Who won the week: John Tory—for grabbing everyone’s attention
John Tory made it official this morning in front of a crush of television cameras, photographers, and newspaper reporters gathered at City Hall. His campaign papers are filed. He’s running for mayor. He finally bought the damn milk.
Tory has no detailed platform yet, but he promised to keep property taxes low and make a Downtown Relief Line his number one priority.
“We’ve decided on building a Scarborough subway, we’ve got to get on with that. But I’m saying, ‘Let’s build a Yonge Street relief line at the same time,’” Tory said, artfully avoiding the use of the word “downtown” when describing the crucial transit project.
Tory had no precise details on how he would pay for the subway line.
News of Tory’s candidacy broke late last night in several of the city’s media outlets, eclipsing the small amount of buzz that surrounded Karen Stintz’s declaration. Stintz, the former TTC chair, is expected to officially register later this morning.
UPDATE (FEB. 24, 10:55 A.M.): And now Stintz is in. The former TTC chair filed her campaign papers at City Hall this morning, after one last minute hiccup—she had brought the necessary paperwork, but she’d forgotten her identification. (Someone was quickly dispatched to track it down.)
Stintz, who arrived at the election services office with her two young children in tow, is the fourth well-known right-of-centre candidate to register to run for mayor, after John Tory made it official earlier this morning.
Stintz said in a scrum that the city could fund construction of a much-needed Downtown Relief Line without any new taxes or other revenue tools.
“I successfully worked with the province and the federal government to get the money for the extension of the Bloor-Danforth line,” Stintz said. “I know there are ways that we can fund that portion of the Downtown Relief Line without going to people and asking for them to pay more.”
As a new candidate in an increasingly crowded field, Stintz took several questions that focused more on her opponents than her platform.
“When I talk to the people of Toronto, they want a mayor that’s accountable and responsible,” Stintz said. “They want someone that can deliver on their priorities, and I am that person.”
Who lost the week: Rob Ford—for losing it a long time ago
Rob Ford DJed at the Rivoli. Rob Ford watched a hockey game. Rob Ford walked crotch-first into a fire hydrant. With Stintz and Tory now in the race, Ford faces three credible right-of-centre challengers, and he’s going to need to come up with a better strategy than turning himself into a meme.
Trending: Ford Classic
At what point should a politician stop blaming his predecessors for waste in government and begin taking responsibility himself? Ford railed against supposed waste as a councillor, as a candidate, and has continued to do so as mayor. In a Ford Nation video posted last week, Ford listed the perks that members of council receive: free parking, free zoo passes, a free Metropass. If that sounds familiar, it’s because then-councillor Rob Ford made the same points in a similar video in 2010. So if Ford hasn’t managed to eliminate perks in four years as mayor, why should voters believe the next four will be any different?
After holding a Friday-morning presser where he attacked Rob Ford’s transit plans, David Soknacki attended Open Data Day.
Alex Mazer, council candidate in Ward 18, tweeted from Icycle 2014 in Dufferin Grove Park.
Candidate to watch: Alejandra Bravo
Bravo, who’s well-known for her work with the poverty-fighting Maytree foundation, is running in Ward 17. Bravo lost to incumbent Cesar Palacio by 791 votes in 2003 and a measly 281 votes in 2006. Expect a heated rematch.
What you may have missed
Maria Augimeri is your new TTC chair.
Waterfront Toronto supports a proposal to tear down the eastern portion of the Gardiner Expressway.
An iPhone seized by the police last year contains recordings of Sandro Lisi’s interactions with Rob Ford, and the cops have access to the files.
Where does the TTC test out its ceiling-tile prototypes? The answer is more interesting than you’d expect.