My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

Beth Kaplan logo

our problem

The good news is that our mayoral crisis is giving lots of work to some of our best writers. My esteemed Toronto colleague David Macfarlane, who is incapable of writing a dull sentence, has a piece in the “New Yorker” on local politics.



As everyone who watches “The Daily Show” or “David Letterman” sort of knows, Toronto elected Rob Ford to be its sixty-fourth mayor, in 2010. What nobody knows is what to do with the crack-smoking politician now.

In the “Globe”, Richard Florida writes about our need for a new kind of governance.

Canada’s biggest city needs more than a better leader – it 

And in the meantime, Jon Stewart and his guest Patrick Stewart chuckle about this city. We have always wanted to be a famous city, in the world’s eye, but not like this.

I have done my bit. On my front door is a large hand-printed sign: THIS IS A FORD FREE ZONE. I put it up because students were coming last night, and I could see us chatting ad nauseam, when in fact, there is nothing new to say.

My friend the lawyer, at the Y, told me she thinks he’ll stay in office until the next election. Unbelievable as that sounds. Even more unbelievable: Tonight on the radio, a pundit said that because of mistakes made by his enemies, which have made his fan base once more sympathetic to the poor hounded outsider, he may well WIN the next election. In the meantime, the mayor of benighted Calgary is a generous funny clever leftie muslim, and the new mayor of NYC looks like a saint.

Time to move.

Only joking. But still …



2 Responses to “our problem”

  1. theresa says:

    It's so strange to the rest of us (those of us in on the west coast…) to see the continuing opera of the Mayor and his problems –and to realize how it must be for be those who live in Toronto. One thing to think of him as "colourful" and another to think of him as someone who actually must attend meetings, shape policy, etc., with such a debilitating set of problems, including addictions, etc. How does one begin to think of civic governance in terms of a mayor who is often drunk to the point of stupification? What happens to decorum? To civic dignity? To public discretion?

  2. beth says:

    The thing is, Theresa, he was a blowhard bully and a joke who'd been arrested for drunkenness and assault already, as a minor civic politician, so we were appalled when he was elected. But no one had any idea just how bad it was. His case is shining a light into a segment of the population I know nothing about – as we saw yesterday, when his mother said her son's main problem was his weight. A trial is beginning of a group of teenagers from Etobicoke, Ford's fiefdom, who came downtown one night in their giant SUV and beat a young man who happened to brush against it to death. It's as if we've turned over a rock, and what we see – of alienation, irresponsibility, violence, wilful ignorance and blindness, and heedless substance abuse – is horrifying.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

Some Blogs I Follow

Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.


Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.


I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.


Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.


Juliet in Paris, Spain and Beyond
Juliet is a Canadian who’s lived for decades in Paris and writes about her travels and the many things that interest her.