What’s going on, Toronto?

An important date is approaching. A date that will absolutely affect Toronto’s future. The looming mayoral election. That important day is October 25. That’s the day that current Mayor David Miller, who has held the post (level-headed) for the past seven years, moves on. And with his absence comes in his successor – for better or worse.

Mayor David Miller

And what a race we have thus far. It just smacks of high-level debates around the real issues of the city. Like drug use and non-municipal issues like immigration, for instance. I know, I kid. The mayoral race has been hijacked by nonsense and although it’s some nice comic relief at this point, it’s not going to better anyone. And it definitely won’t better the city. It’s the sad side of politics, where substance is boiled away and all that remains is petty attack ads, bickering-heavy debates, and non-issue arguments. The side of politics where the major issues – transportation, the environment, bike lanes, parks, garbage removal inter alia – are left at the curbside.

And no one is putting up a red flag about it. The media is garnering ample headlines due to mayoral frontrunner Rob Ford’s oft-inane commentary. And everyone else seems to be caught up either pro-Ford or do-anything-to-ensure-it’s-not-Ford camps. Or if John Tory was going to run or not; although he made clear that he never had the intention on jumping into the race. Is this how we want to decide the next mayor of Canada’s largest city? A city that has made many inroads in the past years with concerns to the environment, crime and reputation. But also a city that faces a large number of problems – smog, poor transit and commuter deadlock – that Toronto needs a prudent mayor with foresight. I don’t think we have seen that candidate yet.

But then again, over a third of the electorate is still undecided on the next mayor. Most are saying that they are waiting until after Labour Day to really pay attention. After they return from their summer getaways. This includes most of the candidates; some who still haven’t even released their full platforms to this point. But we should demand more from them now. Not just a month of campaigning to show character. We have already seen too much character in some.

Do we really want another Mel Lastman holding down the fort? I didn’t think so, but I have to ask.

–RYAN BOLTON

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