcome 40,000 refugees in Canada. That includes 25,000 resettled refugees, which is double the number that the previous government welcomed.

Laverdière, unimpressed, said “Mr. Speaker, that was not really what I asked, but whatever.”

A day later, Michelle Rempel, CPC, asked Hussen about the terminated Iranian LGBT refugee program. Hussen’s response was almost exactly the same as the day before—even though the question could not have been more different.

this year we welcomed 40,000 refugees. That includes 25,000 resettled refugees, which is double what the previous government brought….and that obviously includes members of the LGBTQ2 community.

Rempel wasn’t pleased either: “The minister did not answer the question.” She is right: the question was one sentence and perfectly clear: “why has the government ended the practice of prioritizing persecuted Iranian LGBT as refugees to Canada?”

It’s an important question, too.

But it gets weirder.

When, both times, he was called out on his non-answers, he responded:

We will take no lessons from those parties on our record.

We will take no lessons from the previous government

I have no idea what is going on here. Hussen is new to the portfolio—but the portfolio has rarely been so important. Repeating Liberal talking points does no one favours, least of all the refugees in peril. An honest answer—even if it’s uncertain—is better than a non-answer.

It’s not that Liberals are being forbidden to respond; after Hussen floundered, Ralph Goodale provided a succinct answer to another of Laverdière’s questions; he said the MP in the riding has been in touch with the complainant, and he would follow up.

Police ask again for help finding wanted man

12 Division police are again asking for help finding a wanted man.

Corey Stephens, 29, is alleged to have been involved in an argument in the Jane and Lawrence area late at night last October 2. He is alleged to have stabbed the other man repeatedly and is wanted for attempted murder, among other charges.

Corey Stephens
Corey Stephens