Gloat gloat, oink oink.
Studies show that although privatizing garbage pick-up may initially save money, it will cost much more in the long run.
Councillors were not shown any solid numbers to convince them to support privatizing, but the majority voted to do so. Are the councillors just imbeciles, or are they being bribed (or threatened)?
But, all may not be lost:
Councillor Ana Bailão’s successful motion requiring the city manager
to conduct an “independent review” of private bids — to verify they
would be cheaper than city collection —means the vote is “not a defeat
at all,” Ferguson insisted.
“I believe that once real and true
and verifiable numbers are brought back to this council, that the facts
will win the day and fury will take a back seat.”
Council also defied Ford 23-21 in favour of Councillor Josh Matlow’s
motion to ban Progressive Waste Solutions from bidding on the contract.
The company recently hired Geoff Rathbone, the city waste manager who
And, facing a revolt by council
centrists, the mayor announced Tuesday morning he was dropping a staff
recommendation that, after council approved the tender process, a staff
committee — rather than council — be allowed to award the actual
Councillor Sarah Doucette, who voted
against the measure, expressed dismay that private companies sometimes
provide no pensions and few sick days. Doucette said she needed more
information from the city before she could be convinced that outsourcing
was a prudent fiscal decision.
“I don’t know if it’s going to save us anything, because I haven’t seen the correct numbers,” Doucette said.
Those who voted for fiscal prudence and quality work and against increasing long-term costs for Toronto:
Anthony Perruzza, Maria Augimeri, Sarah Doucette, Gord Perks, Mike Layton, Adam Vaughan, Joe Mihevc, Kristyn Wong-Tam,
Pam McConnell, Mary Fragedakis, Paula Fletcher, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker
Those who voted to waste more money on the whim of their exalted leader: everyone else on the council.
By day’s end, the mayor’s main item passed, yes, by a large majority. But the effect of the amendments, in my opinion, is that it will make it very difficult for staff to craft a bid request conforming to council’s demands that will also stand up to a lawsuit. (And note: if the city is tied up in litigation with potential or wannabe bidders, they will likely be unable to award a contract—though, of course I’m not a lawyer…)
They also place some unattractive restrictions on the contract for potential contractors, and ensure that the whole thing has to come back to council for another fight later (if and when a winning bid is identified), and the bid has to bring with it actual numbers that show that the contract will save as much money and be as environmentally sound as Ford and staff have claimed it will be. The result of that possible vote is very much an open question.
The mayor and his team were very quick to declare victory, trying to spin a horrible day for them as a win. And to some of the municipal garbage collectors who filled the gallery in fear of their jobs, it probably looked like Ford beat them—after all, their jobs are not safe, and the city is seeking bidders to take them.
But given that less than 12 hours earlier, the Ford Juggernaut was poised to settle the issue for good by signing the matter over to staff, and now this fight lives on, in more complicated ways, for weeks and months—possibly many months—to come. Well, that’s as close to a loss as Ford has yet suffered. And it ain’t over yet.