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Heroes and Villains 2008: Heroes

Torontoist is ending the year by naming our Heroes and Villains of 2008–the people, places, and things that we’ve either fallen head over heels in love with or developed uncontrollable rage towards over the past twelve months, with one hero and one villain selected by each participating staff member. On Christmas Day: the heroes. On Boxing Day: the villains. And next week, cast your vote to determine the Superhero and Supervillain of the year.


  • PickleToes

    Is it any surprise that Jack Layton is a Torontoist “hero”?

  • Svend

    In one you refer to Stephane Dion as a joke, then another as a hero. I don’t think he is either, but he’s the single reason Harper got cockier and more reckless. As for the Clarity Act, big deal – Harper was as much an architect as he was.
    High gas prices may be heroic for the environment, but that’s all wiped out but the current sub 70 cent levels isn’t it?
    I like the choice of Bikes and Social Media.

  • Gauldar

    PickleToes, is it any surprise you were the first to comment on this post?

  • PickleToes

    Gauldar: A little, but I knew that you and rek were really the only other contenders.

  • UnionStayshyn

    “…all of this and more was just proof that we can be a very, very stupid country when we want to be. Remember, Dion pretty much wrote the Clarity Act all by himself, which put the sovereignty movement in Quebec to bed for a decade until Stephen Harper decided to open his stupid mouth earlier this year.”
    YES! Just wish the mainstream media in this country agreed. They really did their best to regurgitate all of Harpers’ talking points about the ‘weak leadership’ of Dion and, sadly, Canadians bought it.
    I have feeling the media’s tune will change with the new appointed Liberal leader. He’s pro-Bush Doctrine, pro-torture and has spent the last 30 years outside of this country but our press will conveniently ignore those facts.
    Speaking of facts, here’s the opposite of one: “As for the Clarity Act, big deal – Harper was as much an architect as he was.”

  • Lands Down

    Dion was both a hero and a villain. It was contingent on him, as leader, to get his message across. He failed miserably at every turn. He’s a good parliamentarian and a worthless leader. The Green Shift is great policy, it’s unfortunate that he didn’t step aside to let a more competent leader sell it.
    Ironic that a guy who wrote something called the Clarity Act would be such an incomprehensible communicator. His awful leadership resulted in the greater success of both Harper and Layton, as the Liberal’s bled support on both sides. That’ll end with Ignatieff, Harper will be pushed to the right and Layton can return to being an irrelevant shouty fringe element.

  • Kevin Bracken

    Thanks for the love, Torontoist :) Newmindspace loves you too.

  • Svend

    From Harper’s wikipedia entry:
    In late 1999, Harper called for the federal government to establish clear rules for any future Quebec referendum on sovereignty.[35] Some have identified Harper’s views as an influence on the Chrétien government’s Clarity Act.

  • PickleToes

    Public Space Zealots
    The radicals responsible for the decline of individual property rights. Yeah, they sound like heroes to me….
    How about activists obsessed with creating communism through fascist methods?

  • garden_hoe21

    Does anyone know about a greasemonkey application that can block comments from trolls? Killfile only works for LJ.
    (No, I’m serious.)

  • David Topping
  • garden_hoe21

    *gasp* That’s amazing! Thank you!!

  • PickleToes

    David: Haha wow. I’m a preset too!

  • garden_hoe21

    *kisses you*

  • UnionStayshyn

    Did Svend just cite conjecture on wikipedia in order to prove his point?

  • PickleToes

    Union: If I wasn’t so confident about the quality of his character, I’d conjecture that he edited the wikipedia article and added in that paragraph.

  • Svend
    This is the Quebec Contingency Act that Harper put forward in 1996 as a private member’s bill, a precursor to the similar Clarity Act that Dion produced.

  • UnionStayshyn

    1996…hmmmm. Was that ‘Quebec Is A Nation Harper’? Or ‘Erect a Firewall Around Alberta Harper’?’Elect the Senate Harper’? Wait it was ‘The Government needs the support of the House Harper’!
    Dion and Chretien, two Québécois, got their ideas for dealing with Quebec sovereignists from the leader of a western protest party. Got it.

  • Svend

    Yes, people can agree on one thing while disagreeing on several others.
    Dion, Chretien, Harper all supported the Clarity Act – they share a strong stance in dealing with Quebec separatists just as Trudeau did before them. Did you even read Harper’s bill?

  • lolcat

    I strongly disagree with your choice of East Toronto Community Coalition as a hero. They don’t represent the interests of the community as a whole, just the interests of a narrow(minded) subset, as shown here and here.

  • http://undefined torontothegreat

    totally agree. But this is Torontoist we’re talking about so you come to expect it after a while.