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Motorists steer past a pothole on a Montreal street.

PAUL CHIASSON/The Canadian Press

You probably saw my picture in your newsfeed last week. I’m your mayor. I wore a sporty (but not flashy) jacket and I stood near a pothole while men in yellow construction suits filled it in. You see, I’ve declared war on potholes. If you know anything about my political career, it’s that I have an utter disdain for any kind of unauthorized hole or crater.

Would you like to see a photograph of me holding a shovel, wearing a hard hat and filling in a pothole? Here you go: They took that one this morning.

As mayor, it’s hard for my constituents to understand what I do. Is my job ceremonial, they wonder, like the Queen’s? But when they see me taking on potholes, it’s very clear that I am a man of action. I’m a problem-solver. Got a hole in your road? Well, I suggest we fill it.

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What’s that you say? Toronto is the sixth-worst commuting city in the world? And it’s growing worse each day?

Thank you for your question!

Did I mention that there are 20,000 potholes in this city – by my estimate – and at $25 a pothole that’s up to $5-million in costs. I don’t care. Spend it. That’s how committed I am.

Look, I’m a measured, moderate person by nature and I don’t give way to hyperbole, but I’m not afraid to employ terminology normally associated with the terror of the Third Reich and call this what it is – a “blitz.”

This is a blitzkrieg, people.

This is a “lightning war” in which a dense concentration of armoured, motorized and mechanized road crews will break through the potholes’ defences in a series of fast, powerful, highly publicized assaults.

Speaking of which, have I shown you this latest photograph of me at a podium getting tough on “earth holes,” as I now call them? There’s a video, too. I stand next to a road worker and watch him fill in a pothole near a manhole. Those are caused by snowplows jarring the manhole covers. I know that because I know virtually everything there is to know about potholes, including types.

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What’s that? You say that another pedestrian was killed yesterday?

That is disheartening. That kind of tragedy leaves me with a great, dark emptiness, the kind you would find at the bottom of a really deep pothole.

That’s why my crusade against “Satan cavities” (as I like to call them) is so vital. City crews are working Saturdays. They don’t normally do that. I made them. That’s how seriously I take this threat. Check my record. You’ll find that, when it comes to the scourge of “hell pox” (potholes), my record is consistent. I have opposed them my entire career.

Other politicians are lax. They say my blitz on potholes is just annual road maintenance ginned up into a crude public-relations stunt. They would say that. They take it easy on potholes. Not me. I have no pity. Let me put it this way: I don’t have any “body ink,” but if I were to get a tattoo – for instance, a large one across my back – I can guarantee it would say “Tough on Holes.”

I’m sorry, can you speak up? You want to know why our public transit is a global joke?

You may need to repeat the question. Me, the mayor, is being interviewed “live” on the street and I can’t hear much over the thunderous orchestra of shovels and asphalt. Cacophony is a word that you don’t get to use much, but feel free to now. It’s a cacophony created by thousands of shovels, filling thousands of holes.

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Let’s get one thing straight. I’m not a hero.

I’m just a mayor standing in front a pothole hoping the media will photograph me filling it.

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