Ontario premier Doug Ford should be well aware that the City of Toronto is a child of the province. And his short but hectic four years in Toronto City Hall showed him the way it works. Why else would he, as premier, have interfered with the number of councillors to be elected part way through Toronto’s 2018 municipal election?
Oddly enough, premier Ford still thinks of politics on the city level. He does not really relate on the provincial level. Why else would he seem to lack understanding of the importance of healthcare and education in the provincial legislature? His besties are still the Toronto developers and their lawyers.
Ford cannot assume that the province’s responsibility is to the outside of the city. Helping the city to be liveable and productive is as much the province’s job as it is city council’s job. The city is a child of the province and it is currently suffering from child abuse and neglect. And Toronto is not the only city with problems. It is the biggest city and therefore is the neediest.
The first reality is that Toronto is more desperately in need of housing than the Greenbelt. Not only does it need reasonable cost housing but it needs geared-to-income and supportive housing. That is where the big bucks need to go. More and more we are hearing that housing is not a privilege but it has to be a right in a climate such as Toronto’s. The province has to forget the Greenbelt and build in the cities. It has to get people inside where they can be protected from our unreliable environment.
Mr. Ford has to forget the treatment he received in Toronto city hall. And he has to realize that the reason his brother was fooling with drugs was likely because of the strains of an impossible job for a mayor to cope unsupported in managing a city of almost three million people.
Mr. Ford has to realize that the original concept of city administration was services to infrastructure and properties. Somebody had to clean the moat or the smell would drive people away from the city. And then they found that they needed a night watch to keep the peace and they were also providing services to people. If Mr. Ford cannot understand that the city is also his responsibility, we better elect somebody who does.
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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