Toronto mayoral by-election, Corriere Canadese interviews Giorgio Mammoliti: “Bike lanes? I will remove them completely”

Today, Corriere Canadese is publishing the third interview on the contending candidates seeking election as Mayor of Toronto. 102 individuals have registered with the Elections Office at City Hall. The Italian daily newspaper will not be able to give all of them the coverage they might like and proposes, but will not be limited to, interviewing interested candidates whom “the polls” suggest may garner at least 4% of the votes.

TORONTO – “Italian candidates are excluded from any debate and their proposals are censored by the mainstream media. Why?” …the interview with Giorgio Mammoliti in the Corriere Canadese editorial office begins with a harsh “J’accuse”. The mayoralty candidate of Italian origin spoke boldly and bluntly, accusing the John Tory administration and the bureaucracy at the City of Toronto of having transformed Toronto into “a Woke Gotham where everything is permitted except the citizens’ rights to live in safety and serenity”. And he promises, “if elected mayor, I will eradicate this movement by putting families back in the center of the government action. I have the training and the experience to do it”. Giorgio Mammoliti, born on September 20, 1961, Italian origins (from Calabria), represented Ward 7, York West, on the Toronto City Council from 2000 to 2018. He had previously represented Yorkview from 1990 to 1995 as an MPP for the New Democratic Party (NDP) in the Provincial Parliament of Ontario. Prior to entering politics, he worked for the Metro Toronto Housing Authority and was a labour union president.

Mr. Mammoliti, despite your previous political experience you weren’t invited to the first discussions with the other candidates. Why not? “There is clearly something going on when you got this many Italian candidates and they are completely ignored by mainstream medias. Why is this happening? There are two candidates with political experience, me, and Anthony Perruzza; there is a school board trustee (Frank D’Amico) and there are also other Italian candidates, but we all are totally ignored by mainstream medias and the press. Why? Maybe because we are Italians? This leads me to conclude that maybe we’ve got something to contribute that ‘they’ don’t want here. One of the first things I said when I registered as a candidate, we’ve lost ourselves and our faith. Well…from the minute I mentioned faith, no calls from media ever again. None. Done. So, is it because I’m Italian? They call us crazy when we talk about helping our families and trying to understand what is really happening for people in the streets, killing each other and stabbing each other”.

Toronto in fact is not safe anymore. What is your plan to fight crime? “Why is everybody so surprised after John Tory decided to lift all the resources that Police were using to understand communities when it comes to the bad guys? They called it ‘carding’ but the minute they lift that ‘carding’ from the Police is the minute everything started to happen on the streets. In other words, it was an invitation for all the people that were hiding from the Police to come on to the streets because nobody could touch them anymore. And so, are we surprised at that? I am not, because I’ve been talking about it for many, many years and I have been criticized to the point that they called me racist: I have been criticized for wanting to clean up our streets in the social housing units. I found mechanism and ways to find better housing for our people. So, in Council I suggested to Tory and the councillors that ‘this is going to happen’, and all they did was laugh, all they did was say ‘you are wrong, you must be crazy to be talking in this way’. Why are we at this point? We have small segment of society which has convinced politicians that their agenda matters more then the family agenda. We have to fix our families before we can fix our streets. At the end of the day, our families, in my opinion, are broken because of a small group of people that over the last years have made their way into convincing us that we need to take care of their matters on the streets more than our own matters in our families. So that’s what the term woke comes from: I’m calling it Woke Gotham; the city is now broken completely because of this. So, the crime going on in the subways is a reaction to governments just lifting up their hands and saying, ‘we can’t do really anything anymore for you, so let’s just pass all the laws to enable you to be on the streets, parks, sidewalks, safe injection sites’. It’s almost like your body getting sick with fever and it breaks down, and you just want to go to bed, relax, and forget about anything out in the world. Toronto has more than just a fever, Toronto is dying, and I truly believe this, that’s why I’m back in politics. I really feel than I can fix the problems of crime – clean the streets, make them safe”.

Practically, how do you think you can do it? “Introducing a Police unit dedicated to the TTC, and having it report directly to the Toronto Police Services. It would be responsible for all aspects of public transit, including our buses, aim for better all-around services, public relations, customer care. I want to put people soon as you walk into subway station, right there, asking if you are ok, asking you if you need directions. It may include simple things that will make life better for people when they do take the subway and the buses. For example, welcoming street artists on the buses and let them sing tunes for the passengers. Also, mental health is key, so wherever there is a Police Divison, I think there needs to be a mental health specialist working jointly with Police. We need this especially after Covid. Many people are suffering from mental stresses associated with the experience. Back to Police: they have to be preventative. W don’t give them enough money to prevent the crime. I do want to reinvest money into the police, much more than usual, because I don’t believe that people feel safe in their own homes anymore. When you call the Police and you say, ‘My car has been stolen’, etc., they don’t come at all and they just say to you call your insurance company, fill all those applications online. The community and need to reconnect. We’d have safer streets and we would also probably feel better about each other”.

