By the time you go to lunch today there will be two so-called political heavyweights in the race to defeat Rob Ford as mayor of Toronto.
John Tory and Karen Stintz will file their nomination papers at city hall...Tory at 8:30. Stintz at 10.
Tory broke the news right here on NewsTalk1010 at 10:30 last night in an interview with News Director Kym Geddes.
"What would be different for Toronto with John Tory as the Mayor?" Asked Geddes.
"I think the thing that will be most different that people will notice is that we'll get things done. We will have less of the three ring circus," said Tory.
"We will have more co-operation that we need between and among different governments and even more importantly at the city hall among the city councillors and between the city councillors and the Mayor. I think that we'll be very focused on transit and traffic because that's a huge issue for people and very focused on running an efficient government where we keep taxes low especially property taxes and attract jobs and investment."
On Moore in the Morning, Tory also said he would not be dwelling on Rob Ford's personal failings in this campaign.
Also on the show last night, Doug Ford, the mayor's brother and campaign manager who tried to put distance between his brother and John Tory even though they are both fiscal conservatives.
"To say that they're not at all ideologically aligned, that they don't share any of the same priorities seems kinda weird. What's changed?" asked Newstalk 1010 host Ed Kennan.
"I think Rob has a record to stand on, John doesn't have a record to stand on," said Doug Ford. "We're going to address that moving forward. We look forward to the 110 debates that's going to come out on some of his views. There's going to be a huge difference between John Tory, Rob Ford, and Karen Stintz."
Doug Ford noted that Tory is in favour of tax increases to pay for public transit expansion and supports an LRT in Scarborough not a subway.
Doug Ford also went out of his way to repeatedly claim that everyone here at NewsTalk1010 is campaigning on behalf of John Tory and that we have been for about a year-and-a-half. That is false...just like so many other Ford falsehoods.
Being critical of Rob Ford does not equate to supporting John Tory. Rob Ford doesn't deserve to be mayor..period. He is an embarrassment to this city. He has done things that are criminal and he hangs with criminals. No one should conclude by those comments that John Tory is the one to be mayor.
He has weaknesses, vulnerabilities, if you will....including the idea funding transit expansion by making us all pay more through such things as an extra gas tax.
Tory, while he has had an impressive career in the private sector has not had much success as a politician.
He couldn't lead the Ontario PC's to victory.
He couldn't even defeat Kathleen Wynne in the election to get his own seat in the Legislature. The PC's pulled out the knives and Tory was clearly losing control of caucus.
He lost the first time he ran for mayor against David Miller.
These are things that will undoubtedly come up in the campaign. It wouldn't' surprise me if the little known fact that he ran that disastrous federal election campaign for Kim Campbell when the Conservatives were all but obliterated.
Karen Stintz could be a formidable opponent too when she files her papers at 10 this morning but like the others Stintz has her vulnerabilities...many of which will be exposed including a back flip on LRT vs Subway to Scarborough while she was chair of the TTC. All of this is to say...the election campaign matters. It matters that we listen to all of them, closely, toss out the spin and sort out what it is you want this city to be, then find the one who best suits your interest.
Most of the international media are focusing on the warrant issued today for the arrest of disgraced Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych...for mass murder.
Specifically the deaths of protestors of the last few months, especially the 88 or so who died last week.
What is going largely unnoticed in the mainstream media is that Ukraine is on the brink of complete fiscal collapse. It is burning through reserves at an incredible rate and if this keeps up it could be out of money in two to three months.
What's also not being examine closely enough is the prospect of two Ukraines....western Ukraine which is where the protestors largely come from and eastern Ukraine which is pro-Moscow and is the power base of Yanukovych.
Behind the scenes there are real concerns that we could see an east-west civil war...with Russia funding the east.
This is one of those east-and-west Germany scenarios that keeps national security teams in the power countries up at night.
My point is simply that Yanukovych gone or arrested does nothing to solve the real problems in Ukraine.
It was party-time up and down Yonge Street yesterday after the Canadian men's Olympic Team put the cherry on top winning the gold against Sweden in Sochi.
The Olympic team arrives home en masse over the next 3 days. The NHL'ers were on charter flights out yesterday but the rest are on regular commercial flights...mostly Air Canada.
Some examples: gold medallists Heather Moyse and Dara Howell arrive at about 2:30 this afternoon on flight 487.
Flight 847 arrives about 20 minutes later with Matthew Morrisson and several other snowboarders.