Under Mayor Ford, press releases just a little bit different
The Rob Ford Revolution has come to…the little-read propaganda paragraph at the end of Toronto’s press releases.
At the end of the city’s bland media announcements – messages with such titles as “Gardiner Expressway closed overnight this coming weekend for bridge maintenance work” – is an appropriately-equally-bland paragraph that extols Toronto’s virtues and lists its government’s key priorities.
During the tenure of Mayor David Miller and until January 4 of this year, the paragraph read as follows:
Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents. For information about non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Beginning with the second press release of January 4, the Millerian references to the environment, creativity and liveability were gone. So was the implicitly-bureaucrat-praising sentence about how well the city delivers its public services. In their stead: distinctly Ford-y stuff. To wit:
Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
"The Mayor's Office wanted it to be more aligned with the current Mayor's priorities," Jackie DeSouza, the city's director of strategic communications, said in an email, "so we worked with them to revise it."
The Miller-era paragraph was 90 words long. Its Ford-era replacement: 71 words. An apt metaphor?