Crime on the streets and drugs addiction: is there a connection? How do you propose to fix it? “People are on the streets because they are personally broken. They don’t have faith; there are so much substance abuse and we have given up fighting that. Now, we are content to watch users take drugs in front of us. And when they “finish” we send then outside. And we’re surprised if a crime is committed after? The law is very clear: if you accept a supervised injection site, the cops are told not to make any arrest at all, and so what happens is that the drugs dealers who will carry 2.5 milligrams of drugs in their pocket can’t be arrested for selling it to the people who are going inside to use it. And because we’ve taken ‘carding’ as a tool away from the Police Department, Police are not allowed to follow that drug dealer to his car (or to wherever he’s got the rest of the stash), to make the arrest. It’s free for all, it becomes free for anyone who wants to sell it, anyone who wants to take it, anyone who wants to make a habit breaking in somebody’s home or assaulting people or being racist to other people… all the things that we are hearing right now in any of these locations (the drug injection sites, ndr). I’m closing them down because they don’t work and I’m firing the Head of Medical Office of Health, Eileen De Villa, because she is paid to give advice to the politicians before they make the decisions and the establishment of “safe injections sites” was the worst advice ever”.

Another great problem in Toronto is the very stressful traffic in the streets. But there are bike lanes… “The reality is: one hundred kilometres of bike lanes were built during Covid. The government said to everybody ‘go home, stay home, don’t come out, don’t go shopping, don’t talk to neighbors’ and then they said ‘we got free hand to do whatever we want as a government’: no opposition, no deputations, nobody coming to City Hall and saying ‘I don’t like what’s going on’ and so they built a hundred kilometres of bike lanes ‘overnight’, and when people woke up after Covid they shook their head and they said: ‘What happened?!?’. The government didn’t explain how much they spent, nor did they consult with the community – they didn’t. ‘Woke’, remember the term ‘Woke’. Woke is a part of the bike lanes. They have said ‘this is what we want’ and during Covid, Tory and the rest of them said ‘nobody’s going to question this, because we have a free hand on this, let’s make it a Covid issue and let’s build one hundred kilometres of bike lanes’. What will I do? I’m removing them completely. I will replace them with another plan that will bring bike lanes “off main roads”. It’s not like I don’t want to respect the cyclists. What I do respect are the statistics around cars and bicycles and how many accidents there are. How dare we as a society say this is a safe form of transportation – it’s not. The bike lanes must be built off the roads, they can’t mix with cars. People don’t want the congestion of the traffic. It results in frustration, stress, fights with cyclist kicking doors and windows if they are not happy with you. They created an atmosphere of hate in Toronto. And the cyclists feel like they have the right to abuse people. They don’t. So, out with the bike lanes. I know it’s expensive, but then consultation becomes important. Which communities want to keep them; which ones don’t; what type do they want; where should we put them. None of that was done when they built the current bike lanes. It was a small group of people who convinced Council that all these bike lanes needed to happen over night”.

Are you saying that the Council doesn’t decide by itself? Is it a non-thinking organization? “Since the office of the Integrity Commissioner has been established, nobody feels comfortable doing their job anymore. Whatever the bureaucrats want, it’s ‘Let’s be sure it happens’. It’s the ‘Woke’ thing: they placed themselves in the bureaucracy, over the years, in the key-positions so they can ‘convince’ the Council to do what they want to do”.

Let’s talk about housing. Prices in Toronto are insane. What is your plan? “I wrote a plan years ago: Housing Opportunities Toronto Action Plan, assist households by increasing the amount of supportive housing; help households with high rent burdens by creating new affordable housing opportunities; improve housing for households by repairing and revitalizing Toronto’s rental housing stock including all Toronto’s units of social housing; assist households through the creation of new affordable rental homes; help households to remain in their home or purchase one by reducing the cost of ownership for low income home-owners and moderate income renters. To do all of this, we need to collaborate with the private sector and the problem is, again: ‘Woke’. Because woke bureaucrats don’t want us to be working with the private sector or to have partners in housing this way. We can have tens of thousands houses if we want, granny flats, basements in old people’s houses let’s give them a subsidy to rent their basement and this will also include helping pensioned seniors living in their homes, so they don’t have to move in an institution. About social houses, I think we can’t keep those families in the homes they are living now: those buildings are infected; there are rats, it’s unhealthy. We need to rebuild those houses, making a mix of condos, affordable and social units”.

Regarding the new powers of the Mayor: will you use them? “First, I thought: is this democracy? Should we venture into this? I stated, ‘I’d rather talk to the premier’ and say ‘let’s rethink this’. Yes, I want to sit down with the premier Doug Ford. I’m not worried about me so much, because I’m a democratic guy. I’m afraid of the woke leaders like Oliva Chow who will use these powers to put us into a communist state. It’s dangerous. Maybe there is only one case I will use those powers: to eliminate all the bike lanes”.

The first thing or things you will do if elected? “Fire the Medical Officer of Health. But, before that, I want to change the traditional swearing-in ceremony in December. I want to do it as a massive meeting in the park, gathering together all the Faith leaders in Toronto, to talk to the city, because they will be very strong advisors to me as Mayor in the next several years. And then I will make Toronto safer. I also feel that we can activate a welfare check, giving it to people and training them to cut the grass, be caretakers, work with trade unions. It’s a way to help young generations, especially the ones growing up in social houses. Nobody’s caring about them, not even the NDPs who claim they are the champions poor. What are they doing? They are making them poorer. Instead, I offer trust, wages and security for those kids, to help them grow out of social housing. Let me add one last thing: I really believe that ‘woke’ has done damage to our families. Policies approved during Covid, when we all were sleeping, allowed men dressed like women to read books to our children in public libraries and now parents are asking ‘what happened? Why do I have a trans reading to my child and passing on their lifestyle to my children? Who approved this? I didn’t’. I want to stop that policy completely. It’s just as important as the safety because they want to change our families and their structures. There is one man and one woman and there’s no in between, I’m not afraid to say that. And I will stop it”.

In the pics above, Giorgio Mammoliti during the editorial board with Corriere Canadese