Elections can be teachable moments and I for one am not going to pass up this opportunity. So what did I learn from the Toronto mayoral election?

1. Great cities are made by giving car owners a tax break of $5/month. If I’m not mistaken this is a quote from Jane Jacobs.

2. Bikes are for riding in the woods, maybe to Grandma’s house. Bikes are not for roads, and while we are at it, neither are marathons. Marathons are for parks. 

3. Reducing the number of democratic representatives for the city by 50% is good for democracy and saves us HUGE in the finance department — almost 1/10 of a penny per tax dollar. That’s gravy baby.

4. A city literally built by immigrants who bring intelligence, wisdom, skills and a range of perspectives, cultures and experiences is good, sure, but everything should be done in moderation. Toronto can’t handle more people. 

5. School plays are cool and they get put on with funding from chocolate bars and maybe some tax dollars (have to look into that). Arts are a core life experience or an economic engine but who can afford it, what with the war on the car and everything. 

6. Sure we have pretty low crime rates and the police budget is over 25% of the Toronto budget and we have to cut councillors and defend the car but we need 100 more police. We just do.

7. That there is so much for me to learn!

Matthew Adams

Matt moved to Toronto from the U.S just in time for Mike Harris to take power in Ontario and has been stunned ever since. Matthew Adams is a co-founder of the Catalyst Centre (a social justice popular...