It’s Friday, folks. Time to Meet A Mayoral Candidate.
This week: Mark Cidade for Mayor!
Right off the bat we like this candidate for 3 reasons, one of which isn’t totally frivolous. That being, Cidade seems to hate cars as much as we do here at All Fired Up in the Big Smoke. The other two, well, not as important to the health of Toronto certainly, but nothing to sneeze at either. 1) A guy running for mayor has the last name Cidade which is the Portuguese word for town or city. Mayor Cidade. Mayor City. City mayor. It’s tough to deny the appeal of that. 2) Mr. Cidade invited us out for lunch so he could explain in more detail his plans for Toronto if elected mayor in October. To maintain our journalistic integrity (such as it is), we had to decline. Still, he invited us to lunch. Props out for that.
Mr. Cidade is a candidate with a full-to-bursting campaign platform. Scrolling through his Facebook page, he expresses interest in a wide range of topics, from Suicide and Mental Health through to the City’s Economy, Real Estate, Water and even Robots. No stone is left unturned when it comes to the politics of the city.
Yet, so far at least, Mr. Cidade reveals himself to be a candidate more full of questions than answers. In many of the issues he raises, he leaves us with nothing more than musings followed by ???s. How is the transit situation now, do you think? Do we need so many expensive condos, shopping malls, and office buildings? Did you know that some of Toronto’s urban planners are also budding roboticists? I don’t want to see another garbage strike and I want to see Toronto’s streets to be clean again. What do we do? A mayor can’t do it all by themself. That’s why they need a council! Or do they? Toronto’s water is better-tested than anything you buy in a bottle. Of course, the pipes sort of ruin everything. New pipes maybe?
To be fair, Mr. Cidade does counter many of his inquiries with links to articles that talk about the particular matter in question but I’d like to know what the candidate thinks about them. I can read the National Post, Toronto Star or Spacing magazine to see what they think. They aren’t asking for my vote. Mark Cidade is and it’s his answers I want to know.
This leads to a bigger question I have about the Mark Cidade for Mayor candidacy. While his heart is in the right place – he is outraged that homeless people are still dying in the street, thinks more money should be in place to help with mental illness, believes immigration plays a vital role in the development of Toronto – it’s tough to figure out how he as mayor would deal with all these. Mr. Cidade refers to himself as an independent moderate yet he seems dubious of the role municipal government plays in our lives. Police, courts, lawyers, standards and licensing. Who needs them?, Mr. Cidade asks. Do we even NEED property taxes? I don’t want to raise taxes. In fact, I want to LOWER them until there are NO TAXES.
This sounds a lot less moderate and far more libertarian and leaves me to ask Mr. Cidade how we as a city can tend to the less fortunate and newcomers who have arrived looking for a better life without money coming in to pay for it and a human infrastructure in place to oversee it?
Still, his is not the only mayoral campaign in this year’s election to have its aspirations and plans for achieving them out of sync. Despite the uncertainty that underlines candidate Cidade at this point, he holds a very positive view of the city. When asked our empty-headed question that we’re posing to all the hopefuls for mayor, If the present mayor would like his legacy to be that of the Transit Mayor, how would a Mayor Cidade like to see his legacy written?, he answered: The mayor that makes Toronto “The Good” into Toronto “The Great”.
That’s one response that’s hard to argue with.
– dutifully submitted by Cityslikr