Rob Ford Watch

Don Cherry's Speech at Rob Ford's Ceremony

rob fordI should preface this entry by saying I've always been a big Don Cherry fan. Hey look! Almost seven years ago, I wrote a whole entry about how much I like the guy. Following the first period during Hockey Night in Canada I don't go anywhere until after Coach's Corner.

But really, Mississaugan Don Cherry is a hockey commentator. What's he doing introducing Rob Ford at the inaugural meeting of the new city council? It's ridiculous of Rob Ford to invite him and Cherry's remarks are downright embarrassing.

Here's what Don Cherry said, as transcribed by the Toronto Star.

“Well, actually, I’m wearing pinko for all the pinkos out there that ride bicycles and everything, I thought I’d get it in. (laughs, claps, oohs) What’d ya expect, Ron MacLean here, to come here?

“I am befuddled because I thought I was just doing a good thing coming down with Rob and I was gonna do this here and it was going to be nice and the whole deal. I’m being ripped to shreds by the left-wing pinko newspapers out there — it’s unbelievable. One guy called me a jerk in a pink suit so I thought I’d wear that for him too today. (applause)

“In those articles I was made fun of because I go to church, I’m easy to do it that way, and I was called maudlin for the troops, because I honour the troops. This is the kind of (inaudible) you’re going to be facing Rob with these left-wing pinkos. They scrape the bottom of the barrel.

“Again, why I was asked (to speak) and I asked (Councillor) Doug (Ford) why, and they said we need a famous good-looking guy and I said I’m your man right off the bat.

“I was asked why a landslide. I was in their corner right from the start. Doug phoned me that morning and I told him you’ll get a landslide and why? Because Rob is honest, he’s truthful, he’s like Julian Fantino — what you see is what you get. He’s no phony. And I could go on right now all the millions and millions and thousands of dollars he’s gonna save and everything.

“But I’d just like to tell a little story that was in the Sun, I think it was in the back pages, just a little thing and (City of Toronto ombudsman) Fiona Crean for 18 months has been trying to get something done with City Hall.

“I think some of you know the story. There was a little old lady and all of a sudden she gets banged on the door and two guys were there and said ‘We’re cutting your tree down’ — you know this is a little thing but this is to me a big thing — ‘We’re cutting your tree down.” And she says ‘Well, I don’t want it, that’s my favourite tree, a 100-year-old’ – ‘No, it’s down. Cut it down.’ And then they send her a bill for $5,000 for cutting it down and for 18 months her son and Fiona were ‘City Hall, City Hall, please help us’, 30, 40 calls, unbelievable, nothing, laughed at.

“Rob’s in the mayor (job) one day, an apology comes and a $5,000 cheque and that’s why I say he’s going to be the greatest mayor this city has ever seen, as far as I’m concerned, and put that in your pipe you left-wing kooks. Thank you very much.”

Us left-wing kooks sure got the message, Don. And way to label bike riders "pinkos" you Neanderthal. Please do us all a favour and stick to talking hockey and supporting the troops.

But really, we can't blame Don Cherry for being Don Cherry. He never should have been making such a speech at the inaugural meeting of the new city council. He never should have been invited by our new mayor, Rob Ford. That's the true embarrassment here.

And on that note, I invite you all to revisit my recent "The Leafs vs. Rob Ford: Which is The Greater Embarrassment For Toronto?" entry. Voting is still open.

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The Leafs vs. Rob Ford: Which is The Greater Embarrassment For Toronto? Vote Here

voteYesterday I ranted about the Leafs and Rob Ford. As a proud Torontonian, both embarrass me. I'm just not sure which embarrasses me more.

Please take a moment out of your busy Friday to cast a vote below. Simply leave a comment telling me which is the greater embarrassment for Toronto: the Maple Leafs or Rob Ford.


For those of you who read but never comment, this is your chance. Don't worry, your email address isn't published on the site and I'm totally fine with you using an alias.

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Rob Ford Can't Kill Transit City

city hallRob Ford surprised nobody with grandiose statements made on day one as Mayor. He announced that he's canceling the Transit City LRT construction plan so the city can concentrate on building subways. Sure, we've already spent millions of dollars and new subway lines might not be finished until 2020, but Rob Ford's stopping wars.

Transit City is over, ladies and gentlemen... the war on the car stops today.

This was day one. It's going to be a very interesting time, and I'm just wondering how long it will be until this idiot implodes or our city explodes. I still can't believe we voted this guy in when everyone I know who likes him lives in the 905.


But wait, can Rob Ford actually do what he says he's done? Can he kill Transit City on his own? Nope.

But Ford's proclamation on Wednesday does not seal the fate of the transit plan, which was seven years in the making.

Ford acknowledged that in order for him to fulfil his promise of putting an end to Transit City, he would need council's support.

