When longtime socialist Olivia Chow ran for mayor of Toronto last summer, I feared she didn’t have what it took to run a large urban city plagued with rising crime, financial troubles, the homeless and drug addicts and ever increasing gridlock.

It had nothing to do with her age, but the length of time she’d been out of politics, safely ensconced in the halls of academia, and her weak grasp of the many issues that had arisen since her time on council 20 years ago.

She didn’t surprise me one bit when she hiked taxes 9.5% last month while insisting the foolish and costly Dundas St. name change would not be cancelled.

Socialists never like to do any heavy lifting to save money.

Nor am I surprised that the bike lobby thinks it can bully anyone who disagrees with the plethora of planned bike lanes across the city — knowing they have a friend in the mayor’s chair. 

Her almost daily photo ops — rivaling those of her predecessor — are laughably predictable. 

But it’s the shocking cluelessness with which she’s approached the vitriolic, disruptive and mostly antisemitic hatefests on the streets of Toronto over the past five months.

I knew she’d be soft on crime and indeed there’s been a fallout most especially an increase in the number of carjackings.

But failing to properly protect Toronto residents from Hamas sympathizers and bullies is a clear dereliction of her duty as mayor of Canada’s largest city.

Whether it’s because her voter base consists of many of the unemployed losers who are protesting, or she deep down agrees with their message, or she’s getting very bad advice, or the cop haters on council have sent a signal to the police to stand down, or she’s in way over her head, she has, through her inaction, emboldened them and helped escalate anti-Israel and antisemitic acts. 

From that notorious day in January when she endeavoured to speak at her Nathan Phillips Square skating party and was drowned out by a pro-Palestinian mob to the hundreds of road blockades she’s ignored to this past weekend when she said nothing – nada, zip, zilch – about the terrorist-sympathizing mob that blocked entry to the Art Gallery of Ontario.

In fact, Sunday, while another angry protest took to the streets, she was doing a photo opp about Ontario Place.

Talk about being disconnected from the reality of what’s occurring on her own streets.

That mob in front of the AGO, many of them the same professional protesters who have occupied Toronto’s streets for the last five months, led to the cancellation of an event between our prime minister and new Italian PM Giorgia Meloni.

I don’t have much sympathy for PM Justin Trudeau as he, too, has greatly enabled the antisemitic mobs over the past five months, mistakenly and foolishly calling their protests “peaceful.”

Still, this is Chow’s city and, like it was this weekend, it is her responsibility to keep its citizens safe and not handcuff the police.

Indeed, I believe she has kept the police on a very short leash and not allowed them to do their jobs and arrest the most violent haters. 

As a result, she’s lost control of the city. She’s capitulated to the mob. That’s if she ever had control in the first place. 

But now she looks really really weak and ineffectual. 

I’ll say one thing. If she continues to engage in happy talk, do photo ops that only prop up her ideology, play both sides of the conflict, and stick her head in the sand about the mob rule, someone or someones will get terribly hurt, or worse still, killed.

It will have taken less than her first year in office to see the once beautiful city decline to a cesspool of hate.

If ever a strong Stephen Harper-type leader was needed, it’s now.

Instead we have a past-her-prime, disconnected-from-reality ideologue who doesn’t have the first clue how to handle this crisis.


  • Sue-Ann Levy

    A two-time investigative reporting award winner and nine-time winner of the Toronto Sun’s Readers Choice award for news writer, Sue-Ann Levy made her name for advocating the poor, the homeless, the elderly in long-term care and others without a voice and for fighting against the striking rise in anti-Semitism and the BDS movement across Canada.