The name’s the same

Yesterday Rob Ford, Mayor of all subway-loving Torontonians, withdrew from the seemingly never-ending election campaign for personal reasons.   Earlier in the week, he was admitted to hospital where a tumour was found in his abdomen.  The results of a biopsy are expected next week.

Now, pay attention here, for there may be a quiz later.  Rob Ford, the current Mayor has withdrawn from the race for Mayor.  Current city councillor Doug Ford, Robbie’s big brother, decided to be Rob’s campaign manager rather than run for reelection in Ward 2. A nephew of Robbie, Michael Ford, was running in Ward 2. Here is where it gets complicated (or weird – your choice): Doug yesterday evening, announced his intention to run for Mayor in his brother’s place (more on this later).  Rob decided that rather than leave municipal politics all together, he will run for city councillor in Ward 2.  This was the ward he represented for 10 years before being elected Mayor.  Nephew Michael has withdrawn from the race for city council in Ward 2 and will instead run for school trustee.

Now, Doug has several problems.  First, the election is about six weeks away, so he’s getting a late start (the campaign officially began in January, hence my “never-ending” comment.  He cannot use Rob’s campaign war chest, but must raise his own money.  Neither can he use Rob’s campaign office, but must find his own.  It seems the only bright spot for Doug is that he can use Rob’s “Ford for Mayor” campaign signs.

Interviews conducted by local media seem split.  Some people – usually members of what is called “Ford Nation”,  those who have blindly followed Robbie – believe Doug will do just as good as Robbie.  Those who think believe he would be worse than this brother.

Based on what I’ve seen of City Councillor Doug Ford over the past four years, I personally think he would be just as much a disaster as Chief Magistrate of Toronto as was Rob.  Doug seems to be more of a loose cannon than was Rob.  For example, a man filed a complaint against Doug over some comments he made regarding a group home for autistic children.  Doug claimed the home had “ruined”the neighbourhood where the house was located and called all the residents “criminals”.  All of this without proof of course, as seems to be standard operating procedure for the Brothers Ford.  The man who filed the complaint is the father of an autistic child and felt Doug’s comments unfairly maligned the residents.  Doug’s response was to tell the man to go to hell.  Doug appears to shoot from the lip, often insulting reporters and the public without justification or even reason,

I sincerely hope Toronto voters come to their senses and see that four more years of having a Ford as mayor will be a disaster of the first magnitude.  But, he won’t be releasing a platform until Monday at the earliest so we’ll have to wait to see if he’ll be his own man or Rob Ford the second.

Enjoy your weekend and remember to hug an artist, we need love too.


One final thought: The biopsy on Rob’s tumour is about a week away, yet to hear Doug, he seems to think it will be cancerous.  At least that’s the impression Doug’s comments about chemotherapy would give.

I told very few people, but last December, I had to have a tumour removed from my stomach.  Nobody went around talking about chemotherapy or anything like that.  My friends and family adopted an attitude of “we’ll wait and see what the biopsy says, then deal with it.”  Wouldn’t that be a more sensible attitude for Doug as well?   Oh, silly me – I used “sensible” and the name of a Ford in the same sentence.


His brother’s keeper

The Ford Follies continue and once again little brother City Councillor Doug is rushing to the defence of big brother Mayor Robbie.  And once again, Doug is looking like an idiot in doing so.

First, this past weekend, Rob, mayor of all subway-loving Torontonians,  was in Vancouver on personal business.  While there, our Robbie got himself a $109 ticket for jaywalking.  According to articles I have read, Robbie walked into traffic on Lougheed Highway.  This roadway, as the name would imply, isn’t some sleepy sidestreet.  I’ve been to Van and Lougheed Highway is probably the last location in the Greater Vancouver Area I’d choose for jaywalking.  In an interview with CBC News, one lady said some people just ran out in front of her and has she been going any faster, she would have hit them.  Another article stated that the authorities are concerned over the number of vehicle/pedestrian incidents and have asked the police to crack down on jaywalking in the area Robbie was nabbed.  This all makes sense.

