Wynne wins in Toronto shoot-out.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne pulled it off. She got her candidate into the mayor’s chair in Toronto. Despite disturbing early tabulations, John Tory emerged as the peoples’ choice for mayor. And if you did not know that John Tory was Wynne’s choice, what do you think her aide Tom Allison was doing in Tory’s campaign headquarters? And was there really any other choice but John Tory?

Torontonians need to remember always that the city is a creature of the province. It is not separate. It does not do its own thing. The past four years of Rob Ford was an aberration and this recent campaign had the task to fix it. Mind you it was frightening to see a bald, bellicose and bloated Rob Ford accepting the cheers of his sycophants at his Ward 2 headquarters promising to be back in the mayor‘s chair in four years.

But even a healthy Rob Ford lacks the funds and strategic smarts to take on Queen’s Park. Through the second half of the Twentieth Century, people who cared about Toronto endlessly batted their heads against all Ontario parties on the need for reform of Toronto governance. The attitude at Queen’s Park was “Let them worry about potholes and garbage and we will solve the big questions.”

They never did solve the big questions. All Toronto got was incremental solutions to its on-going problems. It got boroughs and Metropolitan governance but all that did was confuse and frustrate the civic voters. Subways were built but always too late. Planning itself became an endless argument.

And when Premier Michael Harris abruptly amalgamated the city, he solved none of the governance problems and downloaded social costs that the city was completely unequipped to handle. Amalgamation became the fighting ground between the city and its suburbs. It is said that it was being opposed to the amalgamation that brought the present premier into Ontario politics. She has wisely been silent about this since becoming in a position to fix some of the problems.

But we wish John Tory well in the coming four years. He has a city council that has far more experience than he does in the manipulation of the civic processes. He will bring cooperation and conciliation to a more respectful administration. Now let’s see what the bastards do to him?

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Copyright 2014 © Peter Lowry

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