Rob Ford Has No Pride

city hallI gave Rob Ford the benefit of the doubt all week. Surely he'd come to his senses, follow the avalanche of good advice he received from Toronto mayors past, and march in today's Pride Parade. He didn't.

Mayor Rob Ford successfully boycotted Pride Week, avoiding all 10 days of events. He even blew off a Pride Toronto flag-raising at Nathan Philips Square so that he could meet Leafs GM Brian Burke, a man who marched in the Pride Parade last year and today in support of his late son. Now that took balls.

This is the first time the city’s mayor has missed Pride since Barbara Hall started the tradition during her term in office. Refusing to give Pride Week even 10 minutes of his time, Rob Ford went to to great lengths to ensure this proud tradition ended. Instead of sending a powerful message that homophobia is not tolerated in our city, Rob Ford gave homophobes throughout the city a poster boy for their hateful cause.

Rob Ford has no pride. What an embarrassment to this great city.

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Comments (44 - click here to join in!)

Rob

The majority of people do not really care about this at all. Time to move on and focus on real problems not whether a mayor raises a flag or shows up at an event. IMHO

July 3, 2011 @ 8:54 PM

Cheryl

That's right. Who cares. It's his choice not to show up. It's no big deal.

July 3, 2011 @ 9:06 PM

Andrew

Great post Mike, Rob Ford is such an embarrassment to this city.

July 3, 2011 @ 9:13 PM

Argie

I applaud his decision to stay away from this freak-fest. Just because the other mayors (who all sucked at their job as mayor) caved to political pressure, doesn't mean that Ford has to do the same.He obviously had no interest in watching a bunch of mentally ill people parade down Yonge Street - I certainly don't blame him.

Finally a politician with the courage not to cave into that over-sensitive, yet powerful group - the gay lobby.

Good on ya, Rob!

July 3, 2011 @ 9:17 PM

brutal

So not attending Pride is homophobic? That seems like a bit of a reach.

I don't see how these knee-jerk, poorly thought out columns are of any assistance to the cause you purport to endorese.

July 3, 2011 @ 9:19 PM

Steve

I don't think this is much of a story, but "mentally ill", Argie?

Coming soon to CBC: Argie Bunker's Place

July 3, 2011 @ 9:23 PM

Argie

Steve,

I'm not saying all of this community is mentally ill - just the freaks who go out of their way at these parades. eg. Public nudity while using certain props on your body. If I walked down the street with a bra on my head, I would think people would deduct I was mentally unstable. That's just part of it.

Depression, suicide and drug addiction are disproportionately higher in this group. Check out the stats for yourself. The media (including Mike here) will never mention it but its a very unhealthy, unstable and unhappy lifestyle.

If its not a choice, it's certainly an affliction. It can't be neither.

July 3, 2011 @ 9:30 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I actually didn't say not attending Pride was homophobic. I was very careful not to.

I said he could have made a stand against homophobia by attending at least one of the many Pride Week events. I said his refusal was empowering homophobes, like our very own Argie.

If Rob Ford didn't want to represent all of Toronto, maybe he shouldn't have ran for office.

July 3, 2011 @ 9:33 PM

twins from bolton

Rob decided not to attend. So what? He also didn't attend the different cultural events in Toronto this weekend, esp. the Italian event on Dufferin St.

Ford made a choice & it's his prerogative. ROB didn't represent ALL OF TORONTO at other functions & just because GAY PRIDE (which I have no problem with) was the most notable this weekend all Hell breaks loose.

I don't live in Toronto but Rob says his family is MORE important on this weekend - which it is. FAMILY FIRST.

July 3, 2011 @ 9:55 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Rob Ford so clearly blew this one, even the Toronto Sun is calling him out: http://www.torontosun.com/2011/06/30/rob-ford-blows-it-on-pride

In their six months in office, I have never seen the mayor and his advisors screw up something so simple as recognizing an important community in this city and attending just one (only one) of a signature series of events.

Ford and pretty much all members of his inner circle were absent at last Monday’s Pride week flag-raising at City Hall — essentially throwing Speaker Frances Nunziata to the lions, by subjecting her to the abuse directed at Ford for being a no show.

The heckling that day was shameful and inappropriate. Nevertheless the guys on Ford’s team came across as a bunch of babies for running for cover.

It would have been so easy for Ford to stand up on the stage, read the proclamation, pass out a few business cards and be done with it.

End of story. He’s not a homophobe. On to the cottage and enjoy your holiday weekend Mr. Mayor.

But he and his advisors allowed the fiasco to escalate by ignoring suggestions for him to stop in at safe events, like an awards ceremony Wednesday evening, and even to hold a private event in his office.

