Legendary Canadian entertainers have a favourite for Toronto's next mayor
If you're a child of the '80s or '90s who grew up in front of a Canadian television, there's a high probability that your early-life entertainment schedule included a trio of friendly folk singers and their (in hindsight, kind of terrifying) bipedal elephant.
The Elephant Show, featuring the now-legendary Sharon, Lois, and Bram, still endures in the minds of millennials, and the surviving two members of the beloved trio are using their nostalgic clout to endorse city councillor Josh Matlow as the next Mayor of Toronto.
Councillor Matlow (who I assure you is not actually Adam Sandler) has yet to officially announce his bid to become the city's next mayor. However, he is "strongly exploring" the idea following the sudden scandalous departure of John Tory just a few months into his third mayoral term.
Though he has not yet thrown his hat in the ring, a group calling itself Friends of Josh Matlow has penned an open letter to the city, explaining why it wants to see the Ward 12 Toronto—St. Paul's councillor leading the show at City Hall.
We are community members from across Toronto who believe that @JoshMatlow has the vision, courage, compassion, and energy to be the next Mayor of Toronto. Please read our open letter: pic.twitter.com/CfWH8TDhw0— Friends of Josh Matlow (@FriendsofMatlow) March 8, 2023
Among the names involved are former mayor, John Sewell, another former councillor, city budget chief, and 2014 mayoral candidate in David Soknacki, representatives of business, music, arts, and advocacy groups, and perhaps most notably (for nostalgia-sick millennials), Sharon Hampson and Bram Morrison of Sharon, Lois, and Bram fame.
A few have joked about what this political relationship may bring. Even Matlow got in on the fun and acknowledged the celebrity endorsement while alluding to the "elephant in the room" to his Twitter followers.
The elephant in the room. https://t.co/WOMjqy05xm— Josh Matlow (@JoshMatlow) March 8, 2023
The letter reads as an attack on John Tory's (and, by extension, previous mayor Rob Ford's) policies of austerity, calling out the city's state of disrepair and warning that "communities are beginning to see the real effects of 12 years of mayors who mismanaged our city's finances and couldn't deliver on residents' priorities."
"Garbage bins are broken and overflowing on our main streets, local roads are cracked and strewn with potholes, park bathrooms are closed, and basic TTC services have been cut, leaving riders waiting even longer for a bus. When it snows, our neighbourhoods are left impassable, unsafe and inaccessible for everyone from parents pushing a stroller to people with disabilities."
The letter boils it all down to an SOS call that "Toronto simply isn't working."
The scathing rebuke on Toronto's current condition calls out unfulfilled promises to fast-track affordable housing, what it characterizes as a "violent, inhumane, and ultimately ineffective approach to removing encampments in our parks," shirking commitments to climate change to keep taxes low, and other controversial policy choices in the last decade.
It’s time to ‘get real’ with Toronto residents. Why Josh Matlow is considering a run for mayor https://t.co/IpXfCzYbPj— Josh Matlow (@JoshMatlow) March 8, 2023
The letter suggests Matlow as a "change from the Ford/Tory status quo that has caused our city to decline in the last decade."
It cites his track record in areas including "addressing poverty, racialization, discrimination, mental health, and other root causes of crime" as reasons the veteran councillor should take a stab at the open mayor seat.
If Matlow chooses to enter the mayoral race, he would join seven other confirmed candidates as of Mar. 8, 2023.
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