PortsToronto board of Directors line-up has undergone several changes since April 2015. However, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
Anyone who thought the Conservatives with their newest selection to the board would honour their Letters Patent that allow for port users shouldn’t be surprised. No current director nor the newest one fits into any of the four classes covered under Schedule D of the Letters.
The Newest Board Member
At its Mar. 31 – Apr. 2 meeting Toronto City Council appointed Amanda Walton as the City of Toronto representative. At first glance Ms Walton’s curriculum vitae seems a bit thin where port users are concerned.
- Amanda is a former Senior Vice President and Partner of a leading Toronto communications and public affairs firm.
- She has more than 25 years of experience in communications strategy and public policy analysis.
- She was President of the Albany Club from 2002 – 2004, a local Conservative bastion.
- She sat on the Board of Directors of Ontario Place from 1997 to 2003.
In addition, Ms Walton is described presently as a “Governor of Crescent School; however, a search on the school’s website has no entry for board of governors members. She is listed as a donor for 2012 – 2013.
If Ms Walton’s previous experience does not fall under one of the four classes of port users, how did she get to sit at the table of an organization whose business is ports and airports? Perhaps she knows the right people.
Who does the Newest Board Member Know?
In 2002, as the new President of the Albany Club, she succeeded the outgoing president John Tory, Toronto’s present mayor. As well, it appears according to details in a letter to All Fired Up In The Big Smoke, citing election donation filings, Ms Walton or someone using her name is fond of giving money to provincial and federal Conservative candidates.
It also appears that the City of Toronto’s appointment process for the PortsToronto Board position that she filled may have had something to do with her selection.
How Was the Newest Board Member Selected?
In order to nominate a person for the position, the city’s Civic Appointments Committee (CAC) recommends a candidate for the position. The Interview Subcommittee then interviews the candidates, recommends the winning candidate to the CAC which in turn passes the recommendation on to city council for rubber stamping.
Interestingly, Deputy Mayor Denzil Minnan-Wong, selected by Mayor John Tory, chairs the CAC. Other CAC known airport expansion supporters include Christin Carmichael Greb, Norm Kelly, Giorgio Mammoliti and Cesar Palacio, enough for a majority.
At the February 17, 2015 CAC meeting, the committee directed the Interview Subcommittee to interview six candidates on March 4, 2015.
For whatever reason, CAC eliminated one candidate championed by Councillors Cho and Fletcher through a Minnan-Wong motion. The CAC also passed another Minnan-Wong motion that added Minnan-Wong to the Interview Subcommittee. That’s right, the mayor’s point-man on the Waterfront moved to include himself on the committee that would recommend the nominee to the airport expansionist PortsToronto board.
On March 4, 2015, the Interview Subcommittee sent its confidential decision to council via CAC. Council, at its meeting, March 31 – April 2, adopted on consent Amanda Walton’s appointment.