And our en­dorse­ment for mayor goes to…

John Tory and Jen­nifer Keesmaat face off for our votes

Midtown Post - - News - by Ron John­son RON JOHN­SON

The last time Post City en­dorsed a can­di­date, it wasn’t the best ex­pe­ri­ence. In a less than ban­ner year for vot­ers, we thought Ge­orge Smither­man would be the best op­tion for the city. And we all know what hap­pened on elec­tion night. Ford Nation hit the city like a ton of bricks, and we still haven’t re­cov­ered.

But, with an­other Ford firmly en­sconced in Queen’s Park, the city is faced with a very im­por­tant elec­tion on Oct. 22. So our ed­i­to­rial board met with lead­ing may­oral can­di­date Jen­nifer Keesmaat and cur­rent mayor John Tory to de­ter­mine the best per­son for the job.

The next four years will be tricky to nav­i­gate for any mayor, but these two would both pro­vide the city with good lead­er­ship.

Mayor John Tory was like a calm, cool breeze af­ter a few too many hours in the Rob Ford sauna. He is smart, charm­ing, well-spo­ken and, well, calm.

But now that the city is back to a some­what nor­mal state, does he have the vi­sion and the en­ergy to take Toronto to the next level?

That’s what we were look­ing for when we spoke with him. And what we saw was a mayor, al­though some­what frus­trated by the slow-mov­ing city bu­reau­cracy, who was work­ing be­hind the scenes push­ing for­ward his city­build­ing agenda.

Let’s face it. Toronto is con­sis­tently ranked one of the most livable cities in the world. Tech com­pa­nies such as Google and In­tel are re­lo­cat­ing here for a rea­son. We have it pretty good. But that’s not to say there isn’t room for im­prove­ment.

Tory was soundly crit­i­cized last win­ter dur­ing the home­less­ness cri­sis for mov­ing too slowly. Whether the crit­i­cism was fair or not is unim­por­tant. What’s im­por­tant is that Tory heard it, he has worked hard on this file and he is pas­sion­ate about it.

Some of his plans are vi­sion­ary, while most have far fewer frills but add up to a city that is suc­ceed­ing on most lev­els and not leav­ing peo­ple be­hind.

Jen­nifer Keesmaat is brimming with creative ideas, and we were very im­pressed by her data-driven ap­proach honed from her years as the city’s chief plan­ner. Her pol­icy pro­pos­als, es­pe­cially re­gard­ing af­ford­able hous­ing, tran­sit, road and pub­lic safety and par­tic­i­pa­tory bud­get­ing, are in­spired.

What we were most cu­ri­ous about was her fis­cal plan, her po­si­tion on crime and taxes and other is­sues not di­rectly re­lated to plan­ning. Her fis­cal plan was not yet ready for a pub­lic air­ing. But she did speak pas­sion­ately about her en­tre­pre­neur­ial back­ground. She is com­mit­ted to not putting fur­ther fi­nan­cial bur­den on res­i­dents via prop­erty taxes, but talk of ad­di­tional user fees was prob­lem­atic.

In the end, it is Mayor John Tory who gets our en­dorse­ment.

His fo­cus is di­rected at mak­ing life bet­ter by do­ing lit­tle things that mat­ter, while rolling up his sleeves and get­ting to work on the hard­est files from home­less­ness to at­tract­ing in­vest­ment.

Mayor John Tory

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