With a long campaign and the availability of inexpensive polling, the 2014 Toronto election has seen more polls than ever. But often the numbers are better at raising questions than answers. Why do some polls contradict one another? Which ones are most likely to be reliable? Is Doug Ford really polling that high?
Real City Matters
Join us Tuesday night for a discussion about municipal ethics in Toronto
One year ago, a group of friends made up of local actors, musicians, comedians, and writers staged the world premiere of a seemingly unstageable play. The problematic All Our Happy Days Are Stupid, written by Sheila Heti and made infamous in her popular novel How Should a Person Be, contained an abnormally large number of cast members and set changes for the shoestring budget of young indie artists to accommodate. Nevertheless, the show received a very buzzy, very short, very sold-out run last October (which Torontoist liked very much), and also earned four Dora Award nominations for its script, design, and ensemble cast.
And there are more happy days coming for All Our Happy Days Are Stupid: the Harbourfront Centre announced that in February the show will kick off World Stage‘s 2015 season, which also includes The Cardinals, described as “a puppet show without puppets,” from British company Stan’s Cafe; a dance piece entitled Disabled Theatre by French choreographer Jérôme Bel; and Straight White Men, by Young Jean Lee, known for her shows The Shipment and Untitled Feminist Show from previous World Stage seasons.
Some people disgraced themselves, failed in their duty to their City, lied, put self-interest first, or simply did not do their jobs. Many City processes and procedures were not yet up to the high standards that the people of Toronto have a right to expect. Some people did not show the leadership expected of them. Lines of responsibility and accountability were unclear or nonexistent.
This is not, as you might guess, a summary of recent events at City Hall. In fact, those words are nine years old: they were written by Justice Denise Bellamy in 2005, in the wake of a four year long investigation into dubious activity at City Hall. The Bellamy Report set off a wave of reform in Toronto’s municipal government, and shaped many of the accountability safeguards we have in place today.
Flash forward to 2014. As Torontonians are about to head to the polls, they do so after years of acrimony and accusation, a massive collection of public complaints about political misbehaviour, active police investigations into several politicians, and numerous City Hall-related lawsuits.
How have we changed in the intervening years, and what do we still have to learn?
A surfer in Hawaii punched a tiger shark who came close to attacking his three sons while they were surfing together over the weekend. That is definitely worth a “#1 Dad” mug. In the news: questionable billboards in Ward 9, nearly half of Torontonians would be willing to pay higher user fees for better recreation services, more than 5,000 Pan Am Games security jobs for students, and fall road closures.
On this day in 1818, the U.S. and U.K. concluded a meeting wherein the U.S.-Canada border was agreed upon. Let us never forget. In more recent news, Lisa MacLeod is running for the leadership of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives, illegal rooming houses are a booming business in Toronto suburbs, and strategic voting starts to look appealing to some voters.
Use your Saturday to head out and grab some of the last fleeting hours of sun and warmth before the cruel winter sets in, but read some news first: a longtime flag vendor at Yonge-Dundas Square has had his licence revoked, Olivia Chow will release the names of her campaign donors, and both Doug Ford and John Tory promise to fix public housing (without promising any money for the effort).