Can upcoming vote help Toronto get our city back?

Are you old enough to remember what was replaced by today’s scandal-and-bedbug-ridden demi-slumlord Toronto Community Housing Corp. (TCHC)?
It was called Cityhome. Created in 1974, Cityhome was a fantastically successful mixed-income, non-profit housing operation run by the city when it was a city, not a mini-province with no self rule.
Cityhome was a major component—along with housing co-operatives, some freehold houses and condos—of the wonderful St. Lawrence Neighbourhood that has been recognized worldwide for its triumph as an urban renewal of former industrial lands.
As with all good things in Toronto, Cityhome was destroyed by the Mike Harris swineherd in 1998, using as their weapon a forced and unwanted amalgamation of our city with four adjacent cities.
Those allegedly conservative opponents of big government imposed a 40-member suburbanite council onto our city and merged successful Cityhome with one disastrously dysfunctional public-housing operation, Ontario Housing Corp., and a more efficiently run: Metro Toronto Housing Corp.
The result, of course, is a single, huge, disastrously dysfunctional public-housing operation: TCHC.
The remnants of Ontario’s Tories are now led by a key villain of that era, Tim Hudak. The rest of them are tormenting us from Ottawa, themselves bossed around by control-freak and prevaricator Stephen Harper.
Tim, in 2002, married another Harrisite operative, Deb Hutton, an advisor to Mike.
She might be out of the political picture for a while because she recently gave birth to their second daughter. But keep in mind they were in the forefront of the crew that invented the mess Toronto is now in.
Amalgamation, the liars claimed in true modern Tory fashion, would save taxpayers money. As they went along with plans to sell off to their pals various assets of the city and province, the Tories compromised the electricity system and nearly everything else they touched. They bungled education, for instance.
Having screwed things up bigtime, Harris, whose marriage had broken up, spent perhaps too much of his time in office skirt-chasing and mercifully resigned in disgrace before the end of his term. He was welcomed by the right-wing Fraser Institute thinktank as a “fellow” and of course also reigns on some corporate boards.
Having been premier or prime minister is usually a guarantee of a privileged life thereafter, no matter how undeserved.
Mike’s jury-rigged replacement, Ernie Eves, was visibly unsuited for the job and thus the Tory reign at Queens Park gave way to another Tory-style guy, a lackey of big development but running as a Liberal: Dalton McGuinty.
His campaign was run by the scion of a wealthy land development family and in nearly his first act as premier, Dalton allocated a portion of the environmentally sensitive and important Oak Ridges Moraine for the construction of 900 houses.
Up until Harris came into power, the Ontario Cabinet was the final judge of approvals by the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), an unnecessary and unelected body that seemingly exists to ensure developers’ desires prevail over those of an elected city government where they’re building.
Harris and McGuinty decided the OMB would rule and free them from blame.
Which brings us to this coming election where we have a choice between two Tories and an NDP.
If McGuinty was another octave of Harris, Kathleen Wynne is another rendition of of McGuinty; another Tory-style pretend liberal who rules in favour of oligarchs.
She has turned nothing around. Insider corporations still appear to own her government as they did McGuinty and Harris and you have every reason to doubt she will be anything but more of the same bad regime.
She could disconnect Toronto from the OMB with the stroke of a pen. She hasn’t. She could deamalgamate this horrid mess Mike Harris and the official Tories made of our city. She hasn’t.
The worst possible outcome would be Tim Hudak leading the remnants of the old Mike Harris wrecking crew.
Our prospects for a city controlled by its citizens instead of outsiders look grim.
Although the former NDP regime of Bob Rae ran a reasonably good provincial government, better than his dopey Liberal predecessor, David Peterson (who soaked the poorest by raising the provincial sales tax) the myth is that Rae’s regime was a disaster.
It was far from that. Hare-brained union leaders and their flock blamed him for “Rae Days” which gave them some unpaid days off.
That was instead of firing a bunch of them to save money. What stupid brats union types can be!
I’d like to end on a positive note, but my voice can’t find the key.
The official Tories promise austerity, which is what we’re already enduring.
The Liberals are offering some deficit spending, which is certainly—and always—better than austerity.
The NDP, who don’t appear strong enough to gain a lead, might make a deal with the devil and join as a minor partner with either of the two Tory-style parties. Dig out your clothespegs, voters!