Clearly they don’t understand the fine nuances of being a mayor of all the people of this city.

A true leader doesn’t shrink from one powerful group just because they didn’t vote for him.

He does the right thing.

July 3, 2011 @ 10:05 PM

joe jackon

Homophobic? Is that like being cherylophobic?

Fear of knowing anything?

July 3, 2011 @ 10:17 PM

twins from bolton

There were a LOT of other events this Canada Day Long Weekend of which the Pride week was part of.

Rob didn't attend ANY other either event so what makes Gay Pride Week so special. He didn't even go the fireworks displays in Toronto.

FAMILY FIRST.

July 3, 2011 @ 10:24 PM

Teena

He's a clown :(

July 3, 2011 @ 10:28 PM

Icarus

Unfortunately for the less-bigoted of Torontonians amongst us, Rob Ford only needs the support of the car-owing suburbanites (who care little for diversity and inclusivity) and get re-elected.

He's a bigot and will make this city a worse place by avoiding any issue he's uncomfortable with.

Its a recurring theme all over the world. In a more serious example Thabo Mbeki, as South African Premier with a conservative outlook, did little to prevent or combat the extensive AIDS pandemic while in charge.

July 3, 2011 @ 11:33 PM

Romy

Well said, Mike.

Ford is what he is. He's fat
and never excercises - thus, "let's get rid of the bike lanes." He doesn't have much time for gays - thus, he couldn't find ten minutes in his schedule to engage in some manner with what is a big money maker and (like it or not) a big event on the Toronto event calander.

You nailed it with your observation that he is the mayor for all of Toronto - and that involves engaging in some causes and events you may not personally care about. That's the job.

He should grow up (and maybe skip the odd buffet).

July 4, 2011 @ 4:34 AM

Cheryl

It's his choice. Just because the other Mayors went, he doesn't have to go. I don't blame him.

July 4, 2011 @ 7:35 AM

CQ

Weight troubles, former drug and alcohol troubles, martial relationship troubles... maybe he's got a few personal issues to deal with. A lot of us do.
You forget a Toronto where: a shoeshine boy working outside the brand new and shiny Eaton Centre on Yonge Street was gang-diddled and viciously murdered, seedy ushers worked unchecked at the glamourous hockey rink when a victim killed himself after courageously speaking out, where one pre-teen girl got lured to a Track and Field course and where another was grabbed from a short residential laneway - on her way home from grade school - and had her carved up corpse washed ashore the next morning, or where a suburban Chinese girl was attacked and killed directly at her home.
Look at your own blog site: eight years of running a personal daily journal, yet almost never a mention of any of the men from within your life? No dads, step-fathers or grandpappies, no former male teacher, neighbour, nor professor. Okay, once I recall you briefly mentioning an uncle with your buying of a used car.
I don't know if or of Rob Ford's personality development, his childhood pals or anything. I don't know mine, I don't know yours, the next person's or the next after that... We should each try to refrain from automatic criticisms and ramrod entitled mockeries.

July 4, 2011 @ 8:13 AM

Boomer

Mark Bonokoski of the Toronto Sun nails it in yesterdays column.

What if some of your best friends, or even just some of your friends, are gay but you, like me, still wouldn’t attend Sunday’s Pride Parade in Toronto even if it were with walking distance?

Does our absence make you — and me — intolerant, or a non-supporter of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender crowd?

Or is it just the mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, who gets kicked in the slats for his conspicuous absence, all for realizing that no matter what he does, there is no gold for him at the end of this particular rainbow?

In fact, it’s lose-lose for Ford.

Earlier this week, for example, Toronto councillor Frances Nunziata, who stood in for Ford at the official Pride Toronto flag-raising event, was heckled and booed when reading the city’s proclamation.

Ford would have been jeered mercilessly.

Remember, it was Toronto’s NOW Magazine, the de facto newspaper of the LGBT demographic, who ridiculed and mocked Ford recently by putting his head on the front page atop a naked torso more morbidly obese than his own.

So the real naked truth for Ford is there is no win in this for him, even if he did change his mind about instead spending the Canada Day weekend with his family at the cottage.

Voyeurism

If the majority of the people were honest, however, they would likely concede their attendance at Sunday’s parade is based more on voyeurism than a heart-felt support for the legitimate cause of the LGBT movement.

But the Pride Parade is not entirely about pride, either — having morphed over the years into overt displays of nudity and sexuality that would warrant the police laying public indecency charges on any day but today.

But, on this day, even Toronto’s Chief of Police, Bill Blair, must march in the parade or be pilloried for his own conspicuous absence.

In fact, Toronto’s Pride Parade, which brings millions of dollars to the city’s coffers, would probably get an R rating for its morality if ever made into a movie, but certainly not a PG one.

