By Laura Steiner
About two years ago, I visited Queen’s Park for my first time. I’d had an invitation from MPP Indira Naidoo-Harris for lunch in the Parliamentary dining room, and then watch her make a statement on the Pan-Am Games and report on it. I arrived at the Legislature, and cleared security well ahead of my scheduled appointment. I wandered around the building a bit, finally making my way back up to the lobby. I spent some time looking at the displays.
I heard the voice first; deep and distinctive, the type that causes you to look up from what you’re doing. There he was: Mayor Krantz going through the same security check I was. We walked down together, and were seated in a meeting room aside from the dining room. Indira Naidoo-Harris arrived shortly after our party was seated, and we had lunch. I don’t remember much about the food, but I do remember the constant stream of people. We had cabinet ministers, veteran MPP’s, and other visitors all poking their heads into the room. Naidoo-Harris would introduce them to Mayor Krantz, and there would be a photo. It was like travelling with a rock-star.
After lunch, and a couple of photos in front of the dining room entrance we were ushered into the chamber’s Members’ gallery for the government side, where we took seats. We watched a couple of debates before Naidoo-Harris made her statement. Throughout the afternoon MPP’s would come over and introduce themselves on their way out of the chamber. It was as if word of his presence spread. By then he’d been in office 34 years; a nearly impossible feat for a politician. I kept thinking maybe these people figured luck would rub off on them; that they would enjoy the same longevity in their careers.
It isn’t only luck that has kept him in office 36 years. It’s some combination of curiosity, charm, and a passion for what he does. I think he’s at nearly every single grand opening he’s asked to be at. He listens to every story, and he shakes every hand. He is one of the only politicians who has an “open door” policy. If he’s there, his door is open to anyone. It’s this approachability, and accessibility that has made him a successful Mayor.
Happy 36th Mayor Krantz!