Wave of retirements to leave our city council smelling unusually un-morgue-like
Keen observers of city council have been noting that Toronto’s going to be run by a pretty different bunch of folks come November. According to the CBC, a wave of retirements is leaving an unusually large number of open seats in the clamshell—at least 11 of 44.
Mike Feldman on Tuesday became the latest councillor to say he won’t run again in October. He joins the likes of Case Ootes, Kyle Rae, Michael Walker and Brian Ashton—who between them have logged nearly 100 years of experience on council — who have already said they are giving up city politics.
The number of incumbents bowing out is “unprecedented in Toronto municipal politics going back decades,” said Ryerson University professor Myer Siemiatycki, who is an expert on municipal politics.
Don’t clutch the pearls just yet; the council is not going to lose all of its old hands. Howard Moscoe is staying put (so far) and Joe Pantalone, who exists in some kind of quantum state of maybe being in the next council as mayor, or not, depending on the will of the voters. (Maybe Pantalone has heard of Schrödinger’s Cat?)
Nevertheless, an injection of fresh blood would probably make the city a sparkly vampire do some good for a political body that too often looks hidebound and, well, old. Here’s hoping the new city council, one that smells less like moth balls and embalming fluid, works out.