Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Cancel Anytime
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Mayor Rob Ford and his allies are vowing to keep fighting Toronto's controversial plastic-bag ban after an attempt to stop the prohibition failed Wednesday.

A majority of councillors voted to revisit the issue, but Mr. Ford's camp fell short of the two-thirds support it needed to reopen a decision council took just four months ago.

That means the bag ban should take effect as planned Jan. 1 – unless some elected officials try a procedural manoeuvre that would take council into "uncharted territory," according to the city's top lawyer.

Story continues below advertisement

"Hopefully we can kill it," Mr. Ford said late Wednesday. "That's what the majority of people want but right now we're in limbo."

Mr. Ford said he was frustrated that he was unable to stop the ban, but noted he was just three votes shy of reopening the debate.

"The issue isn't dead," Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti, an ally of the mayor, warned. "There are many of us that want this open and we will do whatever we can to re-open the issue."

Opponents have one last chance to kill the bag ban because of the hasty way it was passed.

Back in June, Councillor David Shiner, a conservative and member of the mayor's executive, tacked a surprise motion to ban single-use plastic bags as of Jan. 1, 2013 onto another item.

The prohibition passed, catching city legal staff off-guard.

Normally, a proposal like banning bags would wind its way through committee and public consultations before landing at council, giving the legal department time to draft a bylaw to enforce the provision.

Story continues below advertisement

In this case, the bylaw has to come forward separately, likely in November. When that happens, council could ask for a separate vote on the bylaw and kill it with a simple majority.

Wednesday's vote to re-open the ban was 27-18, an indication that Mr. Ford's side could have the votes necessary to block the bylaw.

City solicitor Anna Kinastowski said she could not predict what would happen if council refused to pass a bylaw enforcing its own ban.

"In my 10 years as city solicitor I've never seen it happen. I've never seen a bylaw not be approved," Ms. Kinastowski said.

"We'll have to deal with it. I'm not going to speculate on what can happen."

During a closed-door session Tuesday night, Ms. Kinastowski reportedly warned councillors that passing the ban without consulting the industry and the public first had left the municipality vulnerable to lawsuits.

Story continues below advertisement

"She said, 'If you want to do this, whether it's a good idea or a bad idea, you did it in absolutely the wrong way,'" said Councillor Peter Milczyn, who moved the failed motion to reopen the item.

Mr. Shiner said he hoped to shield the city from that outcome by asking for public consultations in November.

The public is still in favour of the ban, Mr. Shiner added.

"The mayor said, 'call your councillors.' I had eight phone calls," Mr. Shiner said. "I have 65,000 people in my ward alone, there's 2.5 million in the city. I got eight phone calls. People understand that it's the right thing to do."

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies