The circus has come to town. You may ask, “What circus?” Is it the gleaming white Moorish style structure for Cavalia’s Odysseo at the edge of the Gardner Expressway in the Port Lands, or the spectacle at city hall? Unlike the masterfully crafted performances of the internationally renowned Cavalia, the dramas strutted upon our municipal stage by the poor players, the brothers Ford, may seem like sound and fury, but in reality signifies a serious degrading of our public discourse.
What is the reason behind the Ford Weigh-In? This is truly a circus act. Like the weighing of the elephants at the circus it takes our minds off our troubles for a short while but in the end it is merely a publicity stunt. However, unfortunate as this may be, the media is consumed by it, dutifully reporting every week on this trivial antic. It would be helpful to the public if we had the same level of conscientious reporting on the important matters facing us at the city. For example, take the fall-out for the tenants forced to move from their homes in single family Toronto Community Housing units, which are being sold by the Fords in their desperate attempt to find revenue to cover off their failed promise to find gravy.
Once again, we are confronted by the sad and inexcusable unwillingness of our chief magistrate to wave his baton in the Gay Pride Parade. The holder of such a high office has to be the representative of all the people. In fact, I would go so far as to say an elected official who ducks his responsibility to acknowledge the importance of the gay community and its achievements is really not fit to be in this office. But yet again, the media continues to excuse Ford’s boorishness by perpetuating the old chestnut of Ford’s family obligations in Muskoka. The last time I looked, Ford doesn’t represent anyone in Muskoka.
But, you never know.
Ford believes he represents Ford Nation in Kitchener–Waterloo in his promise to unleash his minions on the provincial byelection to be called as a result of the appointment of Elizabeth Witmer to head the Workers’ Safety and Insurance Board. Maybe he thinks he can take his circus on the road. Seriously, what this represents is the waging of the mayor’s personal, political vendetta against the provincial Liberal government that really does not serve the best interests of the people of the City of Toronto. He is tickling the tiger and we will pay for the fallout of that folly.
A very entertaining act at the circus is the magician’s act, the sleight of hand. Ford’s recent crowing over a budget surplus is truly like pulling a rabbit out of a hat when one considers that the bulk of revenue that have made this year’s city surplus possible have been drawn from the Land Transfer Tax. The very tax Ford promised to cancel in his municipal election campaign that in no small part contributed to his victory. Talk about sleight of hand — even Houdini would be impressed.
Less than two years into his term, many are feeling that perhaps the disappearing act of Mayor Ford as the ringmaster on our center stage, would be the best act of all.
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