Every time the mayor opens his massive jaws I worry about what he will say next. Will he utter more hateful profanity? Will he talk about his sex life? Will he humiliate the city of Toronto in a new and unimaginable way? Or will he once again refer to Torontonians as taxpayers?
The mayor’s favourite word is taxpayer; he constantly talks about how much money he has saved the taxpayer whether or not you believe that statement and I don’t is irrelevant. What does matter is that the mayor continues to refer to the people of this city in terms of dollars and cents.
Yes, I pay my taxes but the money in my wallet or my bank account is not the most important thing about me and it is not the most important thing about anyone who lives in this great city. We are citizens of Toronto we are not the sum of our collective paycheques we are people with hearts, thoughts, opinions and a deep love for Toronto. When you, Mr. Mayor, call me a taxpayer as if that is the most important thing about me you are telling me that ALL you care about is how much money I put in the city coffers.
While I am capable of paying my taxes, according to the 2013 Street Needs Assessment there are currently 5,219 citizens of Toronto who also happen to be homeless. Those 5,219 people likely cannot afford to pay taxes but they are no less citizens of Toronto and they do not deserve your ire, Mr. Mayor.
When the mayor refers to people as taxpayers he is publicly stating that the weakest members of society should not be taken into consideration when forming policy; this is perhaps his worst crime. I wonder if the mayor knows that the criminals and drug dealers he so often spends time with likely don’t pay taxes; it’s really difficult to claim an income when your main source of that income is the result of illegal activities, it tends to raise red flags. But those people, the drug dealers and criminals, they are still citizens of this city and they deserve our compassion because they need help just as much as the mayor does.
The people of this city who rely most on city services are not the taxpayers, they are not the people who have money, they are the homeless, the poor and the disenfranchised. Those people should be treated with the same respect that is offered to the ‘taxpayers’ the mayor is so enamoured with.
Whether a vote is 10 months away or not when you vote you should think about this; if you or a member of your family lost everything tomorrow, if you ended up on the street or seeking warmth in a homeless shelter would you still want to be thought of a person? If you can say no to that then maybe Mayor Ford is the mayor for you and if you can’t maybe it’s time we found someone new to govern this city.