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Margaret Atwood for Mayor

A tiny note on a coffee house tip jar has a big message for Doug Ford.

It's the same message that's written on sidewalk chalkboards on Queen St. W. and social networks dedicated to the cause.

“Margaret Atwood for mayor of Toronto.”

No, we're not in the midst of an election. And the award-winning author has expressed no interest in running for office. The cheeky campaign, which seems to have no central force, is about protecting city libraries and poking fun at the city councillor who said he would not recognize a literary icon.

Perhaps the greatest purpose of the campaign is to make sure the public has a say in how their taxpayer dollars are spent.

Atwood rallied Torontonians to fight for their libraries, after city-hired consultants KPMG suggested closing branches to save money. The avid Tweeter promoted a petition to save the city's libraries to her 225,200 followers on the social networking site, which crashed the server hosting it.

In response, Mayor Rob Ford's older brother suggested Atwood should seek elected office if she wants to influence policy.

“She's not dealing with the problem. Tell her to go run in the next election and get democratically elected. And we'd be more than happy to sit down and listen to Margaret Atwood,” Doug Ford said last Tuesday.
He also said he didn't know the novelist.

“If she walked by me, I wouldn't have a clue who she is,” he said.

A note went up on the tip jar at Red Rocket Coffee on Wellesley St. the next day, said barista Michael Scott.
“It's a strange statement to make. I don't think I would have finished high school without knowing Margaret Atwood,” Scott said. “Not even to say that, but to proclaim it with pride, as if it would damage her reputation somehow.”

More than 5,000 people have “liked” a Facebook page encouraging Atwood to run for mayor.

“So, apparently, you need to be elected to be heard,” Julia Vyse posted on the page.

“This would be brilliant! And a good way to solve a lot of our problems as a city,” wrote Heather Danter.

The Twitterverse is also encouraging the author to run for mayor. Users are Tweeting signs endorsing her future as a politician, including sidewalk chalkboards at a French bistro in Parkdale and a café on Queen St. W.

The “Atwood for Mayor” movement includes a greater discussion about the value of libraries, and that's evident on the author's Twitter feed.

“The local public library was the only place in the area that had AC in the summer. Fondly remember reading 3 books a visit,” Lily Callahan wrote to Atwood.

Chapters Indigo is supporting the author, too. The chain is offering 30 per cent off her books across the country for any public library card holder.

“It was a tongue-in-cheek way to contribute to the dialogue and in the process it also allowed us to express our support for Canada's municipal libraries and one of Canada's most iconic writers,” said Janet Eger, the chain's vice-president of public relations.

Rob Ford given death threat via 311

Mayor Rob Ford says he isn’t worried about a man charged with making death threats against him.

Anthony Vella, 56, called 311 on July 14 and made threats against Mayor Rob Ford. Officers at 52 Division, which covers City Hall, launched an investigation.

Mayor Rob Ford told a news conference Thursday morning he had been the victim of a death threat. “I don’t take it that seriously,” says Rob Ford.

Anthony Vella has been charged with threatening death. He has no prior record, according to court staff.

Vella was released on $500 bail. The terms of his release included conditions that he not come within 200 metres of City Hall (except to attend court dates nearby), and that he “abstain from communicating directly or indirectly with Mayor Robert Ford.”

His next court appearance is August 18th.

DISCLAIMER: This blog does not condone any sort of violence or threats of violence. We're pacifists.

Ford wants to fire TTC Chief

Gary Webster, the TTC’s top executive, is caught in the crosshairs of Mayor Rob Ford’s administration, prompting fears that the TTC could be headed on a disastrous course if he’s fired.

A 30-year TTC veteran, the 60-year-old chief general manager has drawn the ire of the Fords over his refusal to support the Sheppard subway extension the mayor wants to build, say sources.

Webster could not be reached for comment, but TTC spokesman Brad Ross issued a statement Thursday saying, “The TTC will not speculate on Mr. Webster’s future. The chief general manager is working hard with staff on the 2012 budget, as well as ongoing customer service improvement initiatives. This is a large, complex organization. His continued leadership has never been more important.”

Transit experts, including former TTC boss David Gunn, consider Ford's subway plan a joke because there's no clue where Ford will get the money from.

The Ford Brothers (Rob and Doug) are so intent on Webster’s removal, sources say, they won’t let him hire a new chief operating officer — an internationally advertised position that is attracting top applicants from London and Sydney, Australia.

