Will John Tory’s ‘prudent’ leadership be tough enough to tackle Toronto’s big issues if he’s re-elected?
“The mayor has to have courage. We need the courage of the people in this city to say, ‘We’re going to save this place or we’re going to take power away from you and you’re going to pay the price.”
— John Tory, in his speech to the Toronto City Council on the subject of Toronto’s budget
At first glance, it seems that John Tory is one of those politicians (like Stephen Harper) who could be accused, and rightly so, of playing politics in every part of their lives. He’s spent the past few years taking on Toronto’s big, entrenched and very expensive problems for the ‘little guy’ in a style and a style of leadership which, frankly, has been the subject of derision by much of Toronto’s political class.
To be fair, he’s done it much more thoroughly and more honestly than Stephen Harper, and with better results. Harper, however, is a bit of an easy touch for a politician. He isn’t the most demanding boss of an employee, nor is he the most demanding boss of a family member, and he certainly does not treat the office of mayor of Toronto with the same scrupulous decorum as the one he holds, and does not behave with a level of grace and self-sacrificial humility that would be the expectation of any mayor in this city.
John Tory, on the other hand, not being the most demanding boss of an employee, is not even the most demanding boss of a mayor. He is, however, the most demanding boss of a country-wide leader.
When I wrote this piece I intended to focus on just one of the major problems in Toronto—the soaring housing costs. But I believe this is far from the most important issue facing the city.
That’s what I’ll cover in the next few paragraphs.
What I’ve written above will be followed up with in the next several paragraphs. But I will not focus on that now.