Sometimes the worst of times may be the best of times in disguise. I repeat the caveat: sometimes. Case in point, let's look at four very different mayors from across Canada: Gérald Tremblay, Rob Ford, Naheed Nenshi, and Colette Roy-Laroche. They all faced different types of crises this summer, and their responses defined them in the public eye.
The summer is hot and it's not just the temperature. Each summer I dread the headline news of young black males heading to the mortuary, and this summ...
The week Jack died, I watched in awe as Torontonians came together to share their love for Jack. Our famously cold, unfriendly city began to bare its soul in chalk messages written all over Nathan Phillips Square. When thunderstorms washed away the chalk, the people came back and filled the square with writing all over again. I have rarely seen something more beautiful than that.
When I was 22 years old and old working as an assistant brewer for a major micro-brewery in Michigan, my boss told me his fundamental rule when it came to mixing alcohol with work: You have to keep it together. Unfortunately, this weekend Rob Ford excused his apparent public drunkenness at Taste of the Danforth with no recognition of how such public behaviour reflects on the people he represents: the citizens of Toronto. The circus that has consumed Rob Ford and the city of Toronto over the past three months is not how one goes about securing credibility or ensuring trust. It is, rather, a case study in shallow, arrogant denial.
Ford used his party time on the Danforth to seek the spotlight while posing for countless pictures. He knew all eyes were on him because he was smiling for the attention. He knows the cloud of suspicion that surrounds him is darkening the city's reputation and causing dysfunction within city council. He honestly doesn't even seem to care.
Tired of the bitterness and rancor of U.S. politics? Wouldn't it be nice if Americans weren't subjected to the nauseating likes of Mitch McConnell, L...
Nonetheless, despite the many good examples of Canadian mayors, some of the bad examples -- especially those like Rob Ford who cast a bad reputation on their city -- raises the question, are we paying enough attention to municipal politics? And, especially, are we paying enough attention to who gets elected to municipal office?
Recent political drama in Toronto has brought its numerous power struggles into the spotlight. Between the hovering possibility of Premier Kathleen Wynne dissolving the city's infrastructure and the ongoing conflicts between Rob Ford and his cabinet, the recurring question is: who really controls Toronto?
Downtown Toronto NIMBYs have taken NIMBYism to a whole new level of intolerance verging on discrimination. Which I have dubbed SWAGism. SWAGs wish to separate their established and affluent communities from the poorer inner suburbs of Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough, York and East York, that adjoin downtown Toronto.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford didn't get his $50 million, but Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne may have given him the next election instead. Politics is a game. The ones who know how to play it rise to the top and usually don't underestimate their opponent.
"We got this mayor, who I would argue is the worst mayor in the modern history of cities." - Richard Florida, urbanist and academic. Toronto mayor Ro...
Well, I hate to say that I told you so. Actually, that is not entirely true. I am laughing my behind off, as I type this in the wee hours of the morn...
Daily updates of the scandals washing over politicians from Montreal to Ottawa to Toronto have some officials looking more like Clay Davis of The Wire's Baltimore than much else. Where have all the leaders gone? Part of the problem, surely, is who we deify. We are guilty of perpetuating a celebrity-obsessed culture, whether those figures drop rhymes, dimes, or guidelines.
I'm troubled that the police knew about the video showing Mayor Ford smoking crack cocaine before Gawker and The Toronto Star revealed its existence. I'm troubled that the Chief of Police won't answer direct questions. I'm troubled that the wider implication is that Ford is involved with a gun-running gang, with people who smuggle guns up from the US, through Windsor, and into Toronto in order to shoot and kill people. I'm troubled about what this means for future business in our city.
The usually sure-footed Ontario Premier, Kathleen Wynne, has apparently made a serious political misstep. It could come back to haunt her, especially in a provincial general election, in Etobicoke, North York and Scarborough provincial ridings, where support for Mayor Ford is strongest, unwavering, and very deep.
While the Ikea Monkey "Darwin" had the fate of his permanent residence decided in court this week. Darwin isn't the only monkey business that continues to concern Ontario. As if being a Maple leaf fan wasn't bad enough, controversial allegations of financial evasion continue to be thrown "monkey poop style" at Prime Minister Harper.