TTC chair Karen Stintz has expressed frustration about the slow speed at which improvements in customer service are taking place. But she has so far refused to be part of a plan to oust Webster, drawing speculation that her own time on the commission could be limited, according to some sources.

Sources say Stintz won’t even talk about Webster leaving unless the Fords come up with an orderly transition plan that doesn’t include appointing one of their political cronies to the top job. (Nepotism in the Ford camp runs deep.)

The plan to get rid of Webster “is in play now,” said former TTC vice-chair Joe Mihevc.

“(The Fords) are so committed to Sheppard they are actively contemplating getting rid of the entire streetcar system in Toronto,” he said, adding that the cost of the new streetcars could be applied to the subway.

“If Doug Ford bullies his way through on this, it truly will be the victory of extreme authoritarian ideology over good public transit policy and good business management,” Mihevc said.

Replacing Webster with someone who has no engineering background or transit operations experience would be a disaster, say some councillors and transit experts.

Rob Ford opposes traffic lights beside schools

Mayor Rob Ford may need to woo council’s six centrist swing voters if he is going to win the looming budget battle. So he puzzled many councillors two weeks ago when he made a calculated decision to alienate one of the centrists — over, of all things, a traffic light.

Traffic light projects usually sail through council without a discussion or a vote. The mayor almost never tries to stop them. But at council’s July meeting, Ford placed an unusual “hold” on a proposed new Dufferin St. light near an elementary school in the Davenport ward of centrist Councillor Ana Bailão.

Then, according to another centrist, Councillor Josh Colle, his allies lobbied other councillors to vote to kill the project.

“I think a lot of councillors were surprised that a local issue was being so heavily lobbied on,” Colle said.

Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday said Ford was simply being the principled and prudent guardian of taxpayer money he has always been. The city’s expert traffic planners had deemed the light to cost $150,000 to protect the lives of school children.

Seems like money well spent, protecting school children.

But Bailão thinks Ford may have been attempting to send her a message.

She has frequently opposed him. By trying to thwart a strictly local project she had fought for, he signaled to her and other centrists, intentionally or not, that he can make their lives difficult if he chooses to play hardball.

Whatever Ford was trying to convey, his plan may have backfired. He lost the vote 25-9 — with every centrist present, and five members of his hand-picked executive committee, voting against him. And, in defeat, he soured his relationship with Bailão.

Asked whether Ford’s effort to deny the Dufferin St. and Gordon St. light, Bailão said: “It obviously didn’t leave a good taste in my mouth.”

“You have hundreds of letters from parents, you had community meetings. It’s not something that I brought to council without doing my homework in my community,” she said. “And when you have to fight so hard to get something that’s so important to your community — something that, usually, people understand — it makes you question why.”

The vote outcome demonstrated that independent-minded councillors will not be cowed into voting with the mayor.

Ford’s spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

Ford placed another hold on the Lawrence Heights revitalization plan. Ford released the hold after Colle joined him in voting to remove the Jarvis St. bike lanes, prompting speculation that he had placed the hold as a veiled threat.

Ford lost the Lawrence Heights vote 38-1.

The Rob Ford Fat Fuck Video

Rob Ford is a bully and he doesn't like people making fun of his weight because then the tables are turned on him. But he doesn't let it end there. He doesn't turn the other cheek. Instead he chases after people, shouting at them like an insane lunatic.

Why the Rob Ford “fat fuck” video was put online

By Jonathan Goldsbie of Spacing Toronto.

On Tuesday, March 11, 2008, the anonymous Ceyla16 uploaded the video "Councillor Rob Ford in action" to YouTube.  Originally devoid of any contextual information, it sat there for two and a half weeks before being discovered by Toronto Life's short-lived Preville on Politics blog.  Two days later, it was posted here.  And then a day after that, I tracked down both its origin (the documentary Hogtown: The Politics of Policing) as well as the specifics of the argument at its centre (the details of the in camera Police Board vote on whether to renew then–Chief Julian Fantino's contract).

In the course of my digging, I also uncovered the identity of the user who posted the clip on YouTube and emailed him to ask if there was any particular reason he put it online; at this point, my Torontoist piece had already gone up, and I was just considering adding an update.  The fellow did in fact get back to me the next day, but I never got around to appending his explanation, and then kind of forgot about it. (I also later learned that the person I referred to as "Unidentified reporter" was in fact the Star's Catherine Porter.)

