The Toronto Star is so stuck on Mel Lastman these days that they're going to Godfreyesque lengths to apologize for our trashy mayor. You get the sense that the mayor could spin the Star editorial board with moose tales, Olympic yarns, waterfront dreams and posturing on the homeless crisis and at the end of it they'd all drop the pompoms and reach out for a group hug.
This co-dependency they've cultivated over the past three years goes a long way toward explaining the daily's perplexing play on that atrocious garbage vote.
The day after the deed was done, the Star pictured Curly above the fold, head in hands, lamenting that he didn't want to do it. Poor Mel.
In its editorial that same day, the paper called council's vote a "welcome conclusion" and a "reasonable solution." The same liberal paper that has taken the Tories to task for Walkerton is now dismissing fears of groundwater contamination at Adams Mine by arguing that it had "passed a provincial environmental assessment."
Then there's the Star's city hall columnist, Royson James, a long-time Curly-watcher who's been sounding more like the Mel toadies at the Toronto Sun. At least we know what to expect from Sun city hall columnist Sue Ann Levy, who didn't feel compelled to disclose her relationship to her uncle, Rail Cycle North lobbyist and Mel supporter Jeff Lyons, when she wrote on the Adams Mine.
There's a condescending air to James's columns. For example, he writes that unless you're an "ideologue or one who chooses to believe Mel Lastman and his supporters are just bad people, you must be very confused about what is fact and what is fiction in this debate."
I'm not an ideologue nor do I believe the mayor and his supporters are bad people. I just believe that after a decade of debate my municipal government should show some leadership and come up with a better plan than dumping our trash in an open-pit mine. Why not start by making waste diversion a priority over landfill?
James also doesn't think the city-funded Toronto Environmental Alliance is playing fair, and could blow its credibility at city hall by targeting councillor and works committee chair Bill Saundercook for election defeat.
Maybe James would prefer that TEA prepare a thoughtful presentation on the garbage issue for council. Oh, they already did that? And Saundercook's committee chose to ignore them?
TEA risks losing its credibility if it stays silent. The Star risks losing its own by jumping on the garbage train with Mel.