A new age of civility for Toronto.

Welcome to Toronto of 2015. There is a new chief magistrate, a new regime, a new spirit of cooperation with all levels of government and a mayor who brings a new level of civility to the job at City Hall. It is unseemly for the media buzzards to gather waiting for John Tory to stumble. When someone is the answer to all your prayers, how can the news media start to disrespect him before he is even settled in his new office?

The media must still be lost in the infighting of the last council to complain about the new mayor having to accept the skill sets of those tarnished by the previous regime. Sure there are still knives out for the selection of Denzil Minnan-Wong as deputy mayor. What that appointment and others such as keeping Frances Nunziata on as council chair are doing for John Tory is keeping idle hands occupied while he gets a handle on where this council is headed. Did you think there was really very much choice in many of the appointments?

What Toronto is getting is a new lease on life. It has a chance to regain the respect that makes the city a Mecca for North American conventions, a friendly tourist draw from Gay Pride to a Taste of the Danforth and a Caribbean festival love-in and, this coming year, host of the 2015 Pan-American Games. John Tory is well aware that Toronto is much more than the sum of its peoples, its attractions, its infrastructure and its decency. Toronto is a life experience and it takes a spectrum of attitudes, philosophies, knowledge and understanding to ensure its future.

Did the media really enjoy the vulgarity, bombast and lies of the Ford era? Have they forgotten the pleasure of having a couth and sophisticated mayor? This mayor was the choice of a city with a population of two and a half million. What right do we have to question that choice before the cheering is over?

What we would like to see in the next few years is a more grown-up and responsible city council and a grown-up and responsible news media. The downtown luddites on council have to recognize that bicycles do not replace a solution such as SmartTrack. They also have to recognize that a truly open and exciting city is not always what they prefer. Casinos, for example, are part of life and keeping them out of Toronto is a denial of freedoms.

So please welcome John Tory as mayor. He might not share your political philosophy but you know that he is an urbane and decent person. He will do well for Toronto.

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Copyright 2014 © Peter Lowry

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