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Duly Quoted: Olivia Chow, on Not Being Another David Miller

Mayoral candidate wants to be judged on the basis of her proposals.

“I’m not male. Not white. Want to start there?”

-Mayoral candidate Olivia Chow, responding to a question from a Toronto Star reader during an online Q&A on April 9. The reader had asked: “Can you please tell us how you will be any different than the man that ran from Toronto with his tail between his legs David Miller?” After Chow delivered her response, reporter Daniel Dale followed up with “What about politically? I hear this a fair bit—the suggestion that you’ll be ‘another Miller.’” Chow then replied, “Please judge me on my proposals,” before outlining one related to supporting small businesses.


  • bobloblawbloblawblah

    I thought this response by Chow a bit snippy until I read the way the question was posed in an obviously partisan way. I’m tired of this “miller was evil” insinuation from many and how the media plays into it. Miller cared about this city, unlike the crack smoking, hangs out with gun running gang – bangers oaf we currently call Mayor. Miller had a grasp on policy and ideas. Ford rarely shows any understanding of the complex issues facing this city. Everything is reduced to a slogan with Ford. Miller wanted to build a greater city and we need another Mayor with that sort of vision.

    • Steveinto

      Miller has been accused of being a spend thrift with tax dollars, but he had a mess to clean up from Mel Lastman, that cost money and it also cost money with extra 300k that has moved into the city. The prosperity we see in Toronto, all happened after Miller took office. RoFo’s bad policies will not be felt for a few years yet.
      The next mayor will have to clean up RoFo’s mess or we get a mayor that continues Toronto’s downward spiral.

      • vampchick21

        I would say the mess was not 100% on Lastman alone, methinks the Harris Tories had a hand in that, hell, they even started it.

        • dsmithhfx

          And Ole’ Daddy Ford was along for the ride.

          • vampchick21

            That he was!

          • OgtheDim

            Barely. He was a one term wonder backbencher who rarely talked at Queens Park, voted the party line, and focused so much on constituency work he forgot to keep partisans in his riding happy enough to win a contested nomination battle.

          • dsmithhfx

            Thanks for that. Before my time (here, I mean).

        • Jim

          When will politicians stop blaming their fiscal irresponsibility on “the mess left over by X’s office”? By now the excuse is expected by us, why isn’t the mess to clean up expected by the candidates when they are making all their false campaign promises? Not a viable excuse, in my books – you should have known better, Mr. Miller.

      • bobloblawbloblawblah

        Miller did spend more than Lastman but there are other factors — the recent amalgamation cost money to implement — it was still going on after Lastman left. Reconfiguring government isn’t done overnight. Also the Province began spending more on programs that Toronto was mandated to administer. People bandy the term spendthrift about like Miller was at a craps game. It’s a question of what it was spent on. The very people that slam Miller fo his spending seem to be all right with Ford’s billion dollar extension to the subway in Scarborough which many would argue is wasteful.

        • tyrannosaurus_rek

          It’s also worth noting a good chunk of what Miller spent was money received from other levels of government.

          • bobloblawbloblawblah

            Yes. I was trying to say that. The province spent more on things like TCHC that Toronto had to administer thus the budget would go up. Thanks for clarifying.

    • Canadianskeezix

      Like many things, Miller’s fiscal record isn’t black and white. He was right on business taxes, the unfairness of the education tax, and the need to diversify City revenues away from the property tax, and he made strides on all three issues (all of which will, over time, put Toronto in a better financial position than most of what Ford has done). While he was hardly a spendthrift (an unfair accusation), his biggest failings were both in labour relations (his efforts to rein in staffing costs were half-hearted, and in a way, he was as obstinate and ideological as Ford, but in the other direction) and in communications (he seemed incapable of meaningfully conveying the message that he did care about saving tax dollars, which he obviously did).

      • dsmithhfx

        Setting the stage for a Ford victory is his biggest failing IMO. Much of what he did/not do in the last 12-18 months of his term is just plain baffling. Regardless, it’s not Chow’s baggage.

