Letter to the Editor, Jacob Allderdice (2)

To the Editor: Globe and Mail, Nov. 7

Re: John Barber (Is there any life left in the old civic Toronto?) Nov 7, ’00.

First of all, “D-E-D” doesn’t spell “dead,” it spells “ded.” Now, even though I lack the benefits accrued by Mr. Barber in this, the 6th generation of his family’s presence in Toronto, I know “ded” is not a word. I have no doubt Mel’s advisors and handlers are also ken to this fact. What about it? Well, talk to me a year from now when Mel comes back to the table with some variant on the Adam’s Lake garbage dump proposal.

“I didn’t mean “dead,”” he’s likely to tell us; “I meant “deed.” I told you in November! I’m deeding our garbage to the North.” A subsequent computer analysis of his speech will show how he slurred the two “E”s together: “D-EE-D.”

Secondly, what’s with your column titles? Am I just too dense to get the connection between a reference to “the old civic Toronto” and another column bemoaning the fact that someone actually has the gall to run against hizzoner without “Generation Six” Barber’s approval? Or is it just that Barber has a family member titling his pieces, of whom he’s too fond to set straight? A seventh generation Barber in training? Seriously, you can do better.

Which brings me to the point of this letter.

John Barber is so vehement in his contention that Tooker Gomberg is an energy-wasting sideshow, it makes me wonder what he stands to gain from a Lastman coronation. He keeps saying Gomberg should just melt away now that the Adam’s Lake proposal has died, conveniently forgetting Gomberg’s role in killing the plan. And as former Toronto Mayor John Sewell wrote last week in eye, Gomberg is the only mayoral candidate “who will ensure [it] stays dead.” Sewell’s was only the latest in a long string of Gomberg endorsements, including those of Jane Jacobs and David Suzuki.

Barber’s standard refrain is that Gomberg’s entire campaign is based on opposition to the Adam’s Lake proposal. This just isn’t so. Please, ask Barber to go to the website: http://www.gombergformayor.org — or better yet, talk to Gomberg himself. Gomberg is an environmental activist of the old school and the veteran of many elections. There’s no doubt he seized on the steaming platter of garbage Mel Lastman handed out with the Adam’s Lake dump, and used it for his own ends, but I know for a fact he was considering running long before the Adam’s Lake monster emerged from the depths of north Ontario. One of my favorites in his platform is the proposal to build a Ward’s Island-style car-free community in the Portlands (the 500 families paying a yearly fee to keep their names on the island waiting list (now capped) should rejoice over that one).

But seriously, what’s not to rejoice in Gomberg’s platform? He’s all about liveable cities, accountability in the police force, a greener, friendlier, less money-grubbing sort of town. In short, he’s the man to vote for if you really miss “the old civic Toronto.”

Jacob Allderdice, M.Arch.