Two cities rebuttal.

Had an interesting objection to my kind comments about Toronto mayor John Tory last week. The reader provided an extensive list of what he considered to be the mayor’s failings. It might surprise him to learn that I agreed with all of his complaints. My only qualification is that he should lay blame where it belongs. In some cases, it was some of the other members of council whose individual votes are all equal to the vote of the mayor. And we can also blame the province that saddles mayors and councils with an unworkable system.

Mayors in Ontario have to rely on leadership skills, persuasion skills and wily horse trading to get the job done. And you win some and you lose some.

I personally think that John Tory has taken the high ground in Toronto and stays above the losers and ward healers on his council.

The poor guy has to deal with a council with a downtown core of semi-literate socialists and a block of do-nothing Libertarians from the suburbs. I bet former premier Mike Harris is still laughing every time he thinks about what he did putting that melange together. (And increasing the number of councillors from 44 to 47 is hardly going to help.)

When our reader complains about the incompetence of the police chief and the less than worthless chair of the police board, he needs to remember that even the premier of the province gets to kick that can down the curb. The system is designed to pick the least controversial—not the most competent.

The horrible lack of affordable housing or any reasonable rental accommodation in Toronto are just two more signs of a successful and growing city. John is fighting the good fight—which all lose!

What drives me crazy is John Tory’s constant lip-service to the idiots on bicycles. He is trying to pacify everybody and pleasing nobody. By the time they have the whole city in hopeless gridlock, they will have to stop killing cyclists. It is not going to become an Olympic sport anyway. In Toronto, you can have only bicycles downtown for seven months per year and cars only for the other five months. You cannot have both.

But where John Tory shines is in moral leadership. When something happens in Toronto, John is there just as fast as he can scurry. John is a beacon of calm in a churning and explosive city. I bet, sometimes, he beats the television crews to the scene of the crime. His motto on his shaving mirror should be: What the hell is going to happen next?

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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