I like John Tory, but I'm a bit frustrated with him.
I originally met him 10 years ago during the "Summer Of The Gun" in Toronto, when he lead a wide ranging committee of Black community members, politicians and business people who sought to deal with the issues which lead to such a violent summer.
I don't doubt for a minute the guy's decency as a human being. This is a picture of him with my buddy Andray Domise (writer and community activist) who was at the time running against Mike Ford (then Rob Ford) in ward 2.
He came all the way to this speaking engagement Andray had with the Black Business Professional Association.
He also came to Andray's campaign launch in Rexdale and a few other engagements. At the time I took it as him really wanting to learn (and gain support) from the Black community (god, I hate that term...) for his Mayoral bid.
But it seems to me like he only wanted the support of a certain kind of people from the community. Those of us deemed "respectable". I think that's the reason he's been so hard headed when it comes to dealing with the Black Lives Matter movement. They aren't seen as respectable and for some, can be downright threatening.
But acting respectably and asking for your rights "nicely" has never won anyone freedom from a system that refuses to listen. John Tory is no racist, but it's clear he's not comfortable with certain kinds of Black folks...and the reality is, alot of people aren't. But when you're the Mayor, you have to realize you're everyone's Mayor. And you gotta deal with them.
Jonathan Goldsbie from NOW Magazine does a great job of de-constructing exactly what he thinks is going on with Tory. Read about it here.