But as the clip has not only gotten renewed play in recent months but has also inspired a sitcom, I've found myself wanting to tell the last little bit of the story, which in turn resurrects another long-past Ford controversy:

I posted the clip on behalf of my friend [, Hogtown director] Min Sook Lee, that was the primary reason. but I also wanted to put more out about Councillor Ford in light of his "Orientals" comment. I'm originally from the San Francisco Bay Area and find it incredibly hard to believe that a goon like Ford who tries to pass his hate off as ignorance and skirts issues when he's under fire can be an elected official (then again the US has the ultimate in GWBush). I've observed that Ford has a reputation for being outrageous but it's dangerous if that becomes accepted— especially out of an elected official, I'd like to think that in Toronto we'd have higher standards. Furthermore, after his "apology" yesterday it's clear this guy doesn't get it and it's because he doesn't think he has to be accountable and that's scary.
So, thanks to Smitherman and Dieter D-H, everyone remembers the AIDS remarks, but who remembers the details of Ford's "Orientals" remarks?  Raise your hands.

On Wednesday, March 5, 2008, City Council was debating the perennial subject of holiday shopping.  Ford was of the opinion that the concepts of holidays and rest are a competitive disadvantage in a globalized world.  The National Post transcribed his comments thus:
Go to the Orient. Go to Hong Kong. I've been there. You want to see workaholics? Those Oriental people work like dogs. They work their hearts out. They sleep beside their machines. That's why they're successful in life.... Oriental people, they're slowly taking over. There's no excuses for [them]. They're hard, hard workers.
The Globe noted he added, "This is capitalism, ladies and gentlemen. ... This is what we need."
Mayor Miller, who wasn't present at the time, soon after demanded Ford apologize on the floor of Council at the next meeting.  Ford refused, and insisted his remarks were intended as a compliment; he was genuinely perplexed as to why people might be offended.  Ford is not so much malicious, you see, as he is unfathomably ignorant, and seemingly lacking the capacity to possess empathy for people he has not directly met in person.

The next day, he clarified to the Star "that by 'taking over' he meant Asians are further advanced in business than a century ago." But although he bristled at the suggestion of a public apology, he told the Post that same day that he was open to saying sorry to individual Asian Canadians who were hurt.
And further down in the Post's article (written by Kelly Grant, now the Globe's City Hall bureau chief) we see the genesis of his mayoral ambitions:
Yesterday, Mr. Ford showed off a stack of e-mails from supporters calling his Oriental speech harmless. Several of the messages entreated Mr. Ford to run for mayor.
"People have asked me, a ton of people have," said the Etobicoke councillor, who earlier mused about running for the top job before his inebriated turn at the Leafs' game in 2006.
"Now I'm definitely considering it."
If Mr. Ford does run, speeches such as the one he made this week could hurt his chances, some councillors said.
"Anybody could run for mayor, but as long as he makes this kind of remark, his chance of getting elected mayor is very slim," said Raymond Cho, a Scarborough councillor originally from Korea.

But the shit really hit the fan for Ford the following week, when on March 14th, ten Asian Canadians protested outside his office by lying on the floor next to a prop sewing machine.  The group, led by Kristyn Wong-Tam — a previous president of the Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter — demanded a public apology.  (Wong-Tam is currently the Adam Vaughan–backed candidate in the ward 27 race to replace Kyle Rae.)

Ford wasn't in his office that day, but by this time, he had more or less clued in that he'd done something wrong — even if he didn't fully grasp what that was.  "I have publicly apologized to the newspapers, on the radio," he told the Globe.  "I will publicly apologize to you if I have offended anybody by my comment.  I did not know [the word] Oriental was a racist word and I did not know [the phrase] working like a dog was a derogatory statement."

The next Council meeting was Monday, March 31st, and came less than a week after Ford was charged with assault and uttering death threats in a dispute with his wife.  (The charges were dropped two months later.)
There were dueling petitions submitted to the City Clerk: on one side was Adam Vaughan, with 260 signatures calling for an apology from Ford.  On the other was Ford himself, with 151 of something.  The Star and Globe said he had a 151-name petition from the Asian community asking that he not apologize; the official meeting minutes, on the other hand, recorded it as "151 e-mail communications he had received from individuals, expressing their support" [PDF, page 3].

Not only did Ford maintain that "Asian people do work very hard, and are very, very aggressive," he also produced a No Frills flyer advertising "Oriental flavour 100% pure cornstarch." Oh yes he did. (If I had been his adviser, I would also have suggested he brandish the sheet music for "A Hard Day's Night," in order to justify his use of "working like a dog.")
Let's go to the minutes for the subsequent comedy:
Peter Kuitenbrouwer described: "...Mr. Ford stood up and, in the manner of a schoolkid whose teacher has ordered him to say something he does not believe, he said, in a tiny voice: 'Sorry.'"

