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Index for my Toronto Budget 2004 project
Tooker Memories
08/03/2004

When I heard about Tooker Gomberg's apparent suicide on Friday, I didn't really feel like writing about here.

However, for those who are interested, The Armchair Garbageman remembers an encounter on his site, and The Montreal Gazette has a good obituary online.

Back in 2000, when Mel Lastman was running without formidible opposition, I happened to be walking along College Street with a buddy one weekend evening. If I remember right, we were approached on the sidewalk and encouraged to come into a party. Maybe it was at Ted's Wrecking Yard. Anyway, it turned out to be a party for candidate Gomberg.

It was a lot of fun, with live music and pot-smoking speech makers. I don't remember anything about what Tooker said, but I'm sure it was a compelling call to action to create an environmentally-sustainable Toronto. I bought the t-shirt and was happy to cast my vote for Tooker Gomberg for Mayor. After all, who wanted to vote for Mel Lastman?

That year's election was the first I had ever heard of him, but it seems like he was very involved, both before and after, as an environmental activist.

One day shortly after the election, I heard a voice that I recognized on the CBC. It was an unnamed protester at a European convention where Kyoto Protocol rules were being renegotiated. Tooker Gomberg burned his passport to protest Canada's environmental record and its attempt to mold Kyoto rules in a favourable way. This guy really got around.

Anyway, I'll save the eulogizing to his friends, but these were my memories of an interesting character.


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