John Tory Thinks We’re Nobody

Before yesterday’s city council meeting which would feature, among either important items, a debate on the done deal that was the province’s Bill 39, Better Municipal Governance Act, Mayor Tory held a quick press conference. When asked about the bill, this was a clip of his partial response:


Anybody else get a mad dad finally snapping at the end of a long day’s drive vibe?

Except that, this ain’t the start of summer vacation, John Tory’s our mayor not father, and how dare he fucking bristle at being questioned about claiming extraordinary, anti-democratic powers, in secret, during a municipal campaign. Doug Ford had already granted the mayors of Toronto and Ottawa new, enhanced powers earlier during the campaign with Bill 3, Strong Mayors, Building Homes Act, late in the campaign, just months after his government had been re-elected without revealing his intentions to voters. Evidently these weren’t strong enough for John Tory.

And now he’s pushing back on being asked why?

Imperiousness is hardly the look you want when you’ve blindsided the electorate, grasping for what is essentially the authority of minority rule, a governance model no expert in the field (Nobody!) unearthed so far has seen any sort of precedence for. At least not in a body purporting to be democratic.

Of course, John Tory has worked hard to buff away the imperious sheen he was born into, so it shouldn’t be at all surprising when, on occasion, it still surfaces, fanged. Usually under duress when his motives and privilege are being scrutinized. As I’ve said in an earlier post, anyone who claims, as the mayor did in his speech to council at the first meeting of the new term, that their motives are pure, don’t believe them, not even for a second. Nobody’s motives are pure, especially those who tell you theirs are.

As a politician, I imagine it’s difficult to casually, even civilly, explain why it is you’ve decided to undermine democratic principles, what kind of ‘situation’ justifies such actions. Largely, because there are none. Ever. You can’t sometimes be democratic. It doesn’t work like that. The fact that both the mayor and the premier have couched their argument for rolling back majority rule as a response to the current housing shortage is belied by the fact that it is a province wide shortage not just in Toronto and Ottawa. So, if strong mayor powers are necessary here and there, why not everywhere? (Maybe later, the premier tells us. Let’s just see how this works out first, and whether Doug Ford approves of the political cut of your jib.)

The argument for this undemocratic hammer was also weakened when Toronto city council easily passed Mayor Tory’s Housing Action Plan, 2023 yesterday including a watered-down and possibly fatally flawed (by the mayor’s own hand-picked deputy mayor, no less) rooming house motion that was enthusiastically supported by one of Mayor Tory’s most vocal critics, Councillor Gord Perks. Of course, this was the easy part, getting the item sent for a quick return staff report in March. The heavy lifting, nuts-and-bolts of the plan will come with the implementation.

After two alleged attempts last term by the mayor to bring the rooming house harmonization for a vote at city council, both withdrawn as he saw no road to victory, maybe John Tory truly believed he needed an unheard of power cudgel to finally get it passed. Maybe. Another possibility would’ve been for him to use all that political capital he had during what he assures us will be his final election campaign to go out and help elect candidates that support housing measures like rooming houses and other matters of updated rezoning bylaws. He didn’t. Opting instead to help elect candidates who will prove most resistant to such changes including appointing some of them to high profile roles in his administration, leading to what could be an ironic turn of events: enacting his Bill 39 strong powers of 1/3 council support to overcome opposition from some of his closest allies.

Me being me, having held John Tory the politician in little regard since he emerged from the backrooms in 2003, I’m not prone to give the man any benefit of the doubt. I believe he wanted ALL THE POWERZ simply because he thought he deserved them. Period. He’d won three elections, each one with increased dominance. He talks frequently of his Mandate, city-wide, more votes than any other elected politician in the country, yaddie, yaddie, yaddie. Mandate. He has a Mandate. Did you know the voters of Toronto gave John Tory a Mandate?

A man with a Mandate don’t need no stinkin’ majority council support.

This is John Tory in all his blazing entitlement and privilege. No other explanation is needed. He doesn’t have to explain himself. Not to the press. Not to you. Not to you and you and you.

You heard the man.

Nobody. Nobody! NOBODY!!


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