Toronto needs to be thinking bigger, not smaller

At a time when leaders at city hall are talking about cutting social programs, arts funding and environmental initiatives to save money, a comprehensive report prepared by a coalition of Toronto region’s leading minds is calling for the opposite.

The GTA should develop a “regional strategy to reduce and divert commercial waste,” expand conservation programs and improve storm water and flood risk management, according to a report by the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance, formerly the Toronto City Summit Alliance.

Among the other recommendations in the report, released this morning and entitled “Breaking Boundaries: Time to Think and Act Like a Region,” governments must: work better to attract and settle immigrants; do more to help those living in poverty find work; invest in community revitalization; and help entrepreneurs get the help they need.

Many of the recommendations come in stark contrast to the cost-cutting scenarios being debated at city hall over the past two weeks as part of the core service review debate.

Recommendations included in the KPMG review include: scaling back recycling, which is more expensive; reducing community grants; and ending programs to assist entrepreneurs. Last week, councilor Giorgio Mammoliti — Mayor Rob Ford’s ‘quarterback’ — suggested Toronto stop funding all immigrant and refugee settlement programs.

But John Tory, who chairs the CivicAction board, said his group’s findings are not totally at odds with the desire for cutting costs. A lot of the report talks about better coordination with other levels of government and stakeholders to manage issues with more efficiency, rather than have five different groups doing the same thing.

“I think what’s taken over at city hall is political theatre. It appears there are only two choices: do away with funding or keep it exactly the same. And I think that’s false — there’s a middle ground,” said Tory. “Politics and the political process sometimes make it very difficult to have those discussions, and I say that regretfully. It shouldn’t be a choice between no arts funding and leaving it the exact same.”

This is especially true concerning housing, jobs and poverty strategies, he said, but it’s also relevant from an economic development side.

For example, one of the report’s key recommendations is to develop a regional business brand. That way, one entity could travel abroad to promote Toronto, Pickering, Markham, etc., which would be more effective and it would save money, said Tory.

The CivicAction report was put together after a year of consultations and feedback from a February summit, where 1,000 business, political, academic and community leaders spent two days brainstorming about issues impacting the Toronto region.

The final report highlights 10 areas: the Economy; Jobs and Income; Transportation; Immigration; Diversity; Environment; Housing; Neighbourhoods; Arts and Culture; and the Pan Am Games. Tory said CivicAction will be focusing its efforts on the first four, working to bring municipal leaders together and injecting politically unpopular but practical solutions — like road tolls or parking surcharges to pay for transit expansion — to the challenges.

Cutting $1 from arts funding hurts city coffers $17

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s cultural adviser Jeff Melanson says eliminating or reducing funding to the arts would be a big mistake, and plans to deliver that message to the city’s executive committee Thursday.

“It would be a misdirection to reduce those (grants),’’ Melanson, executive director of the National Ballet School, said in an interview Wednesday.

The city’s executive committee is set to pore over a lengthy KPMG report that presents “options’’ to the city to trim spending. The city faces a whopping shortfall in its 2012 budget of up to $774 million.

Arts and cultural groups in the city receive about $19 million from the city’s Community Partnership Investment Program (CPIP), according to the KPMG report. The report suggests the city would see a “high level’’ of savings eliminating or reducing CPIP.

But the consulting report also notes that groups receiving funding from CPIP could see their programs “compromised.’’

Other services such as libraries, policing and snow removal are also facing potential cuts, and well over 150 individuals and groups have signed up to speak at Thursday’s meeting to defend those services.

Melanson, who will be leaving Toronto soon to become president of Alberta’s prestigious Banff Centre starting Jan. 1, said “every $1 saved in arts grants is going to end up costing the city $17.’’

Cuts to arts funding would see the city lose money in the end because its reputation as a creative leader would be damaged, Melanson argues.

“It’s both a business draw and important to the quality of life in the city,’’ he added.

Another arts-related option identified in the KPMG report is for Toronto to sell or lease one or more of its three city-run theatres in 2013 to save money.

The city gives just under $3 million to the theatres – the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, and the Toronto Centre for the Arts, which is in North York.

Any cuts to CPIP would mean less for performing arts groups that use those theatres, groups such as Canadian Stage and the Toronto Operetta Theatre.

