Who won the week? John Tory and Olivia Chow
John Tory kicked off his campaign Wednesday evening with a rally at the Polish Combatants Hall, promising new subway lines for Toronto and taking aim at Rob Ford and Olivia Chow.
“I’m not perfect. But unlike some others, I will never be content with that fact,” Tory said in an obvious swipe at Ford.
In a lengthy speech, Tory said he’d keep taxes low and cut waste at City Hall. As one example of supposed waste, Tory mentioned staffers at the TTC, Toronto Community Housing, the parking authority, BILD Toronto, and the city itself, all tasked with purchasing and selling real estate. Tory suggested taking “the best people from each area” and having them work toward a single plan.
The only minor glitch might have been when a young woman showed up before the launch began, and gave members of the media envelopes containing a copy of this email. The woman identified herself as a Chow supporter, but said she wasn’t officially affiliated with the campaign. Amanda Galbraith, Tory’s spokesperson, escorted the woman out of the building.
The launch wasn’t even over before an email from Chow’s campaign landed in the inboxes of campaign reporters. Subject line: “REALITY CHECK: John Tory and his unfunded promises.” Chow’s statement touted her ability to unite different levels of government on major projects—like a downtown relief line. The next day, Chow said she would increase rush hour service on bus routes by 10 per cent.
And who lost? Karen Stintz
Last April, councillor Karen Stintz said she could not support a proposal to fly jets to and from Bill Bishop Airport. Now, mayoral candidate Stintz says she supports the proposal, given certain conditions. Whatever political benefit there is to supporting the expansion better outweigh the damage of all this flipping and flopping.
Another week, another Team Tory website trashing Olivia Chow.
Karen Stintz is making a “major campaign policy announcement” this morning at the southwest corner of Gerrard and Carlaw. (UPDATE, MARCH 24, 11 A.M.: And here it is.
David Soknacki attended a Canadians of Pakistani Origin gala. So did John Tory.
Tory also attended the Ontario Liberal Party’s Heritage Dinner, where he was apparently intent on posing for photos with his opponents. See here and here. Honestly, if the campaign was a shmooze-off, Tory would be running away with this thing.
Four major mayoral candidates will speak to law and business students at Ryerson this Thursday. Ford, Soknacki, Stintz, and Tory will give brief remarks before answering pre-approved questions. Chow was invited, but declined. The webcast will be here.
UPDATE, MARCH 24, 2014, 12:25 P.M.: This just in—CityNews is also hosting a debate this Wednesday evening. Chow, Ford, Soknacki, Stintz, and Tory will attend.
This, we like
“When I go in a restaurant, I’m always looking at the exits and the smoke detectors,” said council candidate Michael Coll. Coll, who’s running for Karen Stintz’s seat in Ward 16, once trained as a fire fighter, and now does inspections and emergency response work.
If elected, Coll hopes to enact a multi-part plan to improve pedestrian safety in the city. The central part of Coll’s plan is resurrecting the citizens’ Pedestrian Committee, but he’d also like to make improvements to the city’s bike network, and identify spots where lower speed limits could improve safety. Finally, Coll said he’d use data on collisions to identify problem spots throughout the city.
2013 was a terrible year for pedestrian fatalities in Toronto. We’re glad someone has a better answer to the problem than “remember to look both ways.”
What you might have missed
Here’s Rob Ford, swarmed by media, ignoring a security guard’s suggestion that he take the elevator in order to ditch the crowd. Ford instead chooses to plough through reporters and steamroll a Globe and Mail photographer.
Newly-released police documents revealed that the cops offered to show Ford the crack video, with some conditions. He declined.
Ford also filed his statement of defence in the civil suit brought against him by Scott MacIntyre. Ford’s team cited Robyn Doolittle’s Crazy Town in their defence.
Bring the ’Paign runs every Monday. Send leaked emails and dog-eared copies of Crazy Town to email@example.com.