Pondering the politics of the potty.

There are issues that people will step up to and there are issues that cause them to smirk and back away. I was reading a very intelligent story the other day about the politics of the toilet and the need for our politicians to grow backbones. To quote a current television commercial about toilet paper: “Everybody does it.” And our politicians have to recognize it.

But it happens at the most elemental level of politics that people are unwilling to face the issue. I took a problem to my city’s mayor over two years ago and it still has not been fixed. I worked hard to get that guy elected ten years ago and he is in the middle of his third term in the mayor’s chair. And yet, he cannot handle the need for public toilets in a city of around 150,000 and summer visitors in the tens of thousands.

I have checked out venues around the world for people to meet, to congregate, to be entertained and to enjoy food and I have always walked away from facilities with inadequate or inconvenient washroom facilities for the numbers expected. It is part of looking after your guests.

Well, I can tell you now: Do not come to Barrie, Ontario if you cannot say no to your basic human need to go to the toilet.

I told the mayor that my barber was frequently requested to provide toilet facilities to desperate people from across the street at the GO Train terminus. Since there are no Go Train employees working in that location, they think that toilets are unnecessary. The provincially run commuter train and bus service expects people to wait for trains and busses but there are no toilets at that terminal. They have a ghost station on the property, the historic Allandale Station, that cost the citizens of Barrie considerable money to restore, but nobody has ever thought to restore its old washrooms or use it for any other purpose.

Frankly, the mayor and council in Barrie have shown no backbone at all. They pretend they do not pee or poop like anybody else!

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