Posts tagged ‘toronto-mayor’

My Life in Retrospect, 2010

Really, it’s been a rather uneventful year.  Which is a good thing.  No big changes, other than another contract job in the Government of Ontario.  Had a couple of great vacations and a blissful home life.  However, a little ticked at Black Bloc anarchists and Rob Ford, two entities spurred on by angry mobs.

NEWS STORY OF THE YEAR:  The G8-G20 fiasco here in Toronto.  Our offices were closed for a day or so.  A major portion of downtown was fenced off.  Police in riot gear on every corner.  And thousands upon thousands of protesters.  For kicks, Deb and I drove through it on June 26 after a morning at the St. Lawrence Market.  Although, I can’t condone the instances of bad policing and the conduct of some individuals.  I also can’t condone the massive, systematic arrests and abuse of emergency police powers.  However, what got lost in the story was the violent protests and use of black bloc tactics by anarchists.  Sure, the police may have abused their powers – but could you imagine what would have taken place if they weren’t there?

I CHEERED for World Cup soccer.  It’s not a very big part of culture in northern Ontario.  But everyone in the city goes crazy at World Cup time.  And now wonder.  Everyone has a team to cheer for based on their nationality.  While we Anishinaabeg may never have a team to cheer for.

I JEERED Mayor Rob Ford.  Knowing George Smitherman, he was definitely the best man for the job.  Hands down, the Toronto mayoral race was also the year’s biggest political disappointment.

BEST MOVIE:  The King’s Speech.  We just seen it last night.  It is a fascinating story about King George VI.  The acting is absolutely superb.  Colin Firth is so believable in the role.  As is the Queen Mum, played by Helena Bonham Carter.  Geoffrey Rush plays the likeable speech therapist, Lionel Logue.  One of the most comedic scenes is when Logue’s wife comes home unexpectedly to discover that her husband is being paid a visit by the new King and his wife Elizabeth.  These British royalty films are great.

CAREER:  Presently, I am the manager of culture policy for the Ministry of Tourism and Culture.  I’m responsible for managing the policy direction of the Government of Ontario in the areas of heritage, archaeology, libraries, museums as well as the Ministry’s role in cultural planning, renewable energy and Aboriginal Affairs.  I have a great staff of fourteen people.  What amazes me most is the constant turnover.  Staff are always coming and going so I spend a lot of my time managing human resources, filling vacancies and making sure we’re being responsive to senior management.  It is gratifying to know that many of the things we do go a long way to preserve the rich cultural heritage of the province.

NEW WEBSITE:  I wanted to do it last year but the designer I wanted was so incredibly busy.  However, I’m satisfied with the look and feel of the design.  But what lot of people really don’t know is, I am the developer. The content, function, database operation, and programming is all me. The technology stuff is great.  The best thing about it, for the first time, the website was developed completely with open source programming.

FAMILY:  Deborah and I having the time of our lives together.  We are working on being more healthy – eating right and staying in shape.  Katherine Faith turned 15 years old, with a mind of her own, a boyfriend, pretty good judgement and aspirations of driving the car.  In fact, I took her on a couple of joy rides and she did really well.  Griffin turned 11 and Miigwans turned 8.  Jasmine turned 12 and Fiona turned 8, just like Baby.  Singing:  “When you’re eight, you can do so much more.  When you’re eight, you can walk around outdoors.”

ROAD TRIP:  These seem to be a thing of the past, as most of my road travel is limited to getting to and from Nipissing and to attend ceremonies a few times per year.  The longest road trip, once again, was a family drive to Spring Ceremonies, June-13, 2010 in Wisconsin.  A total of 2524 km.  My car just turned over 150,000 this morning.

VACATION:  Who can forget the trip to Varadero, Cuba!  Lots of great beach and swimming action, some pretty good snorkelling and great family fun with the Girls.  Deb and I also got to spend some time in Montego Bay, Jamaica in a lovely villa with our friends Joe and Fiona.

I CRIED WHEN when I found out that Warren passed away.  He was younger than me… a family man… with a young daughter and newborn twins.  So tragic.  I was glad to know him and happy to know he’s still with us through his young family.  Rest in peace, Warren Monague.