"Everyone's going to have a discussion on that, but I'm the mayor of the city, I have to lead by example, and that's exactly what I'm doing," he said.

When asked how he would persuade council to support him, Ford said: "That's up to the councillors."

Rob Ford can say Transit City is dead, but it's going to council and he's only got one vote out of 45. One of 45... just keep repeating that to yourself - it helps.

Meanwhile, I'm wondering exactly how much gravy was on that train Rob Ford kept yakking about. Ontario Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne has said that $137 million has already been spent on the project, and an additional $1.3 billion committed in Transit City-related contracts. That's a lot of gravy!

How many of you with home addresses in the 416 sincerely believe Rob Ford is the best man to lead this city?

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Warning: Rob Ford Wants to Be Prime Minister

Rob Ford Prime MinisterRyan from Rogers TV sent me this video of Rob Ford predicting he'll one day be mayor of Toronto. This video is from 2006.

I'm a little concerned, because he also states he wants to be Prime Minister. Uh oh...

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How Toronto Voted for Mayor

cityhallFrom the National Post, here's how Toronto voted in the mayoral election, broken down by ward.


The suburbs wanted Rob Ford, downtown wanted Smitherman.

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Rob Ford is Peter Griffin #VoteTO

cityhallBack in March, I wrote "Rob Ford For Mayor? Not On My Watch...". With election day tomorrow, it's clear from the polls that Rob Ford hasn't gone away. As frighteningly inconceivable as it may seem to me, It's quite possible that he could be our next mayor. That's a scary thought.

I like what Accordion Guy wrote today about tomorrow's Toronto mayoral election. Rob Ford is Peter Griffin.

Family Guy is centred around the my-God-are-you-really-that-stupid antics of Peter Griffin, who somehow manages to come out on top despite his best efforts. Should Rob Ford become mayor, City Council is likely to become the same thing.

Ford’s campaign mantra is to “stop the gravy train” – to stop wasteful spending at City Hall. Hey, I’m all for cutting waste, but what he proposes to cut are either for show (things like free subway and zoo passes for City Council members) or useful and vital city infrastructure. To Ford, it seems that the Mayor’s number one job is to make things cheap.


Accordion Guy also mentioned Eye Weekly's summary of Rob Ford.

Wait, you say the mayoral frontrunner is an uncouth, simple-minded loudmouth with a notoriously bad temper and a penchant for saying absolutely the wrong thing? And he wants to rip up streetcar tracks, slash city spending and dismantle service infrastructure? And to top it all off, he has a demonstrated inability to get anyone on council to work with him? Where do we sign up? Seriously, though: the best-case scenario with Ford is that he can’t accomplish anything. Worst-case, he ruins the city entirely.

Let's not ruin our city entirely. Don't vote for Rob Ford tomorrow.


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Least Inspiring Toronto Mayoral Race Ever

City HallI don't know if it's because we're in the middle of a very busy, hot summer, but from where I'm sitting this is the least inspiring Toronto mayoral race I can remember.

The simple fact this is the first I've written about this election to choose Toronto's new mayor since Rob Ford announced his candidacy tells you a great deal. That was March 16th. Since then, I haven't been motivated to write a single word about an election taking place October 25, 2010, except to chew Rocco Rossi out for his Sympatico spam.

Last I checked there were 34 candidates. They are:

  • Achampong, Rocco
  • Andrews, Don
  • Babula, George
  • Ball, Christopher
  • Barton, Andrew
  • Campbell, Douglas
  • Castillo, Jaime
  • Clarke, Kevin
  • Cole, Keith
  • Cottle, Charlene
  • Firth, Selwyn
  • Flie, Michael
  • Ford, Rob
  • Ghazi, Abdullah-Baquie
  • Gomberg, Howard
  • Hossain, Monowar
  • Lee, Dewitt
  • Letonja, John
  • Macklin, Carmen
  • Magee, Colin
  • McMillan, Jim
  • Pampena, Joseph
  • Pantalone, Joe
  • Rossi, Rocco
  • Smitherman, George
  • State, Mark
  • Steinberger, Tibor
  • Syed, Himy
  • Taylor, Phil
  • Thomson, Sarah
  • Vallance, David
  • Wadhwa, Ratan
  • Walker, Daniel
  • Yeung, Sonny

In reality, our next mayor will be one of the following: Rob Ford, Joe Pantalone, Rocco Rossi, George Smitherman or Sarah Thomson. You already know what I think about Rob Ford, but none of the other four leading candidates inspire me, either. If George Smitherman wins, it's not because he ran a stellar campaign. It's because he was the best of a bad lot.

Who would you vote for in this 2010 Toronto mayoral race?

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Rob Ford For Mayor? Not On My Watch...

