Toronto: Vote for Tory, kowtow to the wealthy

Brian Tue, 2014-10-21 15:30

An open letter to my fellow Torontonians:

A vote for John Tory is a vote to continue the long tradition of citizen subservience to the Canadian moneyed classes.

Is there anyone in Toronto more a scion of the wealthy than Mr. Tory? He's the son of Elizabeth "Liz" (Bacon) and John A Tory, president of Thomson Investments Limited and a director of Rogers Communications. In 1972, when he was 18 years old, "family friend" Ted Rogers hired him as a "journalist" for high-quality news outlets CFTR and CHFI. Presumably due to his talent, he worked there for seven years, to 1979. Later, after stints as a lawyer (see below) and bum-boy for various Conservative politicians, he returned to Rogers—as CEO of Rogers Media, Inc. Wow!

"Like his father and grandfather" (Wikipedia), he attended University of Toronto Schools, a dumping ground (sorry: elite educational institution) for the bright and not-so-bright offspring of the Canadian wealthy, and then Trinity College, University of Toronto, another well-known haunt of the wealthy.

Somehow, while busy as a "journalist" for Rogers, he managed to graduate from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, a feather in the cap of his "progressive" clown suit (since he didn't attend the more "prestigious," but more corporate, University of Toronto Law School).

Possibly because of his talent, he "held various positions at Tory, Tory, DesLauriers & Binnington, including partner, managing partner, and member of the Executive Committee," (again, Wikipedia, apologies all around) while slumming there for nine years. (I'm sure you know, but just in case you don't, TTD&B is one of the MOST prestigious, establishment, corporate law firms.)

As now, Tory has dabbled in politics, mostly unsuccessfully. He's won two elections:

  • In 2004, possibly as a reward for his service as a fart-catcher to Ontario Premier Bill Davis, a job he got shortly after graduating from law school, and possibly also his service as "tour manager" and "campaign director" to former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney (among other personal accomplishments for someone who started from such inauspicious beginnings), he was elected leader of Ontario's PC (formerly "Progressive Conservative") Party. You know, the Tories.

  • In 2005, he became the PC MPP for Dufferin-Peel-Wellington-Grey (nb. not Toronto).

More Tory triumphs:

  • He was the campaign manager for the Tories in the federal election in 1993. In that fiasco, Tory helped the, er, Tories go from 151 seats to, er, two.

  • During that campaign, Tory approved an ad that made fun of Jean Chrétien's facial disfiguration. Tory and the Tories said that was never their intention. See for yourself here.

  • In the 2007 Ontario election, Tory ran in the riding of Don Valley West, where he "grew up, raised his family and lived most of his life." He lost to the incumbent, Liberal Kathleen Wynne, currently Premier of Ontario.

  • Though the 2007 campaign started out looking like it was Tory's to win, he inexplicably made increased funding to religious schools his number one campaign plank, mystifying almost everyone, including most of his party. (Did I mention it was the Tories?) He lost.

  • In 2003 he ran for mayor of Toronto, accepting the endorsement of the Toronto Police Association. He lost.

Mark my words. If Tory's elected Mayor, all the so-called "mushy middle" councillors will line up with him (some, including mine, are currently endorsing him), and Toronto will return to its Mel Lastman glory days, kow-towing to developers and other wealthy people. (Did I mention John Tory was a "key backer" of Mel Lastman?)

Unlike many, I'm already starting to look with nostalgia on the Rob Ford years, when our councillors stood up on their hind legs and kept the city moving while Rob Ford dervished his way from inanity to insanity. It was a pretty good performance, all things considered, and I'll miss it, if Tory's elected.

Olivia Chow, candidate for Mayor of Toronto