- Written by Ajamu Nangwaya
By Patrick Hunter
If it hasn't become obvious by now, one of my impressions of Mayor John Tory is that he loves to talk. He has to give a dissertation with every answer. The problem with that is what he says is not always reflected in what he does.
On that fateful Sunday, June 7, when the mayor announced his Damascus turn-around, he said in part: "And the impact has been magnified by my very longstanding, close and mutually-respectful relationship with our own Black community. I don't have a relationship that is as important, or any more important to me, than the relationship, the friendship that I have built up over many years with that community," as reported in the Toronto Star.
The words "mutually-respectful relationship" is worth noting because it speaks very candidly to my point.
When Tory took office, one of the significant changes he made to the Toronto Police Services Board (TPSB) was to remove the lone Black member and vice-Chair, Councillor Michael Thompson. He placed himself on the Board, which is within his purview.
Over the past few weeks we have seen the results of why he wanted to be in the mix on the Board himself. He has no doubt had significant influence on who was appointed Chief. Then there was his confusing defence of carding, initially, and then the about face. And I have that feeling that he was influential in Board Chair Alok Mukherjee's decision to step down early.