John Tory’s official declaration: he won’t run for mayor, and this race is silly

John Tory’s official declaration: he won’t run for mayor, and this race is silly

John Tory bows out—even though he never bowed in (Image: Ontario Chamber of Commerce)

The Hamlet act is over—for now.

John Tory put out a press release last night declaring that he will not be running for mayor of Toronto, for realsies this time.

While I am sorry to disappoint [Tory supporters], I have decided that the decision I made in January of this year will stand and I will not be a candidate in the municipal election to be held in October of 2010. The reason is simple: I believe I can continue to make significant and hopefully lasting contributions to the future of Toronto through the many projects and organizations I have involved myself in outside of public life….

I intend to continue to responsibly use my position as a broadcaster on Newstalk 1010 to encourage honest, intelligent debate on the real issues, at all levels of government and in other segments of Canadian society. I am disappointed in the fact that shallow slogans and posturing seem to be overshadowing a real, honest debate about many of the serious issues facing Toronto and I will be doing my part to try to change that in the weeks ahead.

The reaction from the press has been swift: the Toronto Star quotes Warren Kinsella as saying that Tory is “the best mayor we never had” (buck up Warren, there’s always 2014) and the National Post quotes Tory saying rather defensively, “I was actually quite disappointed that people made it an issue of integrity.”  Tory is probably referring to accusations that his very public waffling was doing harm to other campaigns, like that of Sarah Thomson.

But perhaps the best part of all this is that Tory feels more free to tell us what he really thinks of the mayoral contest. On CBC’s Metro Morning, he criticized the level of debate in the race, saying he has much better discussions in meetings as the chair of the Toronto City Summit Alliance.  Fine, we won’t defend the conduct of the debates, if only because there’s too many to choose from, but John Tory was the moderator at more than one of those debates, so we have to ask: if he thought the level of discussion was so poor, why didn’t he do something about it?

Or maybe he couldn’t decide what was called for.

• Statement by John Tory concerning 2010 Toronto municipal election [Canada News Wire]
• Tory makes it official: He’s not running [Globe and Mail]
• John Tory is officially out of the mayoral race — again [Toronto Star]
• John Tory won’t run for mayor [Toronto Sun]
• NOT running [Metro Morning]