Max's Blog

How Pop Culture Leads and Misleads

Tag: Toronto

World Mastercard Fashion Week Day 1: VAWK

ImagePhoto: George Pimentel / Getty Images

I keep saying I’ve retired from fashion writing but, like Cher with her unending farewell tours, it never seems to stick. Through WORN, the Toronto Standard, and befriending the right PR women I ended up on several media contact lists and consequently was invited to a handful of shows during Toronto’s World Mastercard Fashion Week. I decided to attend because I do enjoy runway shows, and playing ‘spot Stacey McKenzie’, but this year I didn’t want to go on my own. While I never did this when I covered the shows for the Standard this time around I asked for plus-ones for every presentation I was invited to. Remarkably, the PR women indulged me. I wanted to bring my friends to fashion week to give them a peek into this glamorous, crazy world, and they’re useful for snagging extra Peroni drink tickets.

First up was Sunny Fong for VAWK. Sunny and I go way back (and by that I mean I rooted for him when he was on ‘Project Runway Canada’). Also one time I approached him at Starbucks and said I was a fan. His whole face turned into a bashful smile. He’s just the cutest of elfin men.

His collections are also reliably excellent, often inserting some cheeky fun and much-needed model diversity. His Autumn/Winter 2014 collection promised to be interesting. It was officially touted as a collision of classical and modern, blended with the luxury of Dubai and the organic style of ‘90s street fashion.” I couldn’t really picture that (Salt-N-Pepa mixed with Abu Dhabi via ‘Sex and the City 2’?) but couldn’t wait to see it.

The resulting concoction was quite different than what I expected. It could have been subtitled ‘Fifty Shades of Black’. While I get a bit exhausted with the fashion industry’s obsession with monochrome, the collection demonstrated what a talented designer can do with limited colour. My favourite piece was early on—a black leather jacket with silver snakeskin sleeves which, under the glaring lights, shone like a suit of armor. Underneath the model wore a long diaphanous cape that flowed out the back like a train. The jewelry was restricted to large silver pedant necklaces, as you might see in a Renaissance portrait. Whether pants, skirts, or floor-length dresses, most of the pieces clung to the body tightly. When combined with the models’ straightened hair and dark eye makeup, they gave the show a ‘Morticia Addams goes to the Oscars’ air. 

And just when I was worried about diversity (while the models were multi-ethnic they were all of the same body type, with a couple looking dangerously skeletor) ultra marathon runner Amy Winters headed down the runway with a beautiful, intricate metallic prosthetic leg, designed by the Alberta-based Alleles Design Studio. There were whispers, then scattered applause, as the attendees noticed the reason for her distinctive gait.  After the show I spotted Winters, having switched back to her everyday prosthetic, carrying the unique one around in a complimentary tote bag. Hopefully she’ll have another excuse to wear it soon. 

ImagePhoto: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

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Isn’t She Funny?

I have conflicting feelings about Barbra Streisand. The woman can obviously sing. She’s got good timing and a funny delivery. In some ways, as torch song belter and gay camp icon, she took up where Judy Garland left off. (‘Funny Girl’, the film that made Streisand a movie star, came out in 1968; Garland died the next year.) Seen in this way, their duet from Judy’s short-lived TV show is like a passing of the torch.

 

But there’s something a little hypocritical in Streisand’s film persona. She is often cast as a hardworking, goofy ‘ugly duckling’ who is a tonic to boringly-pretty Aryan girls. But this down-to-earthness doesn’t gel with Streisand’s off-camera diva reputation (demanding to be filmed from only one side) or even her portrayal onscreen. For instance, ‘Funny Girl’ makes a big deal about Streisand not looking like a willowy Ziegfeld girl, but she is always perfectly made-up and gorgeously lit, looking as beautiful as she possibly can. No other actress in the film even gets a close-up. She is, after all, supposed to be playing Vaudevillian Fanny Brice, who sang and danced but whose real talent was for oddball comedy.

 

In later years, the lightness and possible-subversiveness of Streisand’s identity were further undermined by the dead serious way she treated her own talent, not to mention the schmaltzy candle-lit songs she chose for herself. But perhaps I’m being too tough on her. In 1968, she was a revolutionary heroine, and paved the way for unconventional leading ladies like Sarah Jessica Parker and Jennifer Aniston (who young Streisand greatly resembles).  ‘Funny Girl’ is worth checking out even for the luscious costumes by Irene Sharaff, a very sixties take on the 1900’s to the 1920’s, alone.

TIFF In The Park is showing ‘Funny Girl’ tonight at 9.00pm right next to Roy Thomson Hall. If you join me, I promise not to rain on your parade. 

Staunch Characters

Well, I can say this for sure: my mood about dating fluctuates more than the European economy. Having been pulled out of melancholia two weeks ago by an unexpectedly fun Pride weekend (karaoke was involved) my outlook has sadly swung back to sour. The Week of the Three Crushes looks to be ending with a whimper not a bang (or banging) and now I’m once again planning on becoming a crazy old dog lady.

Why a crazy old dog lady? Because I’m allergic to cats.

Speaking of which, I’m going to see ‘Grey Gardens’ tomorrow night, which is being shown behind the 519 Community Centre on Church Street. The 1975 documentary by the Maysles brothers is about the cousin and aunt of Jackie Kennedy (by then Onassis) who have whittled away their fortune and now spend their days in a dilapidated East Hampton summer home sunbathing, eating corn on the cob, listening to records and bickering about old times.

But oh, it’s about so much more. The combination of reliance and rejection of the mother-daughter relationship is mythic in its timelessness, while also eerily familiar. The film can be viewed as a metaphor for a certain outdated way of being a lady (marrying rich, having no career, devoting one’s free time to the performance arts, despite questionable talent) which by the 1970’s was rotting from the inside, just like the crumbling, raccoon infested home. Light years before reality TV shows like ‘Hoarders’, the documentary demonstrated how you never really know what’s going on inside the walls of the house across the street.

And, of course, ‘Grey Gardens’ is about how to maintain your personal style on a limited budget, while suffering from alopecia.

It’s about much more, but I won’t give any more away. Come and join me at the 519 Community Centre on Saturday at 9pm.

Also on Saturday during the afternoon, I will be at the WORN table at the Distillery Art Market in the Distillery District (our building is 55 Mill Street). It’s a good chance to pick up the new issue, help support the mag by buying one of these fabulous gay puppets and to actually get down to the Distillery District.

Are We Over the Rainbow Yet?

Well, the good news is we’re winning.

The victory of same-sex marriage in New York was preceded by a poll showing that Americans were more comfortable electing a gay person president than a Mormon (bad news for Mitt Romney and John Huntsman), demonstrating that even our Southern neighbours are rejecting prejudice in favour of the live-and-let-live attitude of young people. Those born after 1980 overwhelmingly support gay rights and, for a generation famous for apathy and texting, it’s one of the things we should be proud of.

Here a shrill voice chimes in, “There’s still a lot of work to do!” To which the eternal answer is, “Of course there is; I never said there wasn’t.” But things have changed and changed for the better.

So why does the approaching Pride weekend fill me with angst? I feel like melancholy Charlie Brown, kicking dirt with his head down: “Good grief, Charlie Brown! Only you could take something joyful like Pride and turn it into something depressing!”

Why do I feel a bit sad? Well, there’s the Valentine’s/New Years thing, namely that I don’t have a date. And while yes, Pride is not usually associated with romance and monogamy, when you spot couples on Yonge or Church Street walking hand in hand, perhaps having come from places where they wouldn’t feel comfortable showing their affection publicly, it gives one a pang of longing.

Pride memory from five years ago: cuddling with the Big Ex, watching a drag queen in a rainbow dress perform Etta James’ ‘At Last’ and thinking that, at last, my love had come along. Didn’t turn out that way.

But Pride isn’t about coupling so much as community. The parade, the various marches, the special events and much of the accompanying literature and photographs all push the idea of a queer community, composed of six-pack Abercrombie hunks, middle-aged lesbian moms and tattooed trans activists who support the Palestinians. ‘Community’ is as important to the modern queer world as ‘coming out’ (where else does one go after coming out?) and we’ve invested heavily in the perception of a diverse and dynamic neighbourhood.

But what of those who feel a bit let down by the community. Christmas can make people with complicated feelings about their families (family being to Christmas what community is to Pride) feel depressed and disconnected. If you have mixed feelings about Church Street and ‘Queer Street West’, if you feel that we have a lot of wasted potential as a community, Pride, with the increased pressure to go out and celebrate, can leave you feeling a little bit blue.

We’re one of the largest queer communities in the world, with members from around the globe, but not that you would be able to tell that from our cliquey and awkward attitude at bars. When I go out, I get the sense that everyone wishes their situation was different: single people long to be coupled, and coupled people use drinking as the excuse to flirt with others. Meanwhile, groups of friends perform a complicated tango of almost-making out with each other, which may make things awkward later, but is preferred to actually meeting new people.

(If you couldn’t tell, these observations are mostly of gay men. In contrast, I know of three lesbian couples who got engaged last year.)

I once had a conversation with Sky Gilbert in which he opined that everybody gets disillusioned with the gay community, that it has a purpose but then you have to move past it. In fact, he has a poem called ‘Coming Out’ in which he describes attending a queer men’s group. During one discussion, the narrator glances out the window and sees a vast, uncharted jungle: “dark and deep, verdant and lush, where a dense green valley plunged precipitously to a cleansing stream, overhung with fragrant, swinging vines. The cries of exotic birds pierced the air as they soared from tree to tree, occasionally lighting to spread their beautiful feathers in an obscene, erotic display.”

Years later, having long since left the group, he returns to the office. All he can find outside the window is a single tree.

Oh well. So sometimes you’re disappointed and a bit sad. Who isn’t? Why, Max, did you think you were special? The fight for gay rights isn’t about making people happy; it’s about fairness and freedom. One of the results of the legal and social changes of the last forty years has been the increased happiness of queer people, but general acceptance, protection from harassment and marriage equality (among other advancements) are not guarantees of a happy ending.

That’s up to us.

There’s still a need for Pride (look no further than our uncomfortable mayor who treats us like lepers), as there is for a queer community. Try as you might, you just can’t dance to Katy Perry in a chat room. I’ll be out there this weekend, trying to meet people and have fun.

If you see me, say Hi.

At least there was no Cher Lip-Synching

The other night I was invited to a “Goth Drag” event. Now, despite my professed love of Edward Gorey, I am no Goth. Nor do I perform drag, not withstanding the odd Dorothy Gale Halloween costume. But sometimes you need to push yourself out of your comfort zone, which in my case meant dragging my prematurely middle-aged ass down to the Beaver on Queen West for a midnight performance by Mikiki Mikiki.

The performer naturally arrived late, so my new friend Randal and I had plenty of time at the candle-lit bar to people-watch (the attendants were an interesting venn diagram of Goths and Drags and Goth-Drags) and glance at a soundless projection of erotic-horror movie ‘The Lair of the White Worm’ with a pre-stardom Hugh Grant. I kid thee not. This is real.

Mikiki Mikiki, who I learned prefers the non-gendered pronoun ‘they’ to ‘he’ or ‘she’, eventually waltzed in like a late Maria Callas and was introduced by a MC who claimed that they had been kicked out of venues all over town. Very soon, we discovered why.

Without saying a word, Mikiki Mikiki, who was wearing a long, Vivienne Westwood-esque Victorian gown and white shirt, unbuttoned their top, exposing their chest. They then dabbed their pectorals with a disinfecting wipe. They took out some safety pins and, without flinching, pierced their nipple not once, not twice, but thrice, forming a little star across the areola. I was near the front and had stood up from our table to get a better look, and, although I once hid my face on Randal’s shoulder, I tried to stay cool.

I worried that someone would faint, but rather the audience was pretty blase about the whole thing. Some gasped and cheerfully tittered (accidental pun, I swear), but others kept talking amongst themselves, as though Mikiki Mikiki wasn’t a live performer that demanded attention. I guess it takes more than turning a breast into a pin cushion to break some people of their self-important bubbles.

My favourite part was that they kept the safety-pins in and when they came back out to chat with the crowd, blood was streaming down their chest.

What was the point? Like any artist, I’m sure Mikiki Mikiki is too smart to define what it was all about. As this Xtra interview from four years ago says, their performance aesthetic can be “hard to pin down.” Indeed.  

Seeing shows like this wouldn’t be something I would do every Saturday night. But it sure beats staying home and watching little-people-who-are-hoarders-and-make-cupcakes reality TV shows. A city as big and diverse as Toronto always has something going on. You may witness something you’ll never forget. It just takes a little research, a little initiative and, as the Cowardly Lion would say, a little courage.

