Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Poor David Miller, I bet William Lyon Mackenzie never had to deal with this sort of diva-ish bullshit, it's called childish in the article, but I've never seen children behave so badly on class photo day. I can't believe those supposedly fiscally responsible right wing councillors cost us all 1000+ dollars.
Squabbling scuttles council photo
Feb 06, 2007 11:44 AM
CITY HALL BUREAU
Toronto's new city council isn't yet picture perfect.
Plans to take a formal portrait of the new council were cancelled this morning after the councillors squabbled over who should sit where.
Left-wing councillors blamed several right wingers -- including Mike Del Grande, Case Ootes and Denzil Minnan-Wong -- for refusing to take the photographer's direction and sit where they were asked.
Councillor Kyle Rae described the incident as the "lowest depth of childishness."
"It was like watching a 3-year-old have a temper tantrum," he said.
For their part, the right-wing councillors accused Mayor David Miller of having a "hissy fit" over the disagreement and abruptly cancelling the 9 a.m. photo shoot.
In past years, seating for the council's photo has been organized on the spot, with the mayor and deputies front and centre, and other councillors arranged roughly in order of height.
This year, the plan was to have the new executive committee in the front row flanking the mayor, with a few other key councillors -- such as Speaker Sandra Bussin and budget chief Shelley Carroll -- in the second row, right behind the mayor.
The city's communications and protocol staff had worked out a detailed plan for the photo on that basis, with each councillor assigned a specific slot.
But some councillors sat or stood where they wanted, and refused to move when shown the photo plan, according to other councillors.
When they refused to move, Miller cancelled the session. A city photographer had been booked but additional equipment rentals ran to "at least $1,000" for the aborted shoot, city spokesperson Brad Ross said.
Councillor David Shiner blamed Miller for the fiasco.
"It was very childish and no way to provide leadership to this council, to storm off because you can't have the people sit where you think they should sit in the picture," Shiner said.
But Councillor Howard Moscoe said the recalcitrant councillors, who form the main opposition to Miller, were to blame. A former elementary school teacher, he called their conduct "worthy of a Grade 6 class."
"They have the right to oppose, but it ought to be on issues, and it ought to be intelligent, thoughtful opposition," Moscoe said.
Minnan-Wong said he was never told there was a pre-arranged seating plan.
"No one asked me to move," he added.
However, Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker said Minnan-Wong and Ootes both refused when the photographer asked if one of them could move .
De Baeremaeker said he moved from one side of the group to the other when asked.