Mr. Ford and Mr. Tory share something else. Neither wants to work to the plan we have, preferring instead to draw new lines on maps. It's never easy to decipher what, precisely, Mr. Tory believes today, but it seems he no longer supports the Sheppard or Finch LRT's. And he certainly no longer supports the subway relief line that is the TTC's top priority, which is odd because getting it built allegedly propelled him to run.
The mayor is only relevant if people make him relevant. For every time we make a sensation about Rob Ford and his latest scandal, we give him attention that he does not deserve. His election chances were ill-served when social media went quiet, and we are now ill-served by perpetuating stories about how he is a tactless, corrupt, and bigoted embarrassment to the city.
Toronto is more than Ford Nation, true, but it is also so much more than the Core. Let me tell you about my Toronto. Toronto is getting a Jamaican beef patty on a fresh portuguese bun at Eglinton and Oakwood. Toronto is getting congee rice porridge in North Scarborough. Toronto is so much more than the Core or the car-centric suburbs.
Many teens spend their babysitting money on something to listen to --music downloads, movies or concerts. Morgan Baskin put hers into being heard. The 18-year-old high school senior is running for mayor of Canada's largest city. Amidst the international circus that is Toronto municipal politics, Baskin is a glimmer of hope.
If we truly want Toronto to be the best city it can be, we are going to need to accept the stark reality that the way we have been approaching gridlock simply is not working. Throwing more money at the problem won't solve everything, and more transit won't fix our congestion challenges alone without fixes for other modes.
While the leading candidates for Toronto's mayoral elections -- Olivia Chow, David Soknacki, Karen Stintz, and John Tory -- were unanimous in realizing that mobility was the number one issue for the City. The transit plans they revealed had one thing in common: they only have partial solutions and pet projects for Toronto's mobility troubles.
At this point in the mayoral race, none of the candidates are using any digital campaigning techniques that are innovative or novel. Websites and the standard social media avenues are being leveraged, but in today's political environment these are a given. That said, we are still very early in the race.
My mottled and confusing clump of skills, best set in service of those around me and my community, are crying out for me to contend. My capacity for leadership, diplomacy and frankness have the potential for good effect in my city, which I hold so dear. Then that is it, dear reader. It is settled. I will run for Mayor of Toronto.
Wouldn't it be cool to have a mayor who swanned around in a hybrid car, rather than a gas guzzling jalopy, and who talked about "nurturing" entrepreneurs, or who sought tax breaks for sustainability initiatives, or who could imagine something outside of the box when it comes to Toronto's moribund waterfront?
If Rob Ford's opponents don't step up their game, there is a very real chance Rob Ford will be re-elected Mayor of Toronto in October 2014, providing he continues to meet the requirements to be a candidate for Mayor. Wednesday night's debate hosted by CityTV was an absolute farce. It was not a good night for Torontonians ready for change at City Hall. Very little by way of policy was discussed, and even when it was, there is enough agreement between the Mayor's opponents on key issues that polarizing this election in a manner that favours a challenger will be hard.
When Kimmel invited Ford to appear as a guest on his talk show, sharing the bill with Gonzo from Sesame Street, most of us knew that nothing good was going to come of this. But what actually transpired was, in my view, unbelievably awful -- more so than I could have imagined. By now, we all understand that Rob Ford is a sick man, in any number of ways. His various addictive behaviours, from food, to alcohol, to lying and yes, perhaps to crack, appear to not even begin to crumble the façade of a man who desperately needs help with some pretty clear physical and mental health issues. And Jimmy Kimmel should be ashamed of himself.
Even if you are making fun of him, 1) he's not in on the joke, and 2) you are increasing his chances of re-election through not only name recognition, but helping him to seem "funny" and "cool". This might be hilarious to you, but you are seriously affecting the future of Toronto. He doesn't have to be your mayor, but unfortunately he has to be mine. I've heard Jimmy Kimmel and various Americans (and Canadians) say, "Well, he seems to be a pretty good mayor". Rob Ford also seems to think so too. To help you better understand what you are really doing to our city, here is a list of truths the Ford brothers want us to ignore amidst stories about Hollywood visits and PR gaffes.