ttc stabbing olivia chow

People blaming Olivia Chow for subway stabbing even though she isn't mayor yet

Another violent incident on the TTC has Toronto asking who is to blame for the decay of safety on public transit. Many are finding ways to somehow pin Thursday's stabbing and the broader crime problems with public transit on Mayor-elect Olivia Chow, who hasn't even taken office yet, in a bizarre disassociation from reality.

Chow was elected mayor on June 26, but will not take office until July 12. She has yet to implement any of her policies, including those regarding transit, however, that hasn't stopped her critics from blaming her for each and every incident that occurs on the TTC.

Among Chow's most vocal critics is former mayoral candidate Anthony Furey, whose hard-right conservative stances only managed to sway 35,899 voters, or five per cent of the total.

Whether a case of trolling or genuine belief, comments blaming Chow flooded Twitter on Thursday afternoon following the subway stabbing that left one man in hospital and shut down Line 1 subway service for much of the day.

Chow has spoken out about the incident, suggesting that mental health issues are the root of the problem and stating that she plans to add social workers to the TTC — a stance her critics argue isn't enough to curb the trend of violence.

Even hours before the stabbing, another video circulating of a man smoking crack on a TTC vehicle was met with similar comments stretching to blame the Mayor-elect. Of course, not everyone is sitting idly by and letting these opinions go unchecked.

Several comments have attempted to correct those blaming Chow and fearmongering about her coming mayoral term, reminding them that current issues the TTC faces happened under conservative municipal and provincial leadership.

There is no doubt that Chow has a different action plan for crime than her conservative critics, opting for a focus on mental health services addressing the root causes of these incidents over pouring more funding into armed police intervention. But it is a heck of a stretch to blame the problems of today on the policies of the future.

This misplaced blame for hot-button issues emerged almost immediately following Chow's securing of Toronto's top job, inspiring a hilarious meme where social media users jokingly reported new bike lanes built directly through their homes overnight.

Lead photo by

Olivia Chow/Twitter


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