According to Doug, who is letting his paranoia show again, his brother was targeted.   Um, Doug?  Everybody who crosses the street illegally in that area is being targeted, not just  your brother.  Unless of course you think that Bill Blair (Toronto Chief of Police and someone with whom the brothers Ford have a less than cordial relationship) called his counterpart in Vancouver and asked for a “favour”.  In fact, I’m rather surprised Doug didn’t suggest exactly that.

Second, in a debate of all the mayoral candidates last night, when asked, Robbie said he wouldn’t be attending World Pride in Toronto this coming summer.  Again, he’ll be at the family cottage, but you can bet money on Robbie being in the city the weekend following Pride for the Caribana festival (or whatever they call it now).

Once again, we have Doug rushing to defend his brother, stating that his brother is not homophobic.  Uh-huh.  Since being elected mayor, Robbie has consistently avoided any event that even remotely seems part of the LGBT community, the sole exception being the raising of the flag on IDAHO last year.  And I wouldn’t doubt that was only through a misunderstanding on his part – “Idaho , that’s one of the states isn’t it?  Yeah sure.”  During his first year as mayor, Robbie was even offered the use of a helicopter to fly him from the cottage to the Pride parade and turned it down.  The man may not admit to being homophobic, but as the adage puts it “actions speak louder than words”.

As for Doug, you would think he learned his lesson last fall when he was vigorously defending his brother (“my brother does not use drugs”) while across town Robbie is admitting to having smoked crack cocaine.  Doug looked as if he’d been hit by a truck when he heard that one.  Doug, your brother is an adult, well – he’s reached the age of majority – so let him handle his own messes before he drags you down as well.


“If I only had a brain”

Two items from the Toronto Star website today have me wondering if the people mentioned in the two items have ever said those words to themselves.

First, a lady in Vaughan, north of Toronto, wants the city of Vaughan to cut down some oak trees near the school at least one of her children attends.  The child has nut allergies and the oak trees, as oak trees will in the fall, are – horrors! – dropping acorns onto the school grounds.  Her concern is that children, not just her child, will pick these up and eat them resulting in anaphylactic shock should these children have nut allergies.  Think about this for a moment.  Rather than teach her child not to pick things up from the ground and stick them in their mouth, she wants the trees removed.  In short, she wants the nanny society to “do something” instead of taking responsibility for her child’s safety. If city council is actually stupid enough to give her request any credence at all, think of the ramifications.  Does Vaughan then cut down all trees and pave over all grassy areas and gardens – after all, some people have allergies to pollen.  Do they ban all vehicles except electric ones because the pollution from internal combustion engines also affects people?  The logical solution would be, as one commenter noted “make your children aware of their allergies, not afraid of them”. If she only had a brain she could have figured that out herself.

Football coach and sometime Toronto mayor Rob Ford is back in court again today.  This time he’s defending himself in a $6,000,000 defamation suit resulting from comments made during the civic election in 2010.  These comments centred on the fact that a restaurant on the beach in east Toronto was given a twenty year lease, without calling for tenders from other interested parties. Robbie, during two separate interviews, made allegations that there was corruption involved, in fact during a radio interview he used that exact word.  Now, the residents of the area were upset that the lease was for twenty years because at the time, the place was a bit of dump, but while they were upset with the length of the term, nobody accused city hall of engaging in shady dealings.  Except Robbie.  So naturally, the owner sued over the comments.

City Councillor Doug Ford who seems to be paranoid and is Robbie’s brother, in an interview sometime in the past 24 hours, claims it’s “100% political” and further that every court case involving his brother is politically motivated.  No Doug, not so.  Some of these cases are the result of your brother being a total asshole.  And perhaps both you and Coach Robbie should repeat together “if I only had a brain”.

City Hall might run a lot smoother if three things were to happen: Coach Robbie became a full-time mayor and began to think before doing or saying anything and if you learned to shut up and stay out of your brother’s business. You’re being perceived more and more as your brother’s apologist rather than a City of Toronto councillor.

To my followers and readers, enjoy your week and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.