Garth Clark: Beer, news, and politics make a fine mix

Well Jon, welcome back. When Carole announced her retirement I feared for the paper. She’d done such a good job making it relevant to the Beach community, I was concerned that whoever new came along wouldn’t have that same touch… those Beachy insights that came from living in the neighbourhood for as long as she had.

I needn’t worry. I met you at several various community events over the years when you were the official photog for the paper, in fact I’m sure we shared a beer or two at my pub… or someone who looked like you… the more beer I drink the more friends I have, you know how it is. Anyway I’m glad to see that Beach Metro News is in good hands, and I hope you’ll allow me to write in every so often with my ever-so-pithy comments on things Beach.

Of course you realize that since you left there has been a big changing of the guard at city hall for this neighbourhood. The citizens decided to replace Sandra Bussin  with the pixieish Mary-Margaret McMahon. She’s been feeling her way around the place, and doing a good job meeting with her constituents in coffee shops around the neighbourhood.

As I write, city councillors have become eligible for a 2% cost-of-living raise. With the city poised to lock horns with the various municipal unions over salaries, and jobs-for-life issues, I’d be curious if 3M will take her raise, or deny it in solidarity with others who are not as fortunate. I’m betting on the latter. Lord Ford, our Mayor-of-the-diminishing-girth, has said he will deny his raise, for what it’s worth.

And I don’t believe you were here either when Matt Kellway overthrew the reigning Maria Minna for the post of MP. Matt’s on a steep learning curve you can bet, but I think he’ll be fine. I’m just concerned that without Jack the NDP are a one-term Opposition. Good old Bob Rae, the former NDP himself, is doing a job at re-energizing the Liberals… might even take a run at the leadership himself. Even though I’m of silver hair as well, and think Bobby would do well, I personally feel the Libs should consider a younger leader.

I seem to remember you saying at one pub session that you would like to see an election where Justin Trudeau ran against Ben Mulroney. That could still happen, although persuading Stevie Wonder to step aside would be a chore. He’s enjoying his majority too much.

So, on a completely different matter, how are you enjoying our Toronto winter? Smithers, BC is probably as far from Toronto as you can get and still be in Canada. I would imagine northern British Columbia winters are somewhat snowier than the one we’re enjoying – and I say enjoying because at my age, snow in the city is just an accident waiting to happen. The last thing I want to do is head off to the pub and wind up in Emerg…!! I guess you’ll have to resign yourself to such winter-in-Toronto  pasttimes as tennis or golf!

I should sign off, but before I go I should say that you must have a lot of new ideas you’re working on for the paper. If you ever need someone off which to bounce them…. or just a drinking buddy to sound off at… you know where my bar stool is.

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