The politics of water

The Toronto Community Housing building at 5 Bellevue went without water this weekend, and politicians were quick to respond. Frances Nunziata, Chiara Padovani, and Lekan Olawoye each had a role, and all of it played out on Twitter.

Padovani’s and Olawoye’s teams came with bottled water for angry residents, and Padovani called for the Lions’ Pool to be opened so people could shower.

Meanwhile, Frances Nunziata was working behind the scenes.

Our office was made aware of the situation at 5 Bellevue Crescent on Saturday and immediately contacted Toronto Community Housing (TCH) to ensure that water was being provided to residents, and that staff were onsite to assist vulnerable residents by bringing water to their units and checking on their well-being.

When it was stated yesterday that the water may not be back on until today, Councillor Nunziata contacted senior management from TCH to express the urgency in getting repairs made so that residents would have access to water. …

As a result of these actions, last night the water was up and running again, one day earlier than TCH had originally promised.

With respect to Ms. Padovani’s comments – Councillors do not have the authority to open a pool. That being said, if there was reason to believe the disruption to water service was going to last longer than it did, Councillor Nunziata would have contacted the appropriate staff to make arrangements. She has done this in the past

And her tweet was a zinger:

I love it. This round goes to Nunziata.

The results are in

The results of our completely unscientific election poll are in, and, though they are very unreliable, they remain interesting.

Votes for councillor

Chiara Padovani leads by a large margin in the race for councillor, trouncing incumbent Frances Nunziata by more than 2.5 votes to 1.  Your correspondent thinks that this margin of victory is proof that the survey is unscientific—but it does show a huge amount of support for the challenger.

John Tory, surprisingly to my mind, has much support, beating Jennifer Keesmat handily in our straw polls. I would have thought that Padovani supporters also supported Keesmat, but this isn’t entirely so; almost half of them supported Tory. (Nunziata’s supporters were much more likely to support him.)

Westonian Saron Gebresellassi, who was, until Keesmat entered the race, one of very few serious candidates for the mayoralty, looks likely to lose. She received only 10% of your votes.

Whether it is because people vote for candidates they know, or because of the ever-changing boundaries, I couldn’t say, but Frank Di Giorgio and Lekan Olayowe pulled only 3% each. Both Di Giorgio and Olayowe had been candidates in Ward 12 before the on-again, off-again amalgamation.

As you were – it’s Ward 5 again.

Nobody ever said that Toronto politics was dull. Yesterday after getting judicially spanked for re-arranging Toronto Council’s seats, Premier Doug Ford went nuclear. He used the ‘Notwithstanding Clause’ contained in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms; originally designed to hold confederation together during constitutional impasses. Under the clause, provinces can declare a law too important for it to be judged as unconstitutional.

The NC was designed to be used in exceptional circumstances; not in anger, petulance or bloody mindedness. What Ford has done is something like finding that there are no seats in a subway car and pulling the emergency cord; someone forgot the pepperoni on his pizza so he phoned 911 (insert your own meme here).

Ford actually dissed the judge yesterday on the basis that judges are unelected and this one, Edward Belobaba was tainted, having been appointed by Premier McGuinty (actually it was Paul Martin). What’s worrying is that Ford seems likely during his time as premier to take any actions he deems necessary in order to get his way. The possibilities are frightening.

The Legislature will meet tomorrow to begin the process of passing Bill 5 once again. So, barring a mutiny of MPPs, or a blockade of the Legislature, we’re going to be back to 25 seats, gerrymandered (thanks to being out of date) to favour the suburbs rather than downtown. Our new Ward 5, using the York South-Weston boundaries will once again feature a showdown between decades long incumbents Frank Di Giorgio and Frances Nunziata  pitted against new main challengers, Lekan Olayowe and Chiara Padovani.

Ain’t democracy great?