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The Ontario Election Call
02/09/2003

The Ontario election was called today and we have one month to go. Here are some sites to watch:

There also has been quite a bit of talk in the local media about how this provincial election will affect us here in Toronto. There are two main ways that this can happen.

The impact that people are mainly talking about is the effect on the municipal election. The municipal election will be on November 10. However, between now and early October the mayoral race will be overshadowed. The likely result is that little attention will be paid until mid October, when there will be little time left for the challengers to make gains on Barbara Hall. She has been trying to kill the clock since this race started, and that just got a whole lot easier.

The much bigger impact on this city will be driven by the results of the election itself. The Harris-Eves Tories have been so brutally hard on Toronto that any change in government will represent a dramatic change for this city. The municipal election has been about how Toronto has been suffering, and this suffering originates in Queen's Park.

As Royson James wrote yesterday, these two impacts on Toronto can potentially find an intersection. If a mayoral candidate has the courage and strength to make a provincial election issue out of the treatment of Toronto, then he may be able to raise his profile enough to challenge Barbara Hall. He may also do a lot to advance our city's future position.

One reader, who I don't trust to be entirely genuine, has written to me to ask me who I intend to vote for. Normally, I really could claim some degree of objectivity going into the campaign. I am not ideologically opposed to any of the parties in general. However, these current Tories and their 8-year history of raping and pillaging -- I don't know what else to call it -- the City of Toronto leave me hoping they go down in flames.


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