Rob FordOn March 26, Rob Ford will announce something. Speculation is he'll announce he's running for mayor of Toronto. I hope he's announcing he's quitting politics for an on-air gig at AM640.

Four years ago, after having enough of Rob Ford's Neanderthal comments, I wrote a definitive list of Rob Ford quotes. Here are a few of my favourites:

"This is an insult to my constituents to even think about having a shelter in my ward!" - April, 2002

"I don't understand. Number one, I don't understand a transgender, I don't understand, is it a guy dressed up like a girl or a girl dressed up like a guy? And we're funding this for, I don't know, what does it say here? We're giving them $3,210?" - June 2005

"People do not want government housing built in the city of Toronto. They want roads fixed, more police presence, but they don't want more government housing that will depreciate the value of their property." - July, 2005

A year after I wrote that entry, he chimed in with a beaut about bike lanes.

I can't support bike lanes. Roads are built for buses, cars, and trucks. My heart bleeds when someone gets killed, but it's their own fault at the end of the day.

Rob Ford, they seem to like you in Ward 2, Etobicoke North. Please run there. Toronto's next mayor won't be a bike lane hating, Transit City killing social conservative who promises to "cut everything but police spending to tame the city budget. Libraries, parks, whatever."

Surely we can bring accountability to city hall spending without this extra baggage and complete lack of big city vision.

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Rob Ford Video Hits

cityhallStop the presses. There's late-breaking news from Toronto's City Hall. Rob Ford took offence to something he thought Globe & Mail reporter John Barber said. Apparently, and it's hard to tell from this video, not that it justifies another embarrassing Ford outburst, John Barber called Rob Ford a "fat f*ck".

Here's the video that will go totally viral today in the 416.

I'm not a Rob Ford fan, and I've said as much in this space on numerous occasions, but I totally gave the guy a free pass when he was arrested by Toronto police last week and charged with assault and threatening death. I think I'll just leave the last word to Toronto Life's Philip Preville.

Schadenford: The arrest of Rob Ford, city hall hoser

Poor Rob Ford. If only he’d slept beside a machine all his life like those Orientals from the Orient, he probably wouldn’t be in this pickle. As you surely know by now, Ford was arrested Wednesday on charges of assault and threatening death in a domestic dispute involving his wife. When you heard the news, did you have that weird paradoxical reaction of being simultaneously surprised and not surprised? Shocked and blasé? You know, the kind of vaguely self-aware reaction that would make for a passable media studies paper or maybe, if you’re Lynn Crosbie, another tortured column in the Globe? Because when you think about it, didn’t the latest circus seem inevitable?

I mean, just look at him, right? Here’s a guy who is as unenlightened a hoser as you’ll ever find. Once, at a Leafs game (typical), he got drunk (typical) and belligerent (same), and then made fun of the Green Party (predictable) and Iranians (predictable, and also crass). He opposes speed bumps, and he once said that when cyclists get killed “it’s their own fault.” He has called Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti “Gino-boy,” made some comments about gays and AIDS that were so 1989, and said that “Oriental people work like dogs” and “are slowly taking over.” (He apologized to both Mammoliti and his Asian overlords. The LGBT crowd is still waiting.)

Perhaps, in a meta-analysis kind of way, you considered it some form of poetic justice that someone who has so frequently made recourse to ethnic and cultural stereotypes should himself come to symbolize the worst clichés of his own type—that the fat, white, insensitive, car-commuting suburban conservative WASP should end up being arrested for allegedly abusing his wife. And there’s the rub: if that’s what you’re thinking, then you are engaging in some pretty offensive ethnic caricature, which means you are no better than Rob Ford. Schadenfreude is such a guilty pleasure.

Meanwhile, if you can see past the prejudice, it’s clear that Rob Ford should not resign from council. Ford’s lawyer, Dennis Morris, points out that Ford was given custody of the kids despite the charges. Yesterday morning, AM640 broke the news that Ford had called the police the day before his arrest, to complain about his wife’s irrational behaviour. In other words, the known details of the case don’t conform to type at all. It’s messy and could get messier still. For the moment, the only conclusion to be drawn is that some serious marital difficulties are unfolding in the Ford household—not something to ever wish upon anyone.

Here's more schadenfreude.

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My Last Rob Ford Quote

cityhallRob Ford is simply too easy a target, and posting his dumb-ass quotes just isn't as much fun as it should be.

If you Google rob ford quotes, this entry I posted about two years ago is #2. Then, a year ago this week, I posted his fantastic quote about bike lanes. That sucker is the gold standard.

This will be the last Rob Ford quote I post. It's like shooting fish in a barrel.

Go to the Orient, go to Hong Kong. You want to see workaholics? Those Oriental people work like dogs... they sleep beside their machines. The Oriental people, they're slowly taking over... they're hard, hard workers.

It's not as good as the bike lane quote, but it ain't bad.

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