Monday, November 4, 2013

When “I’m Sorry” Isn’t Good Enough

“I’m disappointed.”

With those words, Toronto police Chief Bill Blair summed up the feelings of the majority of Torontorians with regard to the recovered video that allegedly showed the mayor using crack cocaine. I, too, am disappointed.

I’m disappointed because, over the weekend, the mayor did not specifically address the video’s contents. He did not own up to his questionable activities and associations, save his repeated instances of public drunkenness. When he had the opportunity to clear the air to address all the allegations levied against him he chose to say nothing at all.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Toronto deserves better.

The mayor’s vague apology for “mistakes” he had made in the past demonstrates, one more time, a lack of leadership. Toronto needs to remove this cloud over its head, and the city cannot do that when it’s the mayor’s personal life troubles dominating headlines. Yes, city business is still moving along, but that’s not what people are talking about. The mayor is the face of Toronto, the city’s representative, but how can the city move forward when all attention is focused on the mayor’s behaviour? How can the city move forward from the spectacle the mayor has made of himself and, by mere association, the city?

Leadership is about doing what’s right. In politics, leadership is about setting an example, putting the greater good ahead of personal interests. It would seem that the mayor, who doesn’t see any reason to resign, is putting personal interests above those of the City of Toronto; one could say it is an attempt to save face. It’s too little, too late.

The mayor’s, “I have made mistakes ... and all I can do right now is apologize for the mistakes,” isn’t good enough. It doesn’t provide answers, it doesn’t clear the air.

Now is the time for the mayor to stand up for Toronto, demonstrate true leadership and do what is in the best interest of Toronto and its citizens. That is for the mayor to resign so that Toronto can build the future it deserves.

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