It’s obvious that a lot of Torontonians are become especially disenchanted with Mr. Miller after the garbage strike debacle, but I hadn’t realized that the disapproval extended to key re-election personnel like Mr. Lean and Mr. Crombie. That’s big news.
I was concerned about other candidates splitting the opposition vote and handing the election back over to Mr. Miller, but it sounds like there will be an united front against the incumbent. That’s good news.
Ralph Lean, the chairman of the Cassels Brock law firm, has a long list of grievances against his Mayor, David Miller. Yesterday, he took time off from golfing in the Justin Eves Foundation charity tournament in Milton to spell those out in detail.
He is upset at Mr. Miller for overspending, for failing to freeze councillors’ salaries, for narrowing Jarvis Street, for fighting with Porter Airlines (“I’m a big supporter of Porter”) and for refusing to examine outsourcing some city functions.
Mr. Miller could shrug this off, except that Mr. Lean is not just any old disgruntled voter: one of the city’s most influential fundraisers, he co-chaired the team that funded Mr. Miller’s runaway victory in the 2006 municipal election. And now Mr. Lean is walking away.
“I quite like David Miller,” Mr. Lean said. But, he adds, “He’s gotten off track. He’s made a lot of mistakes. His supporters on council have pushed him in directions I don’t agree with.”
“Everybody I talked to, 100% of the people, have stopped supporting the Mayor,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like it in my political career.”
Mr. Lean now says he will support either Mr. Tory or George Smitherman, the deputy premier, in a mayoral bid.
“I guarantee you one of those two will run,” Mr. Lean says, adding, “Both of them told me, ‘Only one of us is going to run.’ ”
Mr. Crombie is also declining to work on another Miller bid for the mayoralty, although he took pains to say he is not opposing the Mayor. He says he signed on in 2006 because it was a multi-party effort with Mr. Peterson and Mr. Miller, to make Toronto better.