I read the other day that a guy named “Bubbles” is running for mayor in my hometown of Orillia.
Apparently, this is quite funny. But, since I don’t watch Trailer Park Boys, I don’t quite get the Bubbles part. Locals report he is a dead ringer for the TV show character; although, in real life, he is a piano technician and apparently an SPCA volunteer. While he hasn’t put his name on the official log, the unofficial candidate is taking a stab at being a duopolous mayor as he is simultaneously running in Severn Township. Clearly, there is no shortage of ambition here.
Bubbles, the candidate, wants Rush to play a concert in Orillia (his iPod is full of Rush tunes) and for Tim Horton’s to offer free coffee on Sundays. That along with his desire to have a wet bar at town council meetings.
I like this guy.
Looking closer to home, I see that a local high school football coach is well on the way to becoming Mayor of Toronto.
Geez, if I knew that volunteer high school football coaches could become Mayor, I might have run. Okay, maybe not.
But, I am going to do a little politicking right now. Don’t worry, I have no interest in swaying how you vote. Except in the most basic way. And that is to encourage you to vote.
You see, I have been involved in a few too many political arguments lately. Not arguments but heated discussions. In all of them, one thing has become clear: I don’t really understand our municipal system and I don’t pay attention to what happens in my city.
And you know what? What happens at City Hall impacts me at work and at home.
The good news is I have an old university friend running in my riding, so I have been to a couple of her campaign events and that has whetted my appetite. But I want to take it further. I want to help Canada get out and vote.
But why? Why should we vote?
I can tell you what I want to see in Toronto. You can tell me what you want to see in Halifax or Regina or Québec City or Medicine Hat or Bellville.
I would like to see somebody run under a platform of “Activating the City of Toronto Brand.” Like all great brands, the City of Toronto brand has a promise. It is time to keep those promises.
So, what promises should the City of Toronto make to me?
• That I’m not dreaming that the Leafs are 3-0 (by the time you read this they may be 3 & 18!)
• That I can drive my bike all over the city in a safe, protected lane… go to Amsterdam if you are unsure of what I mean!
• That I can have clean streets, sidewalks, and parks.
• That I won’t get shot trying to be an anti-gang activist.
• That a shopkeeper won’t face five years in jail trying to stop someone from robbing him. Again. Like twice in the same day. (Look it up, true story. Robber got 60 days and robbed again. He got out. Shop owner is facing five years for chasing him down and forcing him back to his store to be arrested)
• That my community pool will open before August.
• That we will tear down Varsity Stadium and rebuild it the way it should be: open-air, grass-filed, seating for 25,000 crazy high school, Varsity Blues and Argos fans!
• That we will we bury the Gardiner and make an amazing waterfront featuring real parks and get rid of all the sugar plants and ugly smelters.
• That someone will grant more parking for Porter Airlines or give them a bridge or underpass to Billy Bishop Airport.
• That people across Canada stop calling us the Center of the Universe. It makes me blush!