I haven’t written anything for months. In all honesty I have just got totally fed up with Toronto Politics. You’d think I’d have all sorts to say about the whole Fordian drama thing but it simply does not interest me. What interests me is the ease with which Torontonians can bitch ad infinitum. We live in a fabulous city. Not a perfect city. A fabulous city. It’s become trendy to criticize and bitch non stop about how dreadful we are. We elected a total idiot with zero morals, an addictive and irresponsible personality, and absolutely no idea of what the job entails. We bought into his nonstop messaging despite the total inaccuracy of virtually anything he says. WE did that.
I am disgusted with the people of Toronto. If you don’t like the way things are done then step up and do something about it. For instance. I have attended the meetings about the redevelopment of the Mouth of the Don. You know. The place that has so far caused 3 floods of the DVP this year. Those floods directly affect at least a million citizens in one way or another. ONE MILLION. Yet at those meetings I have seen maybe 300 people.
We are to blame for all that happens in City Hall that we don’t like. City Councillors are simply people. Our neighbours who decide to get involved. They aren’t necessarily experts in the fields we expect them to run. The learning curve is high. Some of them dig in and learn and do and listen and become fighters for us. They work damned hard and tolerate the shit and abuse we dish to them with aplomb. Some of them just put in the time and let their staff do the work without interference. Some of them use their positions to further their own interests alone. They are a diverse bunch. You have to really look and ask yourself who cares and who doesn’t.
I go to City Hall and I watch it on TV when they’re sitting. The same faces are there all the time. Some because they are journalists. The press. There’s a surprisingly small number of citizens for a city this size. Yet we all have an opinion and we all mutter on like we know what we’re talking about even though we get all our information from the headlines in the various media we scan or half listen to. It’s all bullshit!
We have exactly what we deserve in City Hall. If we want to deserve better then we ALL need to get involved in this glorious city we live in. I know I sound naive. I hear all the “I have a life to live” chatter. Well fine. Then live your life and shut up. Pray the good Councillors can over ride the bad ones. Don’t get out and vote on Oct.27. Why bother? They’re all the same, right? Don’t look beyond the headlines. Don’t find the truth. Just continue on your merry way. Live your life. But know this. You surrender the right to an opinion or any bitching whatsoever when you don’t bother to vote. If you can’t even be bothered to go spoil a ballot then you don’t get a say in anything that happens next. Good OR bad.
I watched Mr. Ford’s little speech on Monday. Anyone who buys into that total pap deserves what they get. I saw nothing sincere. I heard no contriteness. I saw a man who desperately wants us all to believe his little vacation in the Muskoka’s has made him a new man. He’s not new. His 60 day vacation caused him to lose a little water weight. He looks like he got some rest. That’s about it. He’ll be drinking again any day now if he hasn’t already started. Nobody gets cured of multiple addictions in 60 days of what appeared to be very casual rehab. Besides which, that is simply not the point. He was and is a bad mayor. This city was never ever even close to bankruptcy though he has said it more than once. He has not saved us anywhere near a billion dollars anywhere but in his own strange fantasy world. He has embarrassed this city the world over. He does arrive late and leave early every bloody day. Hell, he was late for his little speech on Monday. He does not have a grasp on the real parts of a single significant issue affecting your life. While you applaud his insistence that he will lower our already insanely low taxes. Our city is crumbling around us from a lack of funds to upkeep infrastructure. By he way he has not lowered taxes. They’ve quietly risen every year he’s been in office. He does not even know the difference between a street car and an LRT. Do you?
In spite of the Ford ‘s belief system. A city is not a business. It is a service agency. It’s job is to look after us and our city. When we choose to live here we agree to chip in and help get the work done. That’s called taxes. It costs money to run a city. We are fools if we believe that taxes in Toronto are too high. We are fools if we buy into the bullshit “gravy” message. I’m quite certain there are efficiencies yet to be found in City Hall. I’m also quite certain that Rob Ford has not one clue where to find them. His real brilliance has been that skill that all bullies possess. He has continually pit Councillor against Councillor. Divide and conquer is his mantra. It was only when they began to see him for what he truly is that they began to fight back. Still he has done enough damage that it will be a misery for Ms Chow who looks awfully like our next mayor.
I have loved this city since I first put my foot down in it when I was 15 years old. I have explored every nook and cranny. It is still the same fabulous place it always was. We still have Little Italy and India at Gerrard and Coxwell. High Park is still gorgeous and so are Edwards Gardens. The Giraffes still gaze patiently at me out at the zoo. Bluffers Park is still almost as great a place to visit as Centre Island. The spice store at Kensington Market still smells glorious. Dim Sum at Broadview and Gerrard is still yummy.The Distillery District and Corktown Commons, and Sugar Beach and, and, and, ……… I can go on for an hour.
Toronto isn’t just where I live. Toronto is where I LIVE. I love it here. It’s where I want to live til I am no more. I am not rich and I struggle every day in this expensive city. I don’t care. This is the best city I know and I’m staying. I’m going to keep doing whatever tiny things I can do to make people see the city I believe is worth keeping. I can only hope one or two who might read this will be inspired to love Toronto with the same passion I feel.