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John Tory Wins
19/09/2004

So, John Tory has finally won something. He's the new leader of the Progessive Conservatives in Ontario, and has a fair chance at becoming Premier in 2007. He should be rather happy to be following in the footsteps of his political hero, Bill Davis.

I think I've written before that during the mayoral race I came to like and respect John Tory. So, congratulations to him. As far as I can tell -- I don't know him personally but saw a fair bit of him upclose -- he seems to be a genuine guy who would like nothing more than to fit into a role where he can do his best to help improve his community.

Anyway, I think his selection by the Tories is great news for Toronto. At the very least it means there will no longer be a political party that behaves as if Toronto is a mere territorial possession that deserves increased taxes, decreased services and reduced democratic accountability.

But it's better than that. After all, it's good if the next election has multiple city-friendly parties. And if you judge the PCs by their new leader, they'd count. In fact, when he was running for Mayor of Toronto, John Tory promised to ask Queen's Park for things that, so far, Dalton McGuinty hasn't come through on.

Now, it's unclear how well Tory will be able to deliver. Former Tory-advisor and Liberal loyalist Warren Kinsella hasn't been shy about indicating what he thinks the PCs' weakness is: their "cave-man caucus". But I think that in choosing Tory the party is sending a signal that they're ready for some realism.

It was suggested earlier that John Tory may seek a seat in the Legislature by running in Ernie Eves' riding. Hopefully Eves will resign soon and McGuinty calls the by-election quickly. I can't wait to hear Tory ask the Premier about things like this.

James Bow has more.


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