But, to each his own. If you want to bring your young kids to what often devolves into a live quasi-simulated sex show, then knock your socks off, but then be prepared to explain to them what they saw on the way home to the comfort and safety of the ’burbs.

Me? I have no dog in this hunt, and couldn’t care less if there is a parade or no parade.

It’s just not a big deal, and it’s not a big deal to some of my gay friends, blah, blah, blah.

In fact, many of them are staying home, too, and for some of the same reasons.

One even compared it to going to the zoo, or to watching animals perform at a circus.

It’s not the way he and his partner live. It does not reflect their values.

It is sad, therefore, to see so many critics of Ford, and even a few usually-sensible pundits, castigating Toronto’s mayor for not attending what they contend is a “must attend” for any mayor of Toronto.

Why is that? Where is it written that the mayor must attend any major gathering in the city?

Did he not sign the well-worded and sensitive proclamation honouring Gay Pride Week that Coun. Nunziata was booed while reading?

Of course he did.

So cut him some slack. Maybe, just maybe, he is morally uncomfortable with the entire scenario — even if it is seen as political unwise to publicly express such an opinion.

If that is the case, he would hardly be alone.

July 4, 2011 @ 8:18 AM

Tim

If rob ford does not go to Caribana does it make him anti-black? If he does not go to the Sikh Parade is he anti Sikh? If he does not go to the comic book conventin does he hate comics? Wake up people, enough of this pc b.s. If Rob Ford would rather spend the weekend with his family at the cottage then let him. As for that parade. I know lots of gay people who see it as an embarassment and black eye on the gay community.

July 4, 2011 @ 9:16 AM

dale

Right on Tim, I agree 100%.

July 4, 2011 @ 9:19 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I don't want to get caught up in whether or not he marched in the actual Sunday parade. It's about his stubborn refusal to attend even a minute of the 10 days' ceremonies and festivities. He's blatantly denying the existence of the event.

That's fine for Rob Ford the person, but it's not fine for our mayor. He has a civic duty here, and if it was in fact lose-lose, then lose by doing the right thing, not the wrong thing.

July 4, 2011 @ 9:28 AM

Freddie P.

@Romy - brillian stuff Paul, call the guy out for being fat. Doesn't that go against what you supposedly stand for?

@Mike - during the campaign the gay community made it clear they can't stand the guy, but then they turn around and whine because he doesn't come to their parade?

It seems to me everyone should be happy through this one.

The parade happens, everybody has a good time, and the fat useless Mayor (who's currently enjoying unprecedented popularity) gets to go to the cottage.

July 4, 2011 @ 9:29 AM

McNulty

It wasn't just about the parade but everyone seems to focus on that. Ford ignored the entire week.

Whether you agree with Pride or not, this is a huge event in Toronto. It brings in millions of dollars and tens of thousands of people. This isn't a one day event that is forgotten, it is significant event for the city. Ford didn't care and when asked to attend anything, he refused.

If Ford was a private citizen and didn't go there isn't a problem. He has a job where it is his duty to represent the city. He should of done something...anything. It didn't have to be the parade.

July 4, 2011 @ 9:36 AM

Cambo

Only in Toronto would this even be a story.

With all the other actual problems TO has, surely people can get by this and stop making a mountain out of a molehill. I can tell you, outside of TO and the gay community, no one cares.

Time to grow up, stop being offended at the slightest thing and grow some leather chaps.

July 4, 2011 @ 10:01 AM

MrFascination

The people of gay rights fought for the freedom of choice on their sexuality..

Now they want to take Mayor Ford's choice away.

He choose not to attend. His choice... No big deal.

July 4, 2011 @ 10:47 AM

Hector

The more Romy talks...the more of a goofball he is.

July 4, 2011 @ 1:57 PM

Freddie P.

I also notice that's there's no mention here of the grown men who were exposing their junk.. which is illegal.. or the fact that Gay Pride smothers Canada Day in Toronto.
Nope. It's more important to throw jabs at the overweight Mayor.
Rob Ford has more guts in his fat baby finger than most of the suck-holes who want to attack him.
By the way.. 70 percent approval rating.. the silect majority who are too busy to get sucked into this non-issue.

July 4, 2011 @ 2:12 PM


A.R.

Ford is the mayor and is expected to put Toronto's communities first and attend the major events of the city as its leader. If he didn't go to Caribana or some other event, then of course he should also be criticized. That's part of the job as mayor. Approval ratings start off high, but Henry Ford's numbers will fall, especially when it becomes clear that cutting office expenses won't cover a budget shortfall of several hundred million.

