Building a better Bill Blair?

It seems that Bill Blair hopes to be forgiven almost everything. The former Toronto police chief is now a politician. And federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has officially welcomed Blair to the Liberal fold. Trudeau was actually reported by the media as saying: “I’m not going to Monday-morning-quarterback decisions made five years ago by the chief of police.”

It makes you wonder how time has relieved Chief Bill Blair of responsibility for his failure in leadership, control and responsibility on that infamous G-20 weekend?

And just how does the racist carding by his police qualify him for Canada’s parliament? As chief of police, he failed the black community in Toronto. Is that some new measure of being a liberal?

When we heard Sunday morning that Blair wants the federal nomination as Liberal candidate in Scarborough Southwest, we choked on our oatmeal. There was a very special role the old York Scarborough Liberals from the 1960s played in the Liberal Party of Canada. It was not only the largest riding in Canada at that time but we lead the party in developing policies, in democratizing the party, building bridges with other provinces and winning elections. As the late Pierre Trudeau could have told his oldest son, those Scarborough Liberals do not take any crap from anybody.

Scarborough Southwest might not be the wealthiest part of the old borough. It is always a tough battle in elections with the New Democrats. If you know what you are doing, the riding is winnable for a Liberal.

But these are not people who always think cops are tops. There is respect for the job they do but they like firefighters more. There is more of a kinship. Blair can pander to the ethnic factors in the riding if he thinks it will help but he is unlikely to win.

In 1988, when the Liberal Party was trying to transition, social conservative Tom Wappel used the organizational muscle of Campaign Life’s anti-abortion forces to swamp the riding’s weakened Liberal membership. He won the riding and fought off all comers for the next 20 years. When he quit in 2008, the riding went to the New Democrats.

This electoral district does not deserve to be a stepping stone for an arrogant, egotistical, stuffed shirt like Bill Blair. It needs solid representation by someone who knows and cares about the people. And Justin Trudeau should butt out!

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Copyright 2015 © Peter Lowry

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