More small developments in both stories I talked about last week.
The mayoral race appears to be wide open, with seven current councillors now expressing interest in the job, in addition to deputy premier George Smitherman and former Progressive Conservative Party leader John Tory, and now news that NDP MP and former councillor Olivia Chow announcing that she's considering a bid (she says she'll make her announcement on Twitter), and, of all people, gay former Winnipeg mayor Glen Murray.
Glen fucking Murray. Ok, the following statement is my personal opinion and not that of Pink Triangle Press, but Winnipeg is by far the worst place in all of Canada, and possibly the worst place in all of North America. And the former mayor of the murder capital of Canada wants to run Toronto? Now, I know many of my readers have never been to Winnipeg, but let me just summarise its many problems: runaway homelessness, panhandling, drugs, and prostitution; one of the highest crime rates in Canada; tap water that tastes like a mix of BO and pesticide; absolutely no street-level businesses in its downtown (not even coffee shops!); and this city of three-quarters of a million has only two gay bars. Ok, maybe that last point would earn him a friend in Kyle Rae, but this is the big leagues, Mr. Murray. Oh, and we don't take kindly to carpet baggers who resign mid-term to run for higher office.
All that said, this is an exciting time for the city, with lots of people sure to articulate many different and challenging visions for the future of the city, rather than a simplistic "status quo/anti-Miller" race. Let's have a real debate this year about what we want the city to be, culturally, economically, and socially. But I promise that this blog won't become a mayoral race blog for the next 14 months.
Meanwhile, minor news on the Elephant Man performing in Downsview Park story. The park has issued a statement confirming that Elephant Man and the promoters have signed a contract promising not to promote hatred during their use of the park. That's not really the issue for most of the gays who are agitating against this. It's that the promotion alone of someone known for his hate speech is enough to incite hatred. Recent bashings in Ontario only highlight the sensitivity of the community to hate speech.
It's not enough for the performer to say he won't preach hate on that day; he has to renounce his past statements, beliefs, and songs. As fab editor Matt Thomas pointed out on Facebook, otherwise it's a bit like Iranian president Ahmadinejad coming by to perform tracks from Chicago and swearing he won't say anything about the Jews.
Take your complaints to Downsview Park CEO Tony Genco: 416-952-2223.