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Lattes, Cappuccinos And Dilettantes: Let's Get Our Toronto Political Stereotypes Right

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Many of us downtown Toronto latte-drinking (or in my case, espresso or cappuccino, depending on the time of day, of course) types have been cringing about the federal NDP's Leap Manifesto.

While it is true that Starbucks and other purveyors of high-priced caffeine are as numerous in downtown Toronto as dandelions on our herbicide-free lawns, the same can be said about many big cities, including Calgary and Edmonton.

It was hurtful when we meek downtown Toronto types were blamed by many pundits and journalists as being responsible for the tone-deaf Leap Manifesto when it was released at the recent NDP Convention in Edmonton. Oh yes, we were also called dilettantes. Ouch!

It is ridiculous to say that somehow the co-authors of the manifesto reflect the views of our city.

While I can't argue that many in Toronto don't enjoy a premium latte, I will argue that it is ridiculous to say that somehow the co-authors of the manifesto reflect the views of our city.

Author Naomi Klein (most famously for This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate) and filmmaker hubby Avi Lewis (most famously for the film documentary This Changes Everything, done in partnership with Klein, as well as much CBC work) may be dilettantes for all I know, but they speak for their own view of the world and not for the city.

In fact, despite common misconceptions by the rest of Canada, the NDP does not own Toronto.

The NDP, combining both the provincial and federal legislatures, hold just two ridings in the 416, or 'The 6' as Drake calls it (more cringingly). Voters in The 6 (ugh!) understand that dilettante policies are no replacement for jobs. Sure, we care about the environment, but we don't all ride our bikes to work. I guess if we did, the bicycle industry would applaud, but it sure wouldn't be practical for all of us.

By the way, Klein and Lewis don't even own the NDP.

Many NDP politicos and supporters take a more balanced and job-friendly view of the world than that proposed under the "Latte" Manifesto, as I'll now refer to it. Just ask Alberta Premier Rachel Notley how she takes her coffee.

Despite common misconceptions by the rest of Canada, the NDP does not own Toronto.

Toronto is the home of the largest number of corporate head offices in Canada and is the centre of our financial industry. Yeah, yeah, I know. Those finance folks sure love their fancy coffee, not to mention bespoke suits and artisanal food. Leap Manifestos? Not so much. This is true even when the manifestos come in Chai flavour. I have to say that I rarely hear anti-capitalist Leap-type chatter as I sip my skinny grande cappuccino.

As it happens, the majority of Torontonians, like Albertans, have to work for a living. No trust funds for us! And no CBC jobs either. And despite our best efforts, we still use fossil fuels. As do, by the way, authors and filmmakers when they move their wares and travel to their many public appearances. Or can delivery bicycles be used to cart books and films to store shelves across the world?