The Unanimous Declaration of Independence made by the self-appointed delegate of the people of Greater Toronto in General Convention and Fever Dream on the 27th day of September, 2012.
We, the People of Toronto, hold these truths to be self-evident: that diversity is our strength; that the approximate geographic centre of the universe is located on Queen Street West near Spadina; that you’re just asking for trouble if you take the Don Valley Parkway during the afternoon rush. But we digress.
Anyhow, also from the self-evident-truth file: that all people are created equal, endowed with certain inalienable rights, among these life, liberty, and the painful and fruitless pursuit of a Stanley Cup playoff spot.
To secure these rights, governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. And whenever a form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it and to institute a new government. And hoo-boy, let us tell you, some of the governments around this place have become destructive to these ends—we’re looking at you, Ontario and Canada. Toronto has suffered a long train of abuses and usurpations, so we consider it our right, our duty, to open a can of abolition on these governments and embark on a new course as a nation.
Every country needs a national anthem—listen to Toronto’s right here!
It isn’t like we haven’t suffered patiently and chipped in our fair share. But the history of Ontario and Canada is a history of repeated injury inflicted on “The Most Livable City in the World, Give or Take.”
On top of it all, we know you’re all talking smack about us—we hear the coast-to-coast Canadian cry of hatred summed up in all-purpose federal minister John Baird’s immortal suggestion that we should just “fuck off.” Well, guess what? We’re going to.
Canada has, from the very beginning, relegated Toronto to a status entirely subservient to the province of Ontario, subject to the passing whims and crude fancies of hosers from faraway hamlets where “stinko” and “bingo” form the central rhyme in love songs. Just for example, during the 1990s (a.k.a. The Decade of the Long Knives), Mike Harris, a golf pro from North Bay, forcibly dissolved the duly elected governments of Toronto’s municipalities, imposed an idiotic merger on them contrary to the expressed will of the public, then proceeded to wreak havoc on the freshly minted “megacity” by forcing usurious social-service obligations upon it without giving it any way to pay for them.
The government of Canada just stood by and laughed—indeed, it joined in the wretched game of usurpation and abuse by conspiring with Ontario to disembowel all transit construction and operating funding, and starve the city of infrastructure so that our highways are clogged to a standstill, even as the concrete they are made of crumbles to the ground. Together, Ontario and Canada have abandoned the concept of housing Toronto’s poor, leaving a waiting list of tens of thousands out in the cold—where they may find glass falling on them from the homes of the wealthy.
Click here for a close-up view of Toronto’s new currency, and the inspirations behind it!
After a while, a megacity gets tired of watching Prince Edward Island enjoy inflated status as a full partner in Confederation (apparently on the strength of some beloved fictional pigtailed girl), while we—larger in numbers than all the Atlantic provinces and Alberta combined—are relegated to the federal kids’ table.
When you’re one of the “10 most economically powerful” cities in the world (according to Forbes magazine), and you cannot implement a road toll or levy a sales tax without the permission of some Ottawa lawyer, it tends to wear on you. Here we are, a city that accounts for one-sixth of Canada’s population, and the only time we aren’t spat upon is when we are being used as a federal bank machine. Over 90 per cent of the taxes paid by Torontonians are directed to the provincial and federal governments. And yet here, in the economic engine, we find ourselves in constant financial crisis, politically neutered, and widely hated.
And then there was that time when the government of Canada forced a police-state on Toronto, resulting in the kettling and imprisoning of many of our people in the name of “security,” while using the money we could have spent on policing that event to purchase gazebos and assorted garden furniture for towns in rural Ontario.
The Canadian government has recently shown itself to be at odds with the principles that unite Toronto’s people. By ignoring climate change, disemboweling the census, disregarding crime statistics, and firing dissenting scientists, the government of Canada has shown it is uninterested in providing the type of governance required by a modern city in the information age.
And frankly, we’re just tired of hearing about the Calgary Stampede.
In the past, proposals that Toronto should be made a province have fallen on deaf ears—ignored at Queen’s Park and on Parliament Hill, even as the looting of our city’s wealth continued. And why wouldn’t they ignore us? Toronto and its regional municipalities only exist as simple acts of provincial parliament, no more significant a legal entity than the liquor store. In Canada’s eyes, we are a constitutional nullity.
Quebec, which gave the world poutine and in exchange has received massive economic transfers and huge guarantees of disproportionate power from the rest of Canada, has demonstrated that only those willing to consider secession from the country have their demands taken seriously. Well, guess who’s ready to be maîtres chez nous now, mes amis?
We therefore declare that these municipalities of the Greater Toronto Area are one nation, from the forests of the greenbelt to the waters of the Great Lake, united in our diversity, strong and free, and that as an independent state we have full power to levy war and wage peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, levy taxes, banish members of the Ontario provincial and Canadian federal cabinets, sip lattes, stay up late to watch the hockey game on school nights, and all the other things that grown-up nations do.
So we hereby pledge ourselves to the task of building this new nation of Toronto, firm in our resolve, reliant on our principle, undying in our dedication.
The people of the Republic of Toronto
September 27, 2012
Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario | The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada
Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second | Gary Bettman, Commissioner, National Hockey League
Next Page: A to-do last for the nation of Toronto. Plus: Toronto National Factoids