Toronto city councillors will have their first chance to wade into the Toronto Community Housing scandal this week.
A vote to sweep clean the TCHC board and start the process to find new members is expected to be on the agenda when city council meets Tuesday.
Seven civilian members of the TCHC board resigned last week after Mayor Rob Ford called on them to quit. Two directors elected by the tenants and some city councillors remain on the board.
Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday said a “clean sweep” of the board by council is crucial.
“The public has lost confidence in this group,” he said Sunday. “(Taxpayers) want a clean sweep.”
Holyday acknowledged the tenant representatives and the councillors, who were just appointed in December, could be reappointed to the new board.
Councillors John Parker and Frances Nunziata have volunteered to resign but expressed interest in returning after new board members are selected. Councillors Maria Augimeri and Raymond Cho have not volunteered their resignations.
“It is only fair we take everyone on council off as well,” Holyday said. “The public is irate over what has happened and rightfully so.”
Adrienne Batra, the mayor’s press secretary, said Ford still wants a clean sweep.
“The mayor is committed to a fresh start in order to restore public confidence in the TCHC,” she said.
Although the questionable procurement practices and inappropriate expenses highlighted in the auditor general’s reports happened before the Ford administration took over, it the first scandal the new council has had to deal with under his leadership.
Some councillors, while still condemning TCHC’s practices, have criticized Ford for being too heavy-handed.
But Holyday said taking “stern action” is needed to show the new council “means business.”
Councillor Josh Matlow added the sweep will help Torontonians, especially TCHC tenants, regain confidence in the corporation.
“When there is clear evidence of such thoughtless expenditures of taxpayers’ money, the buck stops with the board,” he said. “The board needs to be accountable.”
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