At today’s brief session of Toronto City Council, Frances Nunziata was the only nominee as Speaker and she was elected unanimously by her colleagues in a recorded vote. Similarly, Councillor Shelley Carroll was also the sole nominee and unanimous choice for Deputy Speaker.
Some random observations from today’s opening session:
Council opened with an acknowledgement that Treaty 13 granted settlement rights over the land that covers Toronto and lands to the north. The money paid for the quarter of a million acres or so? Ten shillings (nowadays 50p or 84 cents). Even taking inflation into account it’s less than $40.
Only four new councillors were elected in Toronto’s 25 wards.
Councillor Jim Karygiannis is a very tall man.
Mayor John Tory seemed to be nursing a bad back as he walked into the ceremony with some difficulty. In his opening day speech he mentioned:
- We don’t need to be divisive to do our job – possibly a dig at the Premier.
- Toronto is Ontario’s financial engine – a message for both the Premier and Prime Minister
- We need to keep taxes low and spend money carefully – more austerity coming
- Land transfer tax revenues are falling – more austerity coming
- Toronto needs to be a more liveable city (whatever that means).
Everyone was on their best behaviour today with lots of hugs, handshakes and nice words. We’ll see how long that lasts with the new, smaller and more intimate Council.