It must be a conservative thing. Mayor John Tory of Toronto seems to have been brought over to premier Doug Ford’s conservatives. Once a Tory, always a Tory, I guess. The only problem is that this is not the way most Canadians want to see their cities run.
You have to remember that under the Canadian constitution, our cities have no status. They are completely controlled by the provinces. They are allowed to pass by-laws related to zoning and other municipal matters, but nothing that goes beyond their municipal boundaries or that conflicts with federal or provincial law.
And few premiers have been as ruthless as premier Doug Ford in Ontario, who spent a very unusual time being tutored in municipal politics by his younger brother Rob Ford. And when Rob Ford was not well enough, Doug Ford ran for mayor of Toronto. He was defeated by none other than John Tory.
But Doug Ford got his licks in later. Despite all conventions to the contrary, when elected premier, his first official actions were to interfere in the already underway elections in Toronto and in Peel County. He got even with his past enemies on Toronto council by cutting the number of wards in Toronto back to half for which people were competing. It made a mess of the municipal election in Toronto that year but Ford hardly cared. In addition, he cancelled that year’s open election of the Peel County chair where Patrick Brown was seeking to run, as he had been refused a nomination in the provincial election. (Brown jumped into the Brampton mayoralty in the last minute and won on his notoriety.)
But mayor Tory and premier Ford appear to have made up as Tory begins his third four-year term as Toronto mayor and Ford starts his second four-year term as premier. It is probably a critical position for Tory, as the city can ill-afford to have an ongoing battle with the city’s major source of senior government funds.
And the facts are that Tory has already started using his so-called ‘super’ powers with his appointment of the new city manager. He has gone over to the dark side.
Copyright 2022 © Peter Lowry
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