Posts Tagged ‘holidays’
I took a few photos as I walked to Christmas dinner about 5:30. Snow was still falling, and was rather quite pleasant. It had been a while since I’d experienced a white Christmas, and I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed it.
Walking east on Dupont towards the intersection with Dovercourt Avenue early Christmas evening, all was calm and white. Even the traffic seemed cheery.
Looking south onto Dovercourt at the interection of Dupont and Dovercourt, the scene was quiet.
Walking south on Dovercourt towards Hallam was quietly pleasant.
A taxi parked while, in the far distance, the few cars about on Hallam approached Dovercourt.
Wonkman blogs about why it matters that Toronto’s mayor Rob Ford has refused, for a third year, to attend Toronto Pride. A decade ago, when GLBT rights were that much less mainstream, suburban conservative Mel Lastman went.
Mel went because he was a tremendous baby-kisser. Mel was never happier than when he was shaking hands and meeting new people and mixing with his constituents. Parades and street festivals were incredible fun.
But more importantly, Mel went because Mel recognized that he was mayor of the entire city.
Not just the parts which voted for him, and not just the parts which he found appealing.
One of Mel’s main goals as mayor was to bring the city together: to promote inclusiveness and mutual understanding, to promote and protect minority cultures, to foster an environment where people from all over the world can feel at home.
And if occasionally he had to something he found distasteful or uncomfortable to reach that goal? Mel would pull on his big-boy pants and get it over with.
[. . .]
This was one of the pivotal moments in Mel’s career as mayor. It set the tone for the rest of his term in office. It was a moment when he proved something important to his constituents: all that talk about “inclusiveness” and “mayor of the whole city” was more than just idle political chatter. He was going to put himself out there, he was going to make a good-faith effort to engage with minority cultures on their own terms, and he was going to use his power as mayor to encourage the values he espoused, rather than cynically ditching them after election night.
Mel was not a perfect mayor—but he got this part right. No matter what you thought about his politics and his policies, we all knew that he genuinely loved this city and its people. It’s part of why he absolutely roared to victory in the 2000 mayoral election.
Mel started with a city split nearly in two along ideological and geographic lines, and he turned it into a unified, cohesive and coherent metropolis. He healed the rifts which he himself had inadvertently created. And he left the city more united, more even and more inclusive than he’d found it.
Would that Ford was a tenth of Lastman.