UPDATE: Mayor Ford attacks spending at his first executive meeting since rehab

The committee is debated Pan Am Games cost overruns, the future of Waterfront Toronto, and the city's response to the December ice storm

At his first executive committee meeting since returning from rehab, Mayor Rob Ford was back at it, bashing spending at city hall. 

Things got heated when the committee debated the future of Waterfront Toronto. Members approved a staff report that calls for a strategic waterfront review.

The agency recently announced that it is running out of money, meanwhile there has been outrage over the amount spent on umbrellas and large rocks at Sugar Beach.

Last week, councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong revealed that Waterfront Toronto spent almost $12,000 for each pink umbrella, and more than $500,000 for two artistic rocks.

"When I first heard about it, I thought it was a joke," mayor Ford said.

He used strong words before he voted against the review.

"This is an emergency that we have to take care of immediately," he said. "This is a cancer we must cut out because this is going south."

His brother was equally critical of the spending.

"That is ridiculous. That is the gravy train going full steam down the tracks," councillor Doug Ford said.

The committee also approved increasing the budget for two Pan Am Games projects that are costing more than the original estimates.

Staff say that the cost for a BMX track at Centennial Park has gone up from $1.5-million to $4.4-million. The extra money would be funded partly by the federal government and partly by savings found in the the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre project.

Then the committee approved spending $2.8-million on lighting up part of the Bloor viaduct, rather than $1.8-million.

Earlier in the meeting, a report on the city's response to the ice storm was approved. It lists recommendations on improving communication between Toronto Hydro and its customers, enhancing emergency staffing capacity, and more.

The items now go to council for final approval next week. 

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  1. tanjo posted on 07/02/2014 12:30 PM
    I have confidence that city council can do the right thing with or without Ford. But, Ford can sometimes pull off asking the "suicide" questions, the ones that need to be asked, but savvy councillors know to avoid. As long as he doesn't harp on them too much.
    1. Rob also tries posted on 07/02/2014 08:08 PM
      @tanjo Rob also tries to avoid the "suicide questions".
      So he has no need to be smug.
      He is one of them.
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