This article is part of our series Counter-Counter-Counter-Point. For a call for Rob Ford to stay in office, read Kyle Muzyka’s perspective.
With the wrath of the mighty storm o’ ice still paralyzing the city of Toronto, it is time for a new direction. Deputy Mayor Kelly, (hand-picked by somehow-still-Mayor Rob Ford to assume his powers after Robbie’s really bad day), recently floated the idea of calling in the military to help clean up the disaster-ridden Toronto. Naturally, the suggestion prompted facepalms and laughter. For readers too young to remember, in 1999 Mayor Mel Lastman had 400 soldiers in armoured ploughs help shovel snow and escort people to the corner store, and repaid the volunteers for their efforts with tickets to a Leafs game. The event still serves as a national punch line – the largest city in Canada needed armed forces after some flurries.
As a point of comparison, the last time Montreal (Canada’s second largest city) had armoured vehicles on its streets was for a disaster requiring the largest deployment of troops since the Korean War. And the time before that was when a group of communist terrorists kidnapped and murdered ministers and commissioners, demanded gold bars and helicopters to Cuba as conditions for their release, and caused to the arrest of 450 people…and the formation of the Parti Quebecois.
So, the Deputy Mayor wants the military to come shovel snow, Rob Ford is… well… Rob Ford, and Premier Wynne thinks all the world’s problems can be solved with free gift cards to Shopper’s Drug Mart (and I thought Toronto had enough pharmaceuticals, HEY-OO!). What Toronto actually needs is a real leader, who’ll get back up again after being hit by a truck, even if the truck won’t. It’s time for someone who led a debt-free city for over 30 years, and who supervised its blossoming growth. Who else is more qualified to save Toronto from its state of disrepair than Hazel McCallion, the mayor of Mississauga? Despite some minor character flaws which barely warrant a mentioned compared to some other municipal mayors, Hazel proves the ‘democratically-elected monarch’ model a success.
McCallion, now 92, is set to officially resign as mayor at the end of this year, and what a better way to retire than through the annexation and subsequent stewardship of Canada’s largest city? Hazel, just imagine this: as your last act of office you formally declare the Greater Toronto Area to be under the supervision of the First Great Mississaugan Empire, at least until they resolve that $3.7 billion debt. Or, if you want a real challenge, until the Leafs can make the playoffs more than once a decade. 10-15 years should suffice for the transformation, with review every five. Then, you declare yourself the Steward of Toronto, a three year term which the Toronto public would vote upon, working towards solutions to Toronto’s homeless, drug, and congestion problems as you prime it for the 21st century (and before 2/3 of the 21st century is done!).
Obviously a permanent annexation is undesirable; pundits already claim that Toronto’s growth problems stem from a historic focus on amalgamation. Yet, amid groups clamouring for Montreal to become a city-state separate from Quebec, and the formerly burgeoning Alberta secessionist movement, it is time to harken back to a time of unity under the iron might of an imperial overlord.
Hazel McCallion, before we allow the great city of Toronto to be swept into the dustbin of history amid depravity and decay, hear this plea. Follow the great footsteps of our heritage; annex, educate, and then set them free to be an empire of their own.