Raison d'etre 2006: (written the night before registering )
Four months ago I decided not to engage in the Mayors race this time around. I did not believe that I could have an effect based upon my learning experience of the 2003 election campaign.
On September 19th I was in a contemplative mood as it would have been my mothers birthday had she still been alive. I was looking at what I had been doing for the past several years and wondered why I had decided not to engage in the "publicity" aspect of an election campaign. I struggled with this. I went to Spirit Island and built a Medicine Wheel, a fire, and I walked the wheel for several hours. I had done a similar experience several days before - but I did not do it with a purpose other than to support a ceremony being performed in Greenland by my friend Angaangaq. He had asked me to hold a sacred fire on Spirit Island and so I did. I had enough firewood for about eight hours and I I walked the wheel from 12 Midnight until 8 in the morning. Even then the notion of entering the Election Campaign did not come forward.
Then on the 19th of September in my contemplative mood I determined that I had not finished what I had started in the 2003 campaign. I looked back and wondered what I had done wrong. I campaigned - Go for the Gold - but Vote for Miller. And he got elected. I thought - good for us. But he ignored the messages that I carried to him. That is my unfinished business. The messages need be brought forth still. That was step one of the decision. Step 2. During the Wisdom Council meeting of the Club of Budapest that took place here in Toronto this summer, I met a fellow by the name of Saul Arbess - he was heading up the Canadian Branch of the Department of Peace. He asked me to head up the Toronto Branch. Just what I needed - another unpaid job. I said I would - if the Department of Peace would endorse the TOPS program. Saul assured me that they would.
This gave me impetus to enter the fray with these political hacks that talk from one side of their mouth and do another.
Poor David Miller. Stuck with a broom. How dare he ignore the messages brought to him. What gives him the right to be so politically blinded that he ignored the following:
1) the value of the Toronto Dollar - which I am not championing right now because of the futility of the political process around it. call it internal politics of the Toronto Dollar.
2) the notion of a Vendor Policy Code - endorsing the MDG's (Millennium Development Goals) and the Earth Charter and the UN Global Compact. Mr Miller's allocating a $700 million dollar plus contract without so much as a second quote or a "socially" responsible condition leaves one dumbfounded.
3) the establishing of a UN Peace University in Toronto.
amongst other aspects of our work such as the TOPS program, and the Land Claim of the First nations Peoples.
Of course David, the consummate lawyer, discounts any work outside of the borders of his limited mind as "ultra vires" as he treats his signing on to the Mayors for Peace campaign. This kind of behaviour escapes most of the media pundits who are always so good at noticing important things like whether or not David might need a haircut.
Other aspects fed into my decision as well. I had spent a fair amount of time trying to find out how the Islands are "accounted for". No accounting exists!. Strange that our media does not care. None have looked at the operating and Capital budget Summary (2005) and noted that the city accounts for: Dundas Square, Casa Loma, Toronto Zoo (even as to the details of dollar spent per visitor per year), our minuscule Public Library budget (which experiences cutbacks this year) , and most importantly the TTC - Toronto Transit Commission - generally referred to as Take the Car. The City Report even goes so far as to note that our TTC has the highest revenue/cost ratio (operating costs recovered by revenues) of any transit authority in North America at 78%. This is a good thing. The significance is that other transportation systems are funded by other levels of government to a greater extent than ours. Inpean? Are we asleep? Does this not have meaning to us?
We are thinking totally wrong about the TTC. we are raising fares almost every year. Must we tax the people more? Make no mistake about it - this is a tax on the people. I think this is faulty economics for our City. As Businesses look to move out of the City - what steps are being made to attract business back to our core? I shudder when I think about it.. We propose to develop the Film Industry and then allow the airplanes flying out of Toronto Islands to put the proposed industry development out of business. Pure idiocy.
This morning three planes flew over the islands between 9 and 9:30 - all looked like the Dash 8.
But I digress. (I guess I am acting already like a Mayor.)
I propose that we investigate eliminating the cost of use of TTC. I say we start with our Seniors, and University Students - immediately. Media guru Marshall Mcluhan talked of a process called PROBES. I will bring forth a number of PROBES during this campaign. . And explore ideas and constructs that will appeal to business owners and all citizens. Free TTC not a far fetched Idea as there are stories aplenty of Cities that have positively explored this as a Business Development Tool. This could be funded numerous other ways including by our Federal Government as part of the Land Claim Settlement for the Lands that the Federal Government pretends to own - and doesn't.
The airport is one such example, and if given the resources - whether Mayor or not I will put an injunction against the airport until the Land Claim is settled. I have already (initiated this activity) by putting the Federal Government on Notice.
My intention is much as it was in my Vision that I expressed in 2003. Build four world class developments. A World Youth Center, A World Healing Center, A United Nations Peace University, and an Elders Meeting place (Sweat Lodge). I have begun some of the activity in conceptual frameworks through the consecration of Spirit Island. (Snake Island as it is known by Islanders). There We hold sacred fire where we honour the people that have lived in Toronto for thousands of years. I hold small ceremonies there from time to time. Many people do the same, not knowing of my purpose, but feeling the specialness of the space.
I trust on November 11th this year before the election that all candidates join me for a ceremony blessing themselves for the work that they are engaged in, in this election campaign. The ceremony will begin early but at 11:11 on November 11 we will hold sacred fire and all Mayor candidates are welcome to come and honour the past, and pray together for the future.
I think that we need to bring this level of consciousness and sensitivity to our calling. The People of Toronto - Past, Present and Future will appreciate it. I trust you will too.
Go for Gold - vote for Excellence of your thought and the POssibilities that we might achieve if we but used our highest intentions in City Government. Throw the guy with the broom out! Go for Gold. You could do worse. but you won't do better.
Impress yourself when you vote. Vote not for the status quo but vote with your highest values in mind - physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. That is Going for Gold.
First Nations Indigenous Trust
Institute for Global Accountants