Now running for mayor: Norm Gardner, yet another guy with weird allegations in his past

Now running for mayor: Norm Gardner, yet another guy with weird allegations in his past

(Image: Present-day Gardner: CityTV/Screenshot; Inset: Gardner as a city councillor, courtesy of the city of Toronto) Norm Gardner: then and now (Image: Present-day: CityTV/Screenshot; inset: Gardner as city councillor: city of Toronto)
 

Toronto voters might not be ready to quit Rob Ford cold turkey. Maybe what this city needs is a Nicorette candidate—someone who can slowly taper us off our addiction to scandal by giving it to us in safe, non-habit-forming doses. The man to do that might be Norm Gardner, an ex-city councillor and former police board member who once shot a guy in the leg.

To be fair, he was provoked. The incident happened in 1992, when Gardner was a Metro councillor and a member of the police board. The guy he shot was attempting to rob Gardner’s North York bakery. He (the robber, not Gardner) was later convicted and sentenced to 18 months in jail. It wasn’t long before the press learned that Gardner—who, again, was a member of the police board—had a rare police-issued license to carry a handgun. In 2004, he was suspended from the police board for accepting 7,900 rounds of ammunition from a Toronto Police Service training facility. That’s probably a few more bullets than a person really needs for day-to-day bakery defence.

When Gardner emerged from retirement yesterday to announce his run for mayor, he told reporters at city hall that he hopes to position himself as middle ground between likely candidate Olivia Chow and Ford. “I don’t want to see the city go back to the freewheel spending that [David] Miller had,” he told the Post. “I believe you have to have decent social programs otherwise you’re going to have riots in the streets, but at the same time you have to be reasonable in terms of how you spend your money. Spend it wisely.”