Toronto architect tries to rally troops to stop Ford


According to the Toronto Star, prominent Toronto architect Ken Greenberg sent a rallying cry to about 45 Toronto movers and shakers this Sunday in anticipation for the release of the latest municipal election poll results.

The email, which was sent to former Toronto mayor David Crombie among others, urges recipients to get behind George Smitherman as the only man who stands a chance of usurping the tsar Rob Ford.

"Even if you don't agree with every one of his policy positions that is no longer the point," Greenberg writes in the email. "In order to not have Rob Ford as Mayor there needs to a convergence on one other candidate who stands a chance of winning this election and that is George Smitherman."

The email in its entirety is pasted below.

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Dear Friends,

Tomorrow you will see a poll that shows 46% support for Rob Ford and predictions that he will be the next Mayor of Toronto. And this will no doubt be the case unless the people who care about this city come together to support the one candidate from among the other four who can defeat Rob Ford and that is George Smitherman.

We have been working for George and believe that he has the qualities to be an excellent Mayor. Although the campaign has been extremely negative and has painted a picture of a city on the verge of collapse, George's starting point is that this is a great city which has the potential to be even greater. He knows that we face severe challenges but it is by building on our successes not slashing and burning that we will succeed. He understands that we have some serious problems in Municipal government and in the effective delivery of services and will seek creative solutions that curb waste and more effectively use scarce resources not draconian one liners that seek to destroy not improve. He understands that you can't fix what is wrong at City Hall by just attacking the budget but need to engage people in decision-making for their communities and look outside City Hall to grow the pie not shrink it.

George is committed to picking up David Pecaut's challenge to form partnerships to tap the extraordinary resources in civil society, our major institutions and in the business community. He understands that we are "one city" and can only succeed by coming together not driving wedges of suspicion and rancor between "city" and. "suburb", "drivers", "pedestrians" and "cyclists". He is committed to finding solutions that work for all parts of our city from transit, to housing, to planning. He doesn't pretend to have all the answers but rather will help us to find them together. He knows that in our system building effective alliances on Council and with the Feds and the Province is the key. Most importantly he has the ability and experience to make this work.

But even if you don't agree with every one of his policy positions that is no longer the point. In order to not have Rob Ford as Mayor there needs to a convergence on one other candidate who stands a chance of winning this election and that is George Smitherman. We need to keep investing intelligently in our common future as a city. This is not the time to shut down and pull back; not the time to withdraw and retreat; not the time to stop communicating with the world; not the time to stop immigration. It cannot be done, makes no sense and is our greatest strength; it is profoundly who we are. This is not the time to sell off streetcars and revert to totally relying on cars and buses - already tested to failure world wide.

At stake is not just four years of bitter strife and division at City Hall but a reversal of progress we have made on housing, on our waterfront, in the arts, social services and on rebalancing our transportation networks and a message that the open and tolerant society we have been building in Toronto is in jeopardy. Our city is far from the incompetent basket case that this campaign has portrayed; we need to move forward at this crucial time not backwards and the outcome is in our collective hands.

We urge you to join us in getting involved now by showing your support and by writing to all of your own contacts throughout the city and asking them to do likewise. Every vote counts.

Sincerely,

Ken & Eti Greenberg


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