The Toronto mayoral race is heating up. There are too many contenders and it is still not easy to pick the best one.
Recently I met Joe Pantalone at a charity fundraiser. I knew that he was a city councillor, but I wasn’t aware that he was running for mayor. I asked him which political party he represents. He answered that he was an NDP sympathizer, but as a candidate he was above all political parties. I tried to find out what he will do to solve the traffic congestion problem in Toronto, and he said that it won’t be much because the city gets only 8% of the taxes collected here.
Then he went on talking about his program. There was an issue he was very enthusiastic about: he wanted to build a cricket field that would make Toronto a global cricket destination. That struck me as odd (I don’t know much about cricket), so when I came home I checked out the website he graciously informed me about.
It turned out cricket was a major issue for him:
He stated on that website that the last international cricket game played in Canada was in 1840s. Doesn’t this give you a clue about the popularity of the game in Canada? The cricket council consists of only 10 countries. One may argue that the baseball is less popular worldwide, but it has more than fanatical following in Canada that justifies building baseball facilities bringing huge profits.
It is very unlikely that cricket would do the same. Joe Pantalone states that his project will be financed by government and private sources. Translation: city government will pay the lion’s share of the funding. We will most likely end up with another underused facility staffed with overpaid city union workers.
Isn’t this another transparent attempt to promise things in order to get few votes from certain communities?
Why doesn’t Mr. Pantalone say what he will do to curb the city spending, which is out of control? Respecting people who pay taxes and making their lives easier would probably bring him many more votes. But apparently he is not the person who would go again the sacred union cows.