Mayor Tory should not have resigned

Mayor John Tory

Wey [what] you know, you know

Wey you see, you see

Don’t bother to follow she and bring no news to me.

Newsmongers can be dangerous,

Maco you too damn malicious.

All you people too damn fast

Mighty Sparrow


In the Caribbean, there is a despicable type called a “Maco” or Maco Man. That is a person who “carries” news or mind other people’s business. Caribbean people never see that kind of behavior as a useful service; instead tt’s seen as the cause of a lot of social ills. Therefore, a Maco Man is held up to ridicule and scorn. He is a ripe subject for a “cut ass”, a thrashing. This also applies to newspaper reporters. The people simply do not see the public or private interest being served by maco-ing.

This came to mind following John Tory’s announcement that he was resigning as mayor of Toronto because he had an extramarital affair with a staff member.

Tory had a good thing going for some time whereby he was doing some “outside strokusing” behind the back of his wife of 40 years. This went on for nearly two years without any apparent effect on Tory’s performance, so, there would have been no resignation if Tory was not notified by the Toronto Star that they had the goods on him and would be spilling the beans soon. They knew all the details: who the staffer was, for how long the tryst was going on, etc. Tory was, as the saying goes, caught with his pants down. So, he cut his losses.

In political terms, we carry no brief for Mr. Tory. We’re still appalled by his callous decision not to support a recommendation to keep warming centres open to protect the homeless during a pretty cold winter. We were not amused with his support to give police an additional $48 million dollars to stop street crime when those who think about these things, recommended that the money would be better spent to provide shelter and for better mental health services.

Now, had he quit after having a “road to Damascus” moment following his failure on the “homeless” file, no tears would have been shed in these pages. But quitting because his marriage was on shaky ground for some time and he had a deputy in Toronto to warm his toes was not necessary. People in high and responsible positions have done worse, did not quit, and the world did not stop turning. Some were even brazen in their antics like the famous Bill Clinton–Monica Lewinsky business under the Oval Office desk. He didn’t quit and he carried on his presidency with or without the normal fuss that comes with the job.

Although it is frowned upon, there is no law against having an affair with a staffer, junior or otherwise. There is no indication that this Tory’s affair affected his judgement or his standing in his job as mayor. Why should it? There are as many extramarital affairs as there are squeaky clean marriages. And that applies to persons, male and female, in every profession.

The argument that having an affair with a 31-year-old staff member was somehow taking advantage of a vulnerable female seem to be taking for granted that the woman didn’t know what she was doing and needed protection; that is an insult to both her intelligence and adulthood, and to all women as well. Assuming that she didn’t have her own agency is infantilizing a woman that the Star reporters hardly knew.

Maco-ing has brought an end to a mayor’s career that should be decided at the ballot box or by his retirement for reasons other than an extramarital affair. But now that he has announced his resignation, he should go despite attempts to make him change his mind.

We say, the die is cast. There should be no turning back. Tory should go now. The city will go on without him, as it has done for over 200 years.