Monday, March 17, 2008


To paraphrase Art Linkletter; politicians say the darndest things. Case in point the pearl above from former Toronto Mayor Alan Lamport.

Although Lamport was good, or is it bad, Mel Lastman,Mayor of Toronto, (1997 – 2003) and North York (1972 -1997) would run a close second. Looking back at some of his best known lines oddly provides a bit of commentary on some of the municipal issues we have faced over the last twenty five years.

Mel was way ahead of his time.

“It would save energy. There are more car accidents at night. Everybody else is out of their heads if they don’t go along with this.”

Explaining why North York would introduce Daylight Saving time in March 1984, instead of in April. - 1984

Now that you he has some time on his hands Mel might be interested in season’s tickets for the new Burlington Performing Arts Centre?

“I can’t sit and listen to music. Opera would drive me out of my mind. Musicals I don’t enjoy. Or ballet. I’d go crazy. My nerves wouldn’t permit it.” - February 1986

Remember when the stores were closed on Sunday?

“It doesn’t make any sense that a consumer can drink or go the racetrack on Sunday but cannot buy a Bible or clothes. The law is discriminatory. There’s no two ways about it.”

In support of Sunday shopping - May 1995

Does the Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty understand this tugboat thing?

“Local governments are like tugboats – they’re manoeuvrable and get things done.”- August 1997

How does garbage pick up every two weeks grab you, Mel?

“I know if I walked out at night and saw a raccoon with those big eyes staring at me, I’d run… people are petrified to put the garbage out now.”

On his belief that raccoons, skunks and rats are drawn by garbage in once-a-week-pickup in Toronto. November 97

A lot of people are just figuring out what Mel knew all along.

“Everything (premier) Mike Harris touches turns to crap.”

During an attack on the premier over downloading costs dumped on the city - June 8, 2001

And speaking of crap

“Sometimes too much knowledge is a dangerous thing, almost, in some areas, in my view.

Words of wisdom from Mel’s friend Mike Harris.

As Alan Lamport once said: All this progress is marvelous… now if only it would stop.”

“I have decided that this will be may last year in office because, ladies and gentlemen, Toronto’s future is secure.” - April 2003