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Photo courtesy of subversive-about-town Alex Panther.
My mother is quiet and dignified (at least in comparison to the slightly less quiet and dignified people who make up the rest of her family), but I've always known she was dangerously insubordinate. You, too, will appreciate the threat my mother poses to the fair, just, and totally-not-dangerously-imbecilic Powers That Be when you read the email she recently sent to the totally-not-dangerously-imbecilic Mayor Rob Ford.


Subject: Comments from a taxpayer
Dear Rob Ford,
Your continued support for low property taxes and a proposed tax freeze in 2014 are sops to the constituency of voters who in my opinion are selfish, short-sighted and very much the opposite of responsible citizens.  The latter know that payment of taxes contributes to the common good and future of their city.  Tax increases are
to be expected.  It is not for you to bow to the whims of your constituency but to offer well-thought-out plans. So far I haven't seen many of those.

Compare the tax increases recommended in Karen Stintz's OneCity proposal with what households spend annually on, for example, cable, internet and phone plans and even cases of beer. Much more than the proposed increases.

It is up to you and your council to work out plans for the future of Toronto's transportation system. The current situation is not acceptable.   

Another thing.  The media should not have to resort to freedom of information requests in order to find out what you are up to whilst carrying out the duties of your office. There are also deficiencies in "leadership" and representing the City at official functions.  Below is an excerpt from the City of Toronto website:

The Mayor
The role of the Mayor as the head of council is to:
  • act as chief executive officer
  • provide information and make recommendations to Council with respect to Council's role in ensuring that administrative policies, practices and procedures and controllership policies, practices and procedures are in place to implement the decisions of Council and in ensuring the accountability and transparencyof the operations of the City, including the activities of the senior management of the City
  • preside over (chairs) meetings of council so that its business can be carried out efficiently and effectively
  • provide leadership to council
  • represent the City at official functions, and
  • carry out any other duties under the City of Toronto Act, 2006 or any other Act. 

Thank you.

Jane Oakley Sweet



In my mother's hands, quotation marks and boldfaced type become positively insulting.

She has not yet heard back from him. She should really have titled the message "Free football and monorails!"

And lest you think I grew up with at least one parent who raised me to feel respect for those who devote themselves to the public good and who let me mispronounce words like "buoy" and "clapboard", I give you the letter from my father that appeared in this week's Guardian:


In Notes & Queries (22 June), we read: "'honest politician' is the essence of an oxymoron". Not really: strictly speaking, an oxymoron is an expression that at first blush seems dead wrong, but after reflection is seen to be a meaningful paradox. "Honest politician" is simply a contradiction in terms.

Frederick Sweet





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