In what had to be the rarest of occurrences, a common goal emerged at city council on the afternoon of Feb. 20.
Two, actually: the game-tying and game-winning goals scored by Marie-Philip Poulin to lift the Canadian women’s hockey team to a 3-2 overtime victory over the U.S. for the gold medal at the Sochi Winter Olympics.
Councillors had just returned from lunch and were going through the motions — literally — when they voted to take a short recess to watch the last three minutes of the third period. Once Poulin tied the game in the final minute of regulation, the left, right and mighty middle united in joyous celebration.
A second vote, on whether to continue the recess for the 20-minute overtime period, fell 17–25, but at least five councillors had live streams of the game playing on their laptops or iPads as the meeting continued.
Ward 26 councillor John Parker wasn’t one of them, though he had voted to continue watching the game.
“It’s not as though city council was engaged in anything more important at the time,” he quipped afterward. “I was glad that Toronto city council was helpful in achieving the result that came about in the game — both sending the game into overtime and the winning goal thereafter.”
Ward 22 councillor Josh Matlow, on the other hand, felt council made the right decision in getting back to work.
“I’m a strong backer of women’s hockey, my sister is an avid player, I’m thrilled that Canada’s women’s hockey team has brought home the gold, but I was in the middle of a really important meeting — it’s called city council,” he said. “What happens to those of us who are supposed to be at work in a meeting is that we have to watch it on PVR when we get home, like every other Canadian has to do if they’re not allowed to watch TV when they’re at work.”
Council did take another short break to watch the medals being handed out, and then stood for the playing of O Canada.
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