I CRINGE WHEN people on Facebook write “R.I.P.”.  If you are so thoughtful, and want to offer a sincere condolence, can’t you write out Rest in Peace?

MEMORABLE MEAL:  Steak and lobster dinner at Joe and Fionas with her uncles Robert and George.

MEMORABLE MOMENT:  Floating peacefully, about a km out from shore, in the warm, ocean water off Varadero, Cuba.  Nothing around, accept me and the Spirit.

An Adam Giambrone Production

I rarely cite another blogger or columnist, much less in my lede.  But Royson James of the Toronto Star said it well this morning stating: “Simply, Giambrone is a fraud.”

But what if Adam Giambrone is even a bigger fraud than we know?

Here is my pelican brief.

My hypothesis is based on the well-known idiom that any publicity is good publicity.  Adam Giambrone is seen as the hip, youngster in the race to be the next mayor of Toronto.  He held his schnazzy, well choreographed campaign launch in a nightclub. He is flamboyant and witty – complete with great one-liners and a Stockwell-Day-esque video on YouTube, sans wetsuit.  He’s got momentum.

But the reality is that he’s a city councillor.  Not well known to the wider public.  He’s not a Mel Lastman, Barbara Hall or John Tory.

Giambrone is best known to his ward voters – who are especially vocal of their dislike of the man.  He is now infamous as the Chair of the Toronto Transit Commission – who is seeing anger from riders and the public over poor service and an unpopular fare hike last month.

But as I stated:  any publicity is good publicity.  According to the polls, Giambrone is a solid lock on second place, still far behind the front-runner, the powerhouse, former Deputy Premier George Smitherman.

What’s a man to do?

Necessity is the mother of invention.  Giambrone needs to expand his reach.  He needs to be known by more and more people in Toronto.  He needs to dominate the headlines.  Could the Adam Giambrone sex scandal be totally fabricated?

It’s a sad commentary that those caught in sex scandals generally survive.  Bill Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives.  He suffered the most intense grilling from independent counsel.  He was roasted in the media – day in and day out – dirty fact, after dirty fact.  Despite a short dip in the polling numbers, he was still among the most popular presidents to ever take office.

It’s also a sad fact that the best politicians in the western world are measured by their ability to address scandal.  Spin, deflect and press on.  Full steam ahead.

You have the need.  You have the rationale.  Next you need the players.

Enter Sarah McQuarrie in her role as long-time, live-in partner.  Also enter Kristen Lucas, the 20 year-old university student.  Both women are young, niave as well as beautiful.  They become involved with the young and handsome Giambrone.  It’s a picture-perfect television Love triangle.  The plot will involve steamy sex at his city hall office and a trail of lies and deceptions.  As the story evolves, it will no doubt include more details.  More than likely, more women will come forward.  There may be intrigue at the highest levels of city politics.  Perhaps in Giambrone’s mind, these plots and sub-plots will all culminate into an election victory.

It may not be a film screenplay or prime-time material, but it would make for a good afternoon soap opera plot.

If this hypothesis was true, I’m guessing that McQuarrie and Lucas may not even be aware of their roles.  The campaign team may not even be in on the plot.  This could very well be An Adam Giambrone Production.  Perhaps in Giambrone’s mind, these plots and sub-plots will lead to reality show stardom.  The Surreal Life meets Spin City.

Now this is pure speculation, but as the city turns, it is sure to benefit Giambrone.  Provided that the plot doesn’t go overboard and offend the rest of humanity.

Women, rightfully so, are not amused.  Whether or not this is a true fabricated production, the women involved in the scandal are being played.  Played by Giambrone and lied to with great fiction.  The media are being given a different script to review everyday in the form of official statements. 

He’s a great actor.  He’s shown he has very poor judgement.  He’s a seasoned manipulator and is navigating through his scandal.  But is that what Toronto really needs?

Giambrone has called a news conference for 11 a.m. this morning.  There are two scenarios:  he’ll either give up the race, or continue the production and new sub-plot and confess he’s gay.  As Royson James said, he can be gay if he wants to.  This is Toronto.

As The City Turns.