Toronto councillors are going to have a debate about the types of revenue tools the city should support for expanding transit in the region, despite prior efforts by Mayor Rob Ford to scuttle that discussion.
Coun. John Parker moved a motion today calling for council to remove a city manager's report from the hands of the executive committee, so that councillors could debate it at the current meeting.
In a 27-13 vote, councillors voted to bring that report forward and put it on the agenda. Mayor Rob Ford and his brother, Coun. Doug Ford, were among the 13 members who voted against the motion.
While the mayor's executive committee recently voted to defer consideration of the report, a number of councillors had made it clear they would fight to bring it forward.
Coun. Karen Stintz, who voted in favour of the motion, was pleased that council will have a chance to debate the report and its contents.
Stintz acknowledged that the outcome of the motion wasn't assured heading into the vote.
"You never know, you never count your votes until the buttons are pressed," she said Tuesday.
Five councillors were absent at the time of the vote on the motion.
Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti said that he believed the councillors who were absent, as well as others who voted in favour of the motion have some explaining to do.
"I think that if there’s a time for the mayor and his team to come together, it’s around these kinds of votes," he said.
"And I think there are individuals that need to come clean with why they either disappeared from the chamber or voted with the left on this issue and they’re part of the mayor's team."
Coun. Doug Ford questioned if some of the people who voted in favour of the motion will ultimately support implementing revenue tools to build transit.
"Debate is one thing, voting for new taxes is another thing," he told reporters Tuesday.
The chart below shows the councillors who voted for and against the motion, as well as those who were absent for the vote: