In October 2010, Toronto underwent a mayoral election. Apparently we were an angry lot. Terribly so. I suspect that like many of the citizenry, I would have never had known this unless I was told by Rob Ford’s campaign. There was a “gravy train” at city council that so glutinous, so dripping, so deep and tasty Julia Child would be jealous. Yes, I ought to be angry. But I wasn’t.
There was a life-sucking land-transfer tax in place that was so prohibitive people were running screaming to Richmond Hill to avoid it. I ought to be angry about that too since I’m a renter who cannot yet afford to buy a home many of which list at $350,000...before tax. Any tax. Even before bidding wars set in. Grr? No, not really.
But the $60 car-registration tax surely must have raised my ire! That must boil my blood, yes? Nope. Smog pisses me off as do single-rider SUVs and congestion caused by private vehicles, but taxes on these vehicles. Nah. TTC fare hikes rankle, but I think there are bigger fish to fry.
Ooh, speaking of fish, what about the garbage strike, huh? That was AWFUL! It threatened our very way of life and civilization itself! THAT should have really gotten my goat. Well, it wasn’t pleasant, but we lived, and largely forgot about it.
Well, I must be angry about something, right?
Hmm. Let me think. Yes, by Jove I am.
I’m angry that I’m told by a bellicose, belligerent, pejorative-spewing spoilt brat that I’m angry and that I’m an elitist because I can string multisyllabic words together in a sentence uninterrupted by “uhs,” “ums,” and corporate jargon.
I’m angry because people who never venture into the downtown core let alone ride public transit are going to dictate its nature and makeup.
I’m angry that the very Conservatives that foisted amalgamation on Toronto in 1998* are now complaining that council is too big and things cost too much.
I’m angry that the minority Conservative federal government** that ignored the duly elected mayor of the largest metropolis in the country*** and stuck the G20 in the financial district endorsed the mayor-elect.
The funny thing about anger is it can make you do awful, destructive, desperate things. However, to channel the old-school punk ethos, anger can also be an energy and it can be power.
Yes, I’m angry...and engaged.
*Former Ontario Premier Mike Harris showed up at Rob Ford’s celebration shindig.( See CP24's coverage.)
**Finance Minister Jim Flaherty endorsed the Ford campaign.(See The Globe and Mail)
***David Miller interviewed by Matt Galloway on CBC's Metro Morning and Miller's press confernence as reported by Digital Journal.