Saturday, February 12, 2011

Toronto intelligentsia swoon over Calgary mayor

The Toronto elite—intelligentsia as some would say—are beside themselves with envy over Calgary electing a visible minority, and Muslim to boot, as their mayor. The city’s elite and mainstream media Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi talks at the Canadian Club on Wednesday, February 9, 2011, at the Royal York in Toronto, Ont.filled a posh ballroom last Wednesday for a Canadian Club of Toronto luncheon at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, in the heart of Toronto’s business district to hear a speech by Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

Apparently, the new mayor is pitching the idea of adding a “penny” (1%) to the GST to help build social infrastructure facilities such as libraries and arts and recreation centres. It’s what the mayor calls the “muscular urban agenda.”

Sounds like the tired old tax-and-spend mantra we’ve been fed for decades. Nenshi admitted that he expects the “penny tax” proposal will be controversial, but he wanted to open the discussion.

Controversial? Is a proposal to gouge another percentage point of GST out of the economy to add libraries and arts and recreation centres controversial? You bet it is! I might have more sympathy for the proposal if the added tax was to be used exclusively for more roads, bridges and sewers—you know, the sort of stuff that’s been decaying and crumbling around us for the past few decades. But more art centres?

Toronto’s media has been drawing comparisons between Nenshi and Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford, usually not favourable to Ford. Here’s a quote from Nenshi:

“Whereas I firmly believe that the city has to justify every penny it spends—I’m a lot like your [Toronto’s] new mayor [Rob Ford] that way—I also believe that I can justify the city spending taxpayers’ money on investments in the social and urban fabric.”

Like I said, tax and spend.

To politicians, infrastructure always seems to mean “libraries and arts and recreation centres,” seldom “roads, bridges and sewers?” The former is easier to sell to the intelligentsia who in turn give their support in media circles.

Please go home Mr. Nenshi, Ontario municipal and provincial politicians don’t need encouragement to increase our taxes from a charismatic and popular Westerner—they’ve been doing a fine job of that for decades.

I’ll stick with Rob Ford’s philosophy: “stop the gravy train” and “end the waste.” Sooner or later we’ve got to say, enough! We already pay enough tax. More money just fattens the pocket books of those who live off the public purse and adds to their perks.


© 2011 Russell G. Campbell
All rights reserved.


  1. Quite funny ...when he was running for mayor he was all about cleaning up city hall and complaining about the "freebies" given to City Council and beauracrats and how they had to end.

    Recently, the embattled CEO of enmax was forced out because of the free trips he was given by contractors.

    Guess what - Mayor Nenshi is in a bit of hot water because he was given his trip to Toronto by a contractor who does work for the city.

    But I guess, just like in Federal politics - if you are only the left, its OK.

    It is amazing to see all those who were just a few weeks ago complaining about the CEO of enmax accepting free trips now defending Nenshi.

    Pot doesn't necessarily call Kettle Black - depends what side of the political fence the pot is on.

  2. was alcohol served? Why would a muslim mayor get better treatment than previous mayors?

  3. Nenshi is a band wagon Mayor, a social media phenomenon that was elected because he brought out the unaffected and youth that have yet to feel the consequences of higher taxes.

    As well,2 fiscally conservative candidates fought for and split that part of the electorate and we ended up with Nenshi.

    Sadly the Toronto elites (as you put it) are all ga-ga over his minority status rather than his (or lack of) credentials and capabilities.

    I heard Tarek Fatah interviewed Monday morning (QR770) and he commented that this Mayor was asked if he was Canadian or Muslim first. Apparently he was unable to say "Canadian".

    He may be a sweetheart of a guy, as some profess him to be but he does not represent the average, solid, Calgary taxpayer and sadly I think Calgary is in for more of the same, if not worse garbage that we had under the Liberal, spend and explain later, Mayor 'Bronco'.

  4. Your post didn't mention that he's gay. This certainly helps his image among the intelligentsia.

  5. Anon 11:52 AM,

    I didn't see how his sexual preference could be relevant. Still don't.

  6. Funny this guy is from Calgary just like Stelmach and the other guy Harper. All taxing.

  7. This is guy is gay... no wonder they fall all over him. That is why they are disappointed in Ford, he beat out Smitherman, who would have been Toronto's first openly gay mayor. What is it with the elites and gays anyways??? Do many of them wing both ways by chance? (real conservative)