Queer in Toronto

I am very lucky to have made some pretty fantastic, talented, inspiring friends over the years. Case in point: I am going to two art openings of close friends in two days. The first was last night at the Gladstone Hotel, the ‘Queer in Toronto’ project. It started with my friend Taryn Pimento, whom I went to elementary school with, and her partner Margo Foster realizing that there wasn’t much space for queer women in Toronto, both rhetorically and physically. They sought to correct this by creating a series of photographs of queer women and female-identified persons which show queer Toronto in all its glorious diversity.

While the photographs are beautiful, the warmth of the two artists is reflected in their loving treatment of their subjects, what stood out for me were the cards featuring questions and scribbled answers next to each work. Asked about how they identify and their thoughts on the queer female scene in the city, the women penned answers which are sometimes funny, sometimes political, occasionally scratching out part and rewriting them. By not editing or retyping the subjects’ answers, Pimento and Foster allow the women’s voices to be heard alongside their faces.

The show is on the second floor of the Gladstone Hotel and is up until November 24th.

Riverdale Farm

Once upon a time, Riverdale Farm was Riverdale Zoo and exotic creatures were cooped up in cages in the little park directly downtown. (Cabbage Town, which surrounds the Farm, also used to be a ghetto and not filled with upperwardly mobile gay couples and their dogs.) After the animals were transfered to the new, more spacious zoo in Scarborough in the 1970’s, a farm was created around a rebuilt 19th century barn. Nowadays a donkey, a turkey and some relaxing pigs are as exotic as it gets at Riverdale (which, on second thought, is pretty exotic for some urban kids).

Dervla and I, after purchasing our tickets to India, headed down to the farm on a beautiful sunny day. We promptly got lost in Cabbagetown, which doesn’t bode well for navigating the streets of New Delhi.

Toronto circa 2014

The Ford “Revolution”

Somehow, I’ve ended up relating to two groups I never expected I would: strategic swing-voters and American Republicans. What a weird election.

In every past one I can recall, I knew who I was supporting early on. As a New Democrat, I’m used to my candidates losing, but you should always vote for the person you believe in. Voting strategically, holding your nose and casting your ballot for the perceived ‘lesser of two evils’, often doesn’t work and results in political leaders no one actually likes.

But this election the stakes seemed much higher to stop Rob Ford. Not since Hillary vs. Obama had my parents been divided, with my Mom supporting lefty Joe Pantalone and my father arguing that only George Smitherman could save Toronto from the embarrassment of a Ford mayoralty. Unlike at the provincial or federal levels, when there’s multiple viable candidates and parties can build on past successes, mayoral races are one-time shots, and my Dad worried that a Ford victory would send the alarming message that even in Toronto rightwing candidates can win by mindlessly chanting “lower taxes” over and over again.  

I was leaning towards Pantalone as the torchbearer for David Miller’s Toronto (and no, Miller’s tenure wasn’t the complete disaster the papers think it was) but also because I resented that Smitherman squandered his early lead by not representing anything, by not articulating why he wanted to be mayor and that his campaign ultimately boiled down to ‘Anyone but Ford’.

In the last day I realized that I was doing what I didn’t want to do, voting against somebody rather than for.

Still, polls were tightening and I always liked Pantalone when I read about him or saw his cute diminutive frame on TV.  

I honestly didn’t know who I was going to vote for until I was standing in my old high school’s gym, looking down at all the names. I waffled back and forth before drawing the black line with the sharpie.

My candidate didn’t win, but I’m comfortable with my choice.

It was ridiculous how quickly ‘CP24’ called the election for Ford. Eight minutes past 8.00pm, when the polls closed. They cut straight to his family home in Etobicoke, where the already red-faced Ford turned even redder and distractedly answered questions as his family jumped around him.  Watching his large, blonde brothers (even his nieces looked a bit like him) I started to feel that here was a different side of Toronto not usually represented in downtown politics.

I felt the same way watching his rambling victory speech, when the rag tag group who surrounded him on stage appeared intent on distracting attention; a baby in the back wailed; a weird dude, before being instructed to step off by security, placed a Hawaiian lei around Ford’s neck, which he wore for the remainder of the speech; and a man in a black leather cowboy hat, perhaps a brother, tried to give him a shoulder massage before being scolded by the formidable Mama Ford herself.

