Here we are, on the eve of the Toronto Centre by-election. It has been a while since a provincial riding in Toronto held so much excitement.
The excitement is over the Liberal's appointed candidate for Toronto Centre, Glen Murray and the NDP's nominated candidate Cathy Crowe. No one ever expected the race to be so close. The Liberals have poured a ton of money and volunteers into the riding as they saw the race being much closer than they ever anticipated it could be.
Last time out the Liberals won the seat by 12,000 votes over the second place NDP. This time they did not figure on the NDP nomiating a candidate that was a Star in her own right. Cathy Crowe has been the voice for the homeless and the sick in Toronto Centre for over 20 years. She was one of the first nurses in the country to treat and care for gay men coming down with something called Grid. Later becoming known and HIV/AIDS.
Over the years she has gone after those in power, seeking safe affordable housing, accessible health care and tenents rights. All of this is no doubt why she is doing so well. She knows more people in Toronto Centre than anyone.
Murray has a wide and varied history as well, The former Mayor of Winnipeg left the NDP for a "sure" win as a Liberal Federal Candidate in Winnipeg in 2004. He lost.
Today he is a talking head for an organization that hasn't updated their website or posted their minutes or reports since he started for them. Murray is talented but proving to be more talking head than a doer. The talking however came to an end recently when he refused to take part in a televised debate on TVO. Murray's campaign sent a note to be read in his absense.
Hardly the stuff one would expect from a guy that hasn't walked by a mkicrophone in 20 years.
Aside from what I have stated about Murray above, Ontario needs a change and the people of Toronto Centre could be the ones to put one of the most dedicated public service persons in Ontario in the Legislature. Cathy will stand up for housing, cleaning up the streets and work to stop the HST.
For Liberals looking to slap Dalton this is a great opportunity to say "Smarten up". He will need to do a lot of that before the next election comes along. Failing that he could be facing the opposition benches for a long time. I bet he won't last election night in 2011 unless he does wisen up before then.