Changing politics in Toronto.

We are seeing increased efforts in Toronto to end the frustrations and lack of direction for the city. What we are seeing though is a mishmash of solutions that are counterproductive and going nowhere. Most of the action is coming from interest groups that in themselves have nowhere near enough muscle or organization to win a single one of the 47 individual wards in the city. What is needed is political parties.

As it stands today, the new democratic party has a strong base in downtown wards and the conservatives and the liberals fight it out for footholds in the suburbs. The fact that all three parties disavow their winners as well as losers, leaves the city without realistic programs, inadequate direction and confused management. The city is in a permanent come-from-behind position.

And it is in the traditional political parties’ interest to keep it that way. The city is a creature of the provincial government. Conservative mayor John Tory was at Queen’s Park the other day laughing it up with the new conservative premier of Ontario and it is not going to do the city the least bit of good. In fact, if Doug Ford does what he really wants to do with Toronto, the city is facing a very sad situation over the next four years.

Anything Ford can download on Ontario cities, he will. The former Harris conservatives were amateurs. Ford will download everything but money. We really have no idea what Ford has on his hit lists—but we are going to find out, the hard way.

And those dumb downtown NDPers might as well get on their bicycles and get the hell out of ground zero. And if you thought the one-stop subway to Scarborough was the ultimate disaster in urban infrastructure ignorance, you should prepare yourself for fresh enlightenment. Premier Ford has some nascent thoughts about taking over the Toronto subways and interconnecting them with regional networks in Peel, York and Durham. They will probably tie in well with his new green belt housing developments.

It is too late for this coming election but if people in Toronto started organizing now and building a positive platform, a good mayoralty candidate could probably get your party elected in the 2022 municipal election. Name the party after William Lyon Mackenzie if you like. Just remember you have to build a big tent party. Make sure you have a good balance of promises and solid candidates for both downtown and suburban wards.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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