Toronto Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday is pleading with citizens to stop voting for so-called activists, unionists and cyclists after his bloc on council lost a key vote that will make it more difficult for the city to contract out cleaning services.
Council on Wednesday voted 29-12 to review a contract already awarded to clean police stations. Two other cleaning contracts will also now need council approval.
As a result of the vote, council will be given additional oversight on contracts, against the wishes of right-leaning Mayor Rob Ford and his allies, including Holyday. Contract proposals will now have to be approved by the government management committee and city council instead of a de-politicized bid committee comprised of staff.
"They're trying to stall us contracting out cleaning," said Holyday of the members who voted in favour of the additional oversight.
"They get down here because they win an NDP nomination to be a councillor, they owe their allegiance to the NDP and the unions and that's wrong, totally wrong."
Holyday said Wednesday there's no logical reason why the city pays its cleaners thousands more than those in the private sector.
'The right never had control of city hall'
The vote was the latest in a string of high-profiledefeats for the mayor and his allies in council. When asked by a reporter if the lost vote was a sign that the right has lost control of city hall, Holyday said: "The right never had control of city hall. There's no doubt about that."
Holyday said Ford has the political will to try and reduce employees and save costs.
"Now whether he controls enough votes on this council is another matter, but it's not his fault if he doesn't. People here were duly elected," he said.
"My advice to the taxpayer would be don't send us any more activists. Don't send us any more unionists. Don't send us any more cyclists. Send us some people down here with good common sense who just want to manage the city's affairs, that's what's needed."
Coun. Karen Stintz, a self-described fiscal conservative, was one of those who voted for additional council oversight – and against the Ford faction.
"When you think about [how] the combined savings of the cleaners equals the combined total of the bonuses to Build Toronto executives, it does make one pause and consider how exactly we are cutting the gravy at city hall," she said.