Friday, July 5, 2013



The news that Toronto's decent and hard-working deputy mayor is running provincially as a Conservative in my riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore is wonderful.
If a provincial party ever deserves to be defeated, if not sued, it is this Liberal government that has the Legislature overflowing with scandal, waste and stupidity.
The Liberal standard bearer is Peter Milczyn, who is pleasant but mundane and not a leader, more a party foot soldier than a general or even much of an officer. When I want info or help, I don't call Milczyn, who is my councillor, but Holyday, because I have appealed to Milczyn on several problems without success.
Holyday has been so diligent in looking after his voters, and even refugees from other ridings,  that he hasn't had to spend a cent to get re-elected for years,
He didn't finish high school but has a degree in common sense. He built a successful insurance business which he sold to concentrate on politics. (Milczyn doesn't practise as an architect.) Holyday didn't slow as he entered his 70s but plays hockey several times a week and in old-timer tournaments, and golfs at  prestigious St. George's. His lifetime of involvement in sports, often around his birthplace of the Lakeshore,  even includes being assistant lacrosse coach in a pro league where the coach was his buddy Morley Kells.
The riding is written off carelessly by the media as a Grit stronghold but Kells won in the area  provincially and municipally. Terry Grier of Ryerson University won it federally for the NDP, and his wife Ruth, a former health minister, represented the area municipally and provincially. The Liberals like to boast about their hold, even giving their failed leader, Michael Ignatieff, a map to it so he could represent it. The carpetbagger from Harvard was chased away in 2011 by Bernard Trottier who won for the Conservatives.
 It was said to be an upset but my politically-aware neighbours haven't been thrilled lately by Liberals being shuffled in and out on the way to patronage and appointments as billions explode.But back to this natural conservative who should romp to victory.
The proof of the political pudding is in the spending, both personally and municipally. There never has been a media story about councillors with the best attendance, most diligent voting record and the lowest expenses that hasn't had Holyday either as the best or close. He's legendary for his concern about waste and thoughtful approach where he will even suffer fools if he thinks they may just have a tiny idea.
Among his many accomplishments is the privatization of garbage collection, first in Etobicoke, then, because it was proved to be such a success, in the merged city west of Yonge St. Not only were the savings huge, the collection was better and no one could complain because the private workers were treated fairly. The NDP will have a tough time bashing his thoughtful leadership in labour negotiations.
I should warn readers of my conflict (if that is really necessary.) I have known and liked Holyday for several decades and we often lunch together. We have mutual friends. In fact, I am surrounded by friends and neighbours who thought Holyday should run for mayor next time. After all, he was the last mayor of Etobicoke before the suburb was swallowed by amalgamation.
When I was president of the Canadian National Exhibition, he was a vice-president. I had him chair important committees. We served on the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame together, and he still serves on the Etobicoke version.  I know from personal experience that anyone who cares about public spending and calm analysis of issues and taxation should rush to choose Holyday because the city and province would be best served if he and the other four Tory candidates win these byelections and then the Conservatives win the general election which must follow.
I just can't comprehend how anyone who has paid the slightest attention to provincial issues in recent years could vote Liberal.
 And I covered the Legislature starting as a kid back in 1958 and have reported on countless elections at all levels of government. In all those decades, I have never seen a more inept government. Its cynical waste of billions makes every single provincial government going back to Les Frost in the 1950s, even that NDP disaster under Bob Rae, look like fiscal giants.
The Liberals won half the vote in Etobicoke-Lakeshore last time. Now that the MPP has moved on, which I always expected, one would hope those voters would actually see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it's not an oncoming train of Grit waste and blarney.

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