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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Joe Pantalone vs Sam James

Cap Joe Panatlone, Toronto city councilor and deputy mayor, is running for mayor of Toronto. Regardless of 
your political stripe, everyone should oppose Pantalone because he could destroy Toronto. As councilor he has given a lot of trouble to local business owners, specifically restaurants, bars and cafes. While I may not agree with it, I can understand why many politicians on the left try to block big box stores such as Wal-Mart from opening up. Pantalone takes his anti-business crusade further, to the small business owners.

One small business Pantalone tried to prevent opening is the amazing Sam James Coffee Bar. Sam James is a young Toronto barista, who has previously worked at Manic, Hanks Cafe and Dark Horse, and wanted to open up his own coffee shop. He found a small spot on Harbord Street that he thought would be perfect. Sam James was obviously taking a risk opening up a business, but he didn’t need the added trouble that Joe Pantalone was going to give him.

Pantalone’s problem seemed to be that he didn’t think the business could work, therefore, it shouldn’t be allowed to open.  The coffee shop is just 200 square feet, but Sam James thought that was good enough for him (isn’t that all that should matter?). Pantalone was quoted as saying, "I wouldn't call them stores. I'd call them cubicles. We're not in Japan here where people can rent cubicles." Aside from the mild racism against the Japanese, where does Pantalone get the gall to oppose a small business owner from taking a risk? When has a coffee shop opening ever hurt a community?

Cities need small businesses, such as Sam James Coffee Bar, to open up and thrive. They do not need an anti-progress mayor, such as Joe Pantalone, to try and stop them at every step. Luckily, in spite of Pantalone's best effort, Sam James did get his business license and his shop appears to be thriving (read reviews here, here and here). Any coffee lover (or Pantalone hater) should definitely check it out if they haven’t already. I promise you will get one of the best cups of coffee you've ever had in Toronto, if not the best.

As Pantalone was trying to prevent another small business from opening (I'll post on this later), Sam James said, "As a mayoral candidate he has left a negative impression on a lot of people as far his support of small business and community. It is something you do not expect from a politician of that tenure. But to each their own, everyone is welcome to dig their own grave." Couldn't have said it better myself.

(pictured above is a cappuccino I had made by Sam James back when he worked at Hank’s Cafe)

Posted by William Joseph on February 20, 2010 | Permalink


Toronto is the anti-Canada.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2010-02-20 11:51:14 AM

More Canadians choose to live in Toronto than any other city.

Posted by: William Joseph | 2010-02-20 4:44:59 PM

Ah, but for Zeb anyone who lives in Toronto is not Canadian. He thinks the whole city should be returned to the natives.

Joe Pantalone has been an obnoxious twit on council for years. His vendettas against West End small businesses demonstrate his unfitness for the mayoralty, even by David Miller's low standards.

Posted by: Publius | 2010-02-20 4:53:48 PM

His personality profile seem to fit the type that usually runs for council. As soon as they are elected they start to feel very important and love the control over others. Toronto can have him. He would be approved by McGuinty.

Posted by: peterj | 2010-02-20 6:31:31 PM

He's incompetent and corrupt, but then so is everyone else in Ontario politics. I bash Tronna so much but really I shouldn't have to - you people have screwed up so badly. I guess the correct term is "pwned". Keep up the bad work, you're providing a model of how not to run a government, or society.

Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2010-02-20 6:48:50 PM

Whenever I read about things like this about the government imposing asinine restrictions on the free market that benefit no one. I am reminded of when Ayn Rand wrote in Atlas Shrugged.

"People say that our ancestor, Nat Taggart, killed a politician who tried to refuse him a permission he should never have had to ask. I don't know whether he did it or not. But I'll tell you this: I know how he felt, if he did." - Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand

Posted by: Sheldon | 2010-02-22 11:53:24 AM

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