In response to a column almost all Torontonians would agree with.
Editor - Toronto Star
As the elected leader of Toronto City Council, I must respond to Royson James's column. It is an utterly despicable piece of supposed journalism and unworthy of your publication.
I will ignore for the moment that many of James's facts are wrong and go directly to the last paragraph of his column where he states: "Councillors should be hanged, one a day, at noon, in Nathan Phillips Square. Charge admission. We'll net enough money to pay off most of our civic bills."
Such a statement is beneath contempt and shows absolutely no respect for democracy, for the families of elected officials or for those in this country who fought to preserve our freedom.
In a democracy, people can choose to disagree about issues like the future of Union Station, the purchase of food vending carts and the disconnection of downspouts. That's what our political system is all about. But I cannot believe a veteran columnist like James would stoop so low as to think that city councillors should be lynched in the public square, never mind put such outrageous thoughts in writing. And it is beyond belief that a newspaper of the Toronto Star's stature – a publication that proclaims itself as the Voice of the GTA – would actually print such hateful ruminations. I find this absolutely offensive.
Many Torontonians came to this city from countries where public officials and other innocent people have been hanged or otherwise murdered and where such atrocities continue to this day. They came to Toronto to be free from such terror and callous disregard for human life. Perhaps James should have asked them – and others, like my Uncle Jim, who fought for the right to debate and discuss public policy – their thoughts on his loathsome advocacy for public lynching.
The Toronto Star owes every Torontonian, every elected official and the families of those elected officials an immediate apology and retraction. Even that is not enough. But, sadly it is all you can do.
Mayor David Miller, Toronto
Royson today reports that the Star editors and management are supporting him.
This could be the beginning of the end of any editorial support of Miller in the City.
A figurative hanging inNathan Phillips Square.