Thankfully, David Miller was there at the parade. He made it clear yesterday that he didn't just do it out of pressure as mayor, but out genuine support for good people.

July 4, 2011 @ 4:31 PM

Mason

@Icarus

are you kidding me?
"car-owing suburbanites (who care little for diversity and inclusivity) "
any suburbanite couldn't even vote for Ford seeing as how they dont even live in the city. And if you actually knew anything at all about people who live or lived their you'd learn how fucking wrong you are.

July 4, 2011 @ 4:41 PM

A.R.

Mason--Etobicoke, North York, York, and Scarborough are suburban parts of Toronto where a lot of people voted for Ford.

July 4, 2011 @ 5:06 PM

Not a stupid Easterner

“I marched in it last year, because I really believe that as mayor, you’re the mayor of all Calgarians,” Nenshi told reporters Monday, after Pride Calgary broke the news on Twitter.

Onterrible. Where Rednecks Grow™


July 4, 2011 @ 8:56 PM

Steve

Let's see here. The previous mayor doesn't want to disturb his family vacation while a part of the city looked like a war zone due to the propane blast a couple years ago. When leadership, authority, and the mayor were needed in the community. Now, the mayor skips out on a party (parade) that everyone knows he wasn't really welcometowelcomed at

July 4, 2011 @ 10:14 PM

Steve

Let's see here. The previous mayor doesn't want to disturb his family vacation while a part of the city looked like a war zone due to the propane blast a couple years ago. When leadership, authority, and the mayor were needed in the community. Now, the mayor skips out on a party (parade) that everyone knows he wasn't really welcome at, and guys like Mike want to turn it into character assassination.

July 4, 2011 @ 10:15 PM

McNulty

@ Fred..

How does Gay Pride "smother" Canada Day? Or is that just the Ford's new argument that you're latching on to?

And why is it so bad to question his judgement to ignore this major event in the city? Why does that make people "suck-holes"? The opinions stated here are that as mayor he should have attended a very public and big event for the city of Toronto. Maybe not the parade, but something.

Maybe most of the attendees of the Gay Pride events did not vote for him. But that shouldn't matter. When elected you represent everyone, even those that didn't vote for you.

There are no fat jokes about Ford from me, just a questioning of his judgement to snub a big event. As a person, Ford has every right to not attend this event. However, he is the Mayor. It's a full time job that requires some sacrifice.

I won't use Miller as an example, but I will use John Tory. The man who should have been mayor (and Premier) thinks Ford should have gone. I think he speaks the wisdom that Ford lacked in this.

July 5, 2011 @ 7:26 AM

Jason Paris

BTW, Mayor Ford (then Councillor) was at Church & Carlton last Canada Day weekend handing out campaign flyers to Pride attendees. This "Canada Day Tradition" at the cottage doesn't go very deep.

Again, some of the comments on this wall make me shake my head and realize just how important a festival like Pride still is.

July 5, 2011 @ 12:12 PM

Hector

I had a festival at my house this past weekend and Ford wasn't there. That means he must hate me.

July 5, 2011 @ 2:49 PM

Wayner

As Doug Ford indicated that whole situation could have and should have been handled differently.

Mayor Ford will have to take a "mulligan" on this one.

July 5, 2011 @ 3:36 PM

Tim

I love it. Its all about respect and equality for all but being overweight makes Ford a target of utter hatred. Being anti-fat is the only tolerated prejudice. Fat people are discriminated against for jobs,socially and generally derided. It is no different calling Mayor Ford a fat pig than calling a homosexual a f##@ or a black person a N*@#$.

July 5, 2011 @ 4:56 PM

Cambo

I find it ironic that T-Mike says "Ford Has no Pride" yet posts a personal insult with the Now cover.

July 6, 2011 @ 8:05 AM

Alan G

@ Steve - Bang on!! great comment. Gay Pride is all about tolerance. I see nothing but intolerance coming from the gay community.

July 7, 2011 @ 2:44 PM

snoopdoggy

maybe the reason was that the gay pride event had anti-Israeli groups marching. That is why I stopped attending these events.

July 18, 2011 @ 8:03 PM

1984

Rob Ford is an obese pig and doesn't care too much other than eating and eating and eating and eating. Must be nice to be a fat pig and eat everything in site and spend your whole day sitting like a blob, digesting everything you ate. What a douchebag Ford is, just like the last douchebag David Miller.

July 30, 2011 @ 4:47 PM

1984

I don't know about the 'anti-Israel' issue.. but many people are anti-Israel because the state is illegal as well as an oppressive authoritarian hellhole and has a long list of terrorist ties in it's short 60 year history. Israel can go piss up a rope and then fall off a cliff.

July 30, 2011 @ 4:52 PM

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