Until late last week, Toronto had been spared the election-themed vandalism that’s hit other ridings (notably Ottawa, where a Liberal sign had cross-hairs spray painted on to it). That’s all changed over the past few days as Liberal supporters were allegedly targeted in four Toronto ridings: signs were apparently stolen or defaced, cars keyed and tires slashed.
Vandalism, first reported in the ridings of St. Paul’s and Trinity-Spadina, has now spread to Davenport and Toronto Centre where, among others, Liberal heavyweight Bob Rae and Eric Hoskins, Liberal MPP from St. Paul’s, woke up on Saturday to see their car tires hacked.
“This isn’t vandalism as much as voter intimidation,” said Hoskins on Sunday. “Really, it’s a vicious attack on individuals and families expressing their political preference on their lawns.”
During a campaign we’re told nobody cares about, some people certainly seem to be ornery. This makes it two elections in a row where we’ve seen this kind of mischief. At least things haven’t risen to the level of 2008’s vandalism where some Carolyn Bennett supporters had their brake lines cut.
While law enforcement does its thing, the city is asking itself what to do with vandals roaming the streets during the last week of the campaign. Josh Matlow, city councillor for part of the riding of St. Paul’s, showed some sharp thinking over the weekend by recommending that people park in the street, not their driveways. He even went so far as to say that that his office will deal with the inevitable tickets that follow. There’s an elegance to simply confusing a potential saboteur, so we’ll avoid the obvious joke about city councillors having practice at confusing the residents of this city.
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