680News political affairs specialist John Stall on politics.See more blogs
Tireless Tory takes on another task
For the life of me, I don’t know where John Tory gets the energy or motivation to do as much as he does!
I don’t know about you, but I feel like such a slacker in comparison even though I get up every morning at 3:30 a.m. to be on the air at 680News by 5:30 a.m., preside over a modest communication consulting service and do some volunteer work on a couple of advisory boards. It seems Tory does that much in his sleep, or in the hours between waking up and starting his day!
The latest news is that Tory has been appointed by the McGuinty government to head the revitalization of Ontario Place. It was announced that he will chair the panel evaluating international private sector proposals and ideas designed to re-develop and re-position Ontario Place into a world class waterfront attraction.
It’s a volunteer role for Tory as so many of his other activities are and the Premier has made a perfect choice for a number of reasons. The most cynical reason is because opposition critics might mute criticism because their former leader is now in charge. But the real reasons why Tory is a good choice are because:
1) Tory was part of the Bill Davis team that conceived and built Ontario Place in the 70′s, so he has a full and historical understanding of where O.P. has been and why it is no longer relevant
2) He is without question passionate about Ontario and its well being.
3) He is without question passionate about Toronto. He was born, raised, educated, works and volunteers here.
I know John quite well and have known him since his early days with premier Bill Davis and the big blue machine. Going way back, I Interviewed him frequently as a political insider and back room guy when I was on CFRB and when he was hanging around in Prime Minister Mulroney’s office. I worked with him at Rogers while he headed up the cable division, and covered him closely as he ran for mayor of Toronto and as leader of the provincial Conservative Party.
He once struck fear into my heart by telling me that despite his many endeavours, the only job he really wanted was MINE (radio host/commentator/interviewer). Thankfully, he got what he wanted but not at my expense. I was among those who encouraged him not to run for mayor the second time around after stepping down as Conservative leader, urging him to continue city and province building from a different seat than council or the legislature without the crap that goes along with political leadership. That is exactly what he is doing now!
I don’t have the answer to where he gets his energy other than daily exercise and moderate diet, but I know his sense of public service and can-do/will-do attitude is the result of his upbringing and the environment in which he was raised. Yes, he was raised and educated as a so called privileged child. His detractors, most of whom are envious “wanna be likes” can only default to the the silver spoon or lucky sperm bank analogy when trying to combat Tory’s positive attributes and upbeat view of the world, as if money makes people happy, positive, useful or effective. Having money, or access to it, can certainly free us from the distraction of personal survival, but it hardly follows that money makes people happy, useful, capable, willing, positive or effective, any more than the absence of money entitles or justifies negativity, envy, criticism, jealousy, cynicism or suspicion of all progressive things and people.
We are the product of our environment. John, in my view hasn’t been so much lucky in the sense that he was raised in privilege, but rather, lucky, in the sense that he had the good sense to embrace his family of origin influence to jettison all things negative while accentuating the positive (somebody should write a song about that), and by surrounding himself with like minded people rather than be worn down and zapped of all energy, creativity and productivity by negative cynics and professions — including politics.