OP-ED: John Tory, ever the entitled aristocrat
OP-ED: John Tory, ever the entitled aristocrat

John Tory stepped down as Mayor of Toronto on February 10.

In a hastily called press conference at 8:30pm on Friday, Tory told the media that he had “developed a relationship” with a staff person during the pandemic, that it was an error in judgment, and that he was resigning as Mayor only four months after he was elected to his third term.

Tory took no questions from the media before he disappeared back into the office he just quit. He did release a 495-word statement in which he used the word “I” 35 times and the word “my” 19 times.

“During the pandemic, I developed a relationship with an employee in my office in a way that did not meet the standards to which I hold myself as Mayor and as a family man. The relationship ended by mutual consent earlier this year,” Tory noted.

The irony of having the man who locked down the City of Toronto simultaneously running around with a taxpayer-funded girlfriend was not lost on Twitter users, several of whom pointed out Tory’s hypocrisy immediately.

“Torontonians were in lockdown while Mayor John Tory was messing around. Terrible,” notes Billy.

“In all fairness, that staffer was probably in his bubble,” wrote KoDean.

Lifetime members of Toronto’s Taxi industry who were devastated by Tory’s inexorable push to allow an unlimited number of rideshare vehicles also had comments:

“All I can say is ‘good riddance,’” Judi Barr told Taxi News. Judi’s husband Joel and his father worked two lifetimes to build a Taxi business which ran 10 plates. The plates were made virtually worthless when Tory led the charge to allow unlimited entry of rideshare vehicles to cruise Toronto’s already-congested streets.

“From the beginning, I referred to him as ‘John (Uber is here to stay) Tory.’ Sadly, Uber is still here but I am delighted that he is gone! I am hopeful that some reporters from the ‘Uber Files’ will put his dealings under a microscope,” said Andy Reti, retired driver and plate owner.

Already, industry watchers are speculating as to a possible other reason Tory resigned. After all, he knew the skeleton of this affair was already in his closet when he ran for Mayor four months ago and he ran anyway (much to the chagrin of his donors and supporters). 

What changed since October to make it an issue now? Was his Friday night press conference a ruse to get him out of Dodge before some other, much more damaging hammer drops? 

Ever the entitled aristocrat, Tory closed his short remarks by Tory-splaining how the rest of this narrative will go:

“I hope the privacy of all of those impacted by my actions can be respected and that includes me.

I think as you know I am a naturally private person notwithstanding some of the jobs I have had and I hope you will respect that, and the privacy of everyone else as well, especially my wife and family…

…I want to thank the people of Toronto for trusting me as Mayor.

It has been the job of a lifetime, and while I have let them and my family down in this instance, I have nonetheless been deeply honoured by the opportunity to serve the people of this wonderful city and I believe I did some good for the city I truly love particularly during the pandemic. I’m usually known for taking as many questions as you want, but on this occasion, I’ll let my statement speak for itself.

Thank you.”

Just so everyone understands: really, he’s a good and decent guy but if only he hadn’t had to sacrifice so much of his personal time to managing COVID-19 to keep us all safe, he’d still be Mayor. It must have been just awful for him.

We should all be so glad he’s enjoyed the “job of a lifetime,” and are only too happy to overlook his many egregious acts of political indifference to the citizens of his city, because, he’s John Tory.

Rita Smith is the publisher of Road Warrior News/Taxi News.

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