Because it’s 2010, and old media feels the need to shamelessly suck up to new media, election-themed twitter tweets scrolled the bottom of screen, which, while divided in their allegiance, were unified in their breathlessness. (Ironically, by #ing ‘CP24’ twitterers were sucking up to the old media which so wants to be like twitter in order to be on TV. Some tweets even ended with “Can’t believe Ford won! Say goodbye to Transit City! Hi Lindsay!” making it clear that twitterers are the new people standing outside City TV or ‘Good Morning America’ waving ‘Hi Mom!’ signs.)

There was a certain naiveté about the pro-Ford tweets, a grandiosity mixed with dangerously vague generalizations. Much about how Torontoians had “voted for change”, had “demanded respect” and “taken back their city”. Ford had tapped into a real sentiment and received a mandate (at the end of the day, even if you added all the Pantalone votes onto Smitherman’s, ‘Furious George’ would’ve only barely won), but what exactly this revolution is about, other than “lower taxes” and “stopping the gravy train”, is pretty unclear.

Generalities work in an election campaign, but not so much in governing. And when you combine them with an enthusiastic voter base, many of whom never voted before, and a hostile, often-dysfunctional council, you’re looking at the potential to disappoint a lot of people, and fast.

Which is what Obama learned in the two years since his unifying calls for “hope” and “change” swept him to power but left Democrats divided on what to do.

Like Republicans watching Obama’s victory speech in Chicago that historic night, I watched the Ford celebration unable to ignore the excitement of his passionate supporters but with the sinking feeling of not knowing what comes next.

My predictions: with all eyes on him now, Mayor-elect Ford will not be as focused as Candidate Ford and will have a stumbling transition, quickly angering activist groups (womens’, queer and immigrant ones, my guess) and unions, and will see a major strike within a year. If Ford is held accountable for it (as Miller was for the garbage strike) or rather seen as the tough-talking defender of voters’ tax money will depend on the media, the public mood and how Torontoians respond viscerally to the new mayor.

All is not lost. Although some new right-wingers were elected, the basic diversity of city council stayed the same, and Ford will have to work with centrist and leftwing councillors (and, hopefully, moderate his positions) in order to get anything done. All the columnists agree that he won’t actually be able to get rid of streetcars, which (perhaps oddly) became one of my biggest fears. If he doesn’t “keep his promises”, as viewed by his core supporters, he has a tough re-election in four years.

Four years…God…

And lastly, sometimes you need an ‘enemy’ to galvanize people, to shake them out of their complacent slumbers and fight for what they believe in. Feminists, LBGTQ-activists, immigrant advocates, environmentalists and even cyclists (especially cyclists!) should start mobilizing now, today, and get ready to cause a fuss as soon as Ford missteps or misspeaks. Our goal should be to create a progressive flipside of the American ‘Tea Party Movement’ (the Herbal Tea Party, anyone?), who, although much less influential than Fox News would have us believe, succeed in having their displeasure at ‘Obama-nation’ heard.

Congratulations, Rob Ford. As my parents, veterans of the dramatic ups and downs of politics, said last night, “It’s all downhill from victory night.”

Something about Rob Ford

 

For the first time in my adult life I don’t know who to support in an election. And I’m not the only one keeping the Toronto mayoral race at arm’s length. The candidates have been so uninspiring, the issues so dry and the entire scene so depressing, made more so by councillor Rob Ford’s lead in the polls, that it’s been easier just to turn away. This is wrong. There is no less at stake in a dismal election; indeed, there is often more. Not knowing about the candidates and who to vote for is an opportunity in disguise, a great chance to learn new things and take a chance.

If you’ve heard of any of the candidates, you’ve heard of Rob Ford, city counsellor from Etobicoke North. An active supporter of the Salvation Army and high school football, Ford is a Mike Harris right-winger, no friend of unions or bike-lanes, who has promised to clean up the city while cutting taxes. He also has enough scandals to sink a regular politician, but he remains buoyant.

It doesn’t seem to matter to his supporters that he referred to Asian-Canadians as “Orientals” who “work like dogs” and “are slowly taking over”; that he said that Toronto shouldn’t let in more immigrants as “it’s more important that we take care of the people now before we start bringing in more”; that he agreed with a evangelical pastor that same-sex marriage could “dismantle” our civilization; that he said that roads are built for cars not bikers and when one dies his “heart goes out to them” but it was their fault; that, about a proposed transgendered grant program, he said “No. 1, I don’t understand a transgender…is it a guy dressed up like a girl or a girl dressed up like a guy? And we’re funding this for…We’re giving them $3,210?”; and that he dismissed the universality of the AIDS threat by claiming that “if you’re not doing needles and you’re not gay, you won’t get AIDS, probably.”

