This Monday was St. Patrick’s Day, and I was pleased to see a fellow Mayoral candidate, John Tory, visiting my neighbourhood of Toronto-Danforth (Ward 30). John’s team kindly escorted him my way and set aside a few moments for me to welcome him to my local community of Greektown, as well as to the race for Mayor. We shared some thoughts on youth programs and he congratulated me on being 1-0 on mayoral debates with my Grid-crowned victory of the first Mayoral Candidates Forum last month (ignoring the “And who lost?” section below the piece on me, for now).
As the most formidable of the candidates who aren’t already career politicians (a concept I am not in favour with), and who has already proven worthy of being heard via the first Mayor’s debate, I hope to be included in next week’s CityNews debate in spite of the recent entries of John Tory, Karen Stintz, and Olivia Chow.
Regardless of the stripes we may wear, John Tory and I, as in all 39 candidates for Mayor, are in this race because we care about a BETTER Toronto. We may have a range of ideas on how we have come to believe this great city is our home and what we would do if representing it. But in the end, the role of Mayor is about bridging the diversity of a city that is made up of six amalgamated municipalities with far-reaching socioeconomic diversity.
Having an accessible and connected city with a strong citizenry and infrastructure is not a matter of political right or left; however, when those binaries are introduced into the language and ethos of candidates and representatives, communities can become divided. I’m really here to listen and facilitate, not be a politician.
I may see parts of the world and Toronto through a different lens than John Tory, but that does not mean we can’t have a green beer on St. Patrick’s Day at Allen’s on Danforth and talk about what matters to us. It is, after all, why we’re both here.