Upon the release of last week’s London Institute poll on the city’s upcoming municipal election this fall, our guest Amir Farahi’s commentaries on what the poll tells us created quite a storm of controversy.
As executive director of the Institute, his harsh criticisms of London mayor Matt Brown and London city council has made him the person to turn to for expertise on the state of the city – and for a perspective on the city that provides a sober alternative to the official views.
Like many municipalities across North America, London has a very Left-leaning council, which means that much of municipal planning is really social engineering, determined by ideologies of the Left. From Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) to fighting climate change, the city’s priorities are in direct conflict with those of the majority of Londoners.
Alarmingly, London falls dead last among all Canadian cities in employment rates and labor participation rates. The city now boasts the third highest poverty rate in Canada. It has a drug epidemic problem larger than that of Toronto or Vancouver, cities many times larger than London.
Not surprisingly, Mayor Matt Brown fared quite poorly on the London Institute’s poll. Brown’s past sex scandal, his skewed priorities and his state of the city address (which left much to be desired) have led to Londoners’ re-assessment of the mayor’s boasted “culture change” at city hall.
Also not too surprisingly, mayoralty maverick Paul Cheng scored highest in the poll, thanks to his declared opposition to BRT.
Of course, no candidate for the city’s mayor will be perfect, nor is any such expectation realistic.
We can only hope that with the information and knowledge provided by the likes of the London Institute and Amir Farahi, the next election’s results might point in a direction that could be Just Right for the city and for the times.