    • rich1299

      Miller did much to try and fully integrate the inner suburbs with the old city of Toronto. Transit City was designed to bring better transit to the inner suburbs, it did nothing for the old city of Toronto, and his tower renewal and priority neighbourhood programs also greatly benefited the inner suburbs. The inner suburbs had previously spent very little on social and recreational programs for their residents creating big social problems. They had likely figured those in need could get help in the old Toronto which did spend on social/recreational services, remember Lastman saying there were no homeless people in North York? That was about a day or so before a homeless person died on the streets of North York. Yet for some reason people came to believe that Miller was only interested in helping the downtown core, the exact opposite of what he was doing.

      Miller was a responsible mayor who greatly helped Toronto become a better and unified city. Toronto’s credit rating also improved with Miller as mayor. Ford on the other hand played wedge issues and the politics of division making the tensions between the inner suburbs and the old Toronto much worse. Lastman, for all his faults at least genuinely cared for the entire amalgamated city and could work with all councillors to get things done. I had no doubt Lastman was truly devoted to being the mayor of all the citizens of Toronto as was Miller. Ford however made it clear he was only the mayor of certain areas and specific citizens of Toronto. I would be quite happy to have Miller as mayor again.

    • TheSotSays

      Miller’s idea of a “greater city” was a walled fortress closed off to anyone with a car, a $400,000 pioneer pay toilet on every corner and enough bikey-wike NDP Tinky Winks on the City payroll to sink a battleship.

      That’s the same “vision” brought forward by the mutt heads in Detroit.

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    Not the best reply, Olivia.

    • TheSotSays

      Well let’s face it Dinodumper, she’s never going to be picking up any legitimate scholastic awards.

  • dsmithhfx

    Yeah, I think she should have challenged the characterization, even if only in passing. Otherwise it’s a fair response, and perhaps the kind of sound-bite that’s needed to reach untapped support in not-white / not male demographics.

  • Niko Barrett

    I hate the handling of the dialogue that suggests Miller’s tenure was a disaster. It wasn’t – I lived through it. Miller looked at the city as a diverse, vibrant, livable space. His successor looks at it only as a base of tax abatement, nothing else.

    The Fords are always carping on about the disaster of St. Clair designated streetcar lanes – or as they refer to it’ LRT’ (snicker…). I travel St. Clair often enough to note that traffic moves faster and smoother since the lanes were put in. Yeah during construction it was a nightmare but no one said it wouldn’t be without it’s nuisances in order to get there. As for the overage in $$$, its a government works project, would you expect anything else.

    • rich1299

      Plus the year delay during construction from the lawsuit brought by some store owners on St Clair. I used to live on St Clair above a store right by Bathurst. I chose that location despite it being more expensive since the streetcar was too slow from having to wait for one person in a car to turn left. Near Bathurst I was within walking distance of the subway. St Clair was originally laid out with a ROW for streetcars that was lost to cars over the years. Now that its back I’d be very happy to live further west on St Clair knowing the streetcar won’t be delayed any more by single occupant car drivers. The St Clair ROW is a big bonus for the section west of Christie.

  • Alice

    David Miller was such a disaster he pushed Torontonians towards Rob Ford and that is his lasting legacy. I will never forget his defence of the police force during the G20 Summit. Mr. Miller, that was your base getting kettled at Queen & Spadina, so f*ck you.

  • Mark Dowling

    I’m more interested in whether Olivia Chow will resign membership of the NDP in order to handle fed/prov negotiations (and no, I don’t think PM Mulcair or Premier Horwath are likely but I doubt they’d take it out of her either). Miller did that but unlike him she can do it at the end of 2014 and not wait to after her first term.

  • poniesinjudah

    I just read all these 4 days ago comments while on the Site to read about the Ford YouTube,Kimmel thing. And these comments are so thoughtful, measured, unarguey and information filled. It’s just so nice. Wanted to say that.