MAYOR POPPY: TORY SPREADS THE RED
Mayor John Tory noticed what Don Cherry and Postmedia Network noticed.
“There seems to be less poppies visible on the street than usual,” the mayor concurred on Thursday.
There is no political statement being made or criticism be levelled in expressing concern about it. “Lest We Forget” is a saying for a reason. Sometimes, people just need to be reminded what Nov. 11 and the week leading up to is for.
Many towns and cities outside of Toronto have special programs on their main streets in remembrance and the volume of people wearing poppies seemed higher.
But Toronto’s mayor has his own solution to try to remedy that. He took to the street himself with a box of poppies.
Yes, that was Mayor Tory out on Queen St. W. and in the Eaton Centre handing out poppies. In fact, he put $100 in a box of 100 poppies and handed them out to people who did not have one.
“But even still, many people still wanted to donate,” said the mayor. “I think there is $150 in here now.”
All of the money in her poppy box, and all of the money stuffed into Tory’s, will go the Legion’s poppy fund to help with programs for veterans.
The 2017 statistics are not in but, for whatever reason, there seems in Toronto fewer people are wearing them than normal.
“We need to make sure people remember to buy a poppy and wear a poppy,” said Tory.
Not one person he met Thursday was resistant when he asked them if he could give them one.
They all said yes.
“I don’t think it’s because people are not supporting Remembrance Day,” said Tory. “I think there are a variety of factors.”
Whatever they are, the mayor thinks it’s good that Cherry pointed it out and he’s glad to do his part.
“We wouldn’t be having robust debates in that council chamber over there if those men and women did not go over and fight for our freedoms,” said Tory. “It’s a small gesture to the troops who gave their lives to wear a poppy and to remember them.”
People were excited to see the mayor, especially a group of students who were scheduled to visit him at City Hall but who he bumped into at Nathan Phillips Square on their way in.
With about 10% of people wearing poppies we have nowhere to go, but up.
By Remembrance Day, Saturday, Tory is confident that number will climb to closer to 100%.
“I am really hoping people will come down to the Remembrance Day ceremony at the cenotaph at Old City Hall to pay our respects and to say ‘Thanks,’” he said.
Mayor Tory will be there and he will be wearing his poppy.