Councillor says male-dominated Toronto executive committee isolating

A Toronto city councillor believes the composition of the mayor’s executive committee has nothing to do with gender balance, but everything to do with alliances.

This week, Toronto City Coun. Michelle Berardinetti resigned from Mayor Rob Ford’s executive committee. Some suggested that Berardinetti’s departure would diminish the perspective of women councillors on the committee. However, she explained that she wanted to be able to vote freely on issues in council.

Coun. Adam Vaughan believes that the number of women on executive committee is just one of a number of problems with the current composition of the committee.

“There are a number of issues not only the amount of women on the board,” Vaughan said. “There is no one he disagrees with … He is a mayor that fundamentally believes in isolating himself and when issues require collaboration it’s his way or the highway.”

Coun. Janet Davis said having just one woman on the committee doesn’t look good.

“It looks as though the mayor is suggesting all men to be on the committee,” she said. “That is a sad reflection of the representation that should be there on the executive committee.”

As well as having gender balance, Davis also thinks the committee should represent different views and areas of the city.

“It needs to be a balanced committee that is representative of different points of views and geographic areas of the city,” Davis said.

Vaughan also thinks that Mayor Ford’s approach to the structure of the committee can be counterproductive.

“A good mayor works with everybody on council,” he said. “His ability to work with others is his biggest drawback and he just doesn’t know how to do it and as a result he finds himself losing more votes than any other mayor I’ve ever seen.”