My problem is not just that I disagree with him. How can someone who wants to be mayor of one of the most multicultural diverse cities in the world be so ignorant and, worse than just that, smugly and indifferently so? How can you not know or care that it’s the hard work of new Canadians that has, rather than be a strain on our resources, kept Toronto’s economy growing? That cyclists, by reducing car pollution in our already smog-choked city, are helping the environment for everyone? And, if you don’t know what transgendered means, look it up.

Columnists like Christie Blatchford have made fun of lefties for foaming at the mouth over a possible Ford victory. I wish I could take it so lightly. Some of his supporters don’t agree with him on everything, but like the idea of a Toronto mayor who’s gutsy and ‘straight-talking’. But a mayor is not a king (or a Conservative Prime Minister): he can’t just do whatever he wants. The mayor’s fate is tied up with a dysfunctional city council, a majority who would hate Ford as soon as he took office.

Mayor Ford would result in a Toronto of wars; a war between the city and the province (who will not shill out more money, despite Ford’s saber-rattling); a war between City Hall and unions; a war between drivers and cyclists; a war between suburban and downtown voters; a war between immigrant groups, artists and queers asking for funding from people who don’t know what transgendered means. All this in a city which already looks like a war zone.

The other candidates, so far splitting the centre and left votes, are flummoxed about Ford’s support and appear to be lost on how to stop him. Brian Topp in The Globe and Mail superbly summed up his campaign so far:

Mr. Ford is a very smart, superbly tuned, disciplined and determined right-wing populist who knows exactly what he is doing. People who attack him as a buffoon underestimate him, and help his campaign by building his brand among the kind of voters he is targeting. He is speaking to the 30-35 per cent of the electorate who are always there for right-wing candidates in Toronto…People who resent Toronto’s elite (although Mr. Ford is that elite’s avatar). People who believe that by cutting the $2-million city councillors spend staying in touch with constituents, Toronto’s $7.8-billion budget will be healed. People who believe that by cutting taxes, there will be more revenue. People who believe that by electing a mayor whose brand proposition is a relentless assault on the honesty and integrity of his city council colleagues, we will have a mayor who can get better results from those colleagues.

Seems unlikely to me. But Mr. Ford doesn’t need to persuade me, or anyone like me. He just needs to hold his franchise, while the two-thirds of the electorate who see the world as a more complex place split their votes between three or four other candidates. Mr. Ford is running a well-scripted, right-wing minority, Karl Roveian, modern U.S. Republican-style campaign. He is seeking to reproduce Stephen Harper’s minority victory in Toronto.

I caught Ford’s closing remarks during one of the endless debates last night. (Another problem with this election has been the multitudes of debates and how early the campaign started. Only the media wants to think about a city election a year before it takes place!) Ford said that he was the only candidate who had both public and private sector experience as a business man, and that this gave him credibility on balancing the budget. He then mentioned his wife and kids, called himself a “family man” and claimed that we desperately needed a “business-oriented, family man” in City Hall. Why? Was this possibly a dig at his main opponent, the openly-gay George Smitherman? Very Karl Rove indeed. Bringing up his ‘family man’ status for no reason is especially odd when you learn that Ford’s wife once called the cops on him and charged him with assault, although she later dropped the charges and he was exonerated.

(Two can play at Rove’s game.)  

There’s still time. A couple of the other candidates may drop out and throw their support behind a leading Ford opponent. The newspapers keep reminding us that nobody pays attention to elections during the summer and so the poll numbers should be taken with a grain of salt. But Ford’s core support will stay solid. There are Toronto voters who are conservative, who don’t like taxes, who don’t ride bikes or take the TTC and see Chinatown and the Pride Parade not as celebrations of diversity but as evidence that the Canada they grew up with is disappearing. I get that, and I understand that they want what they think is best for the city too.

But the city’s many problems are not going to be fixed by a bully. Some politicians, the good ones, win by bringing people together, others by tearing people apart. Toronto elected David Miller partly because he was against the Island Airport bridge; let’s not elect a man who will burn all bridges between the diverse communities that make this city a vibrant and wonderful place to live.