Jacoba Knaapen, executive director of the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts, says while everyone in the arts community is deeply concerned about the potential cutbacks, she is buoyed by the belief that city councillors “recognize and understand the positive impact culture has on our city.’’

Based on that “it follows they (councillors) will not undervalue the contribution culture plays,’’ Knaapen added.

Dan Brambilla, CEO of the Sony Centre, took a somewhat different tack. In a letter to Thursday’s executive committee meeting, he said management at the centre agrees with the options presented in the KPMG report – while at the same time holding to the belief Toronto will suffer without a vibrant artistic centre.

In an interview Brambilla said he is not opposed to the idea of the sale or lease of one or more of the city-run theatres, as long as the theatres maintain their mandates. St. Lawrence, for instance, rents space to as many non-profit performing arts groups as possible, and Sony puts on a broad range of shows that cater to many of Toronto’s cultural communities.

“If a sale or lease maintains those goals, I’m fine with it,’’ he said.

Rob Ford implies people who hate him are unemployed losers

Rob Ford says there is a good reason why “Ford Nation” — the nickname for the Fords’ support base — hasn’t been turning out for the public meetings.

“Ford Nation is too busy working, paying taxes, creating jobs, that’s what they’re doing,” says Rob Ford.

Which implies that the people who do show up at public meetings don't have jobs, don't pay taxes and aren't helping the economy. Absolute nonsense. (I'm the CEO of my own firm. I pay my taxes, I'm hard working and I am helping the economy. And I am the creator of this blog... Evidently this is another situation of Rob Ford's foot-in-mouth syndrome.)

Rob Ford also says he is working to privatize 311 call centres. 311 handles city services like removing hazardous waste, rabid animals, non-emergency services, etc. There is no guarantee this will be cheaper outsourced.

Ford said the search for a call centre alternative shouldn’t include India or China but could be located anywhere in North America. Instead he wants to hire an American firm because they're cheaper.

Who wants to clean up blood and feces for $10.25 / hour?

Two City of Toronto employees whose job is to clean cells at police stations gave city councillors an eye-opener on what the job entails.

“I clean HIV blood off the walls, I clean feces off the walls,” said Trish O’Brien. “I clean bedbugs. I clean scabies. Are you going to get somebody to do that for $10.25 an hour?”

O’Brien, 34, and co-worker Christopher Idrovo, 30, appeared before council’s government management committee which is reviewing consultants suggestions to save money, including contracting out police station cleaning.

A recent city report said police station cleaners make an average of $30.32 an hour including benefits, versus supposedly cheaper rates for private-sector cleaners.

Idrovo recounted a recent case of an inmate injuring himself and smearing blood all over, then being taken to hospital only to return to do it again in another cell.

“People that have HIV cut their wrists, paint the walls,” O’Brien said. “What if I caught something? Do you think I’m not entitled to benefits? I think I am.”

Mayor Rob Ford’s brother, Councillor Doug Ford, supports contracting-out cleaning jobs to save money. He didn’t respond to the cleaners’ submissions.

City cleaners perform hard work and work hard on the city’s behalf, Tim Maguire, first vice-president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 79, told the city hall committee.

Maybe if there were more libraries in Doug Ford's ward he would know who the Governor General's Award-winning author is

Doug Ford, the Toronto city councillor and brother/brains of Mayor Rob Ford, said he didn't know who Canadian literary icon Margaret Atwood is when responding to questions about the author's role in campaigning to keep public libraries off the city's budgetary chopping block. Atwood has leant her name and considerable notoriety to an Internet campaign launched in the wake of Doug Ford's claim that there were more libraries than Tim Horton's restaurants in his ward, and that the city could afford to shut some down.

Ford said he “wouldn't have a clue” who Atwood is if she walked by him, and that she should run for city council if she was so concerned about libraries. Ford then reiterated his willingness to close one of three libraries in his ward, because as any good small-government supporter knows, the last thing a city needs is free books, Internet connections, and entertainment accessible for all families.

Ford ally Stintz opposes library cuts

Karen Stintz, a key member of Rob Ford’s administration, has come out in opposition to cutbacks to Toronto libraries. In a tweet this morning (July 27th 2011), Ms. Stintz, who represents Eglinton-Lawrence and is chairwoman of the Toronto Transit Commission, wrote "I value the Toronto Public Library… these are not the types of cuts I will support."

The threat of funding reductions to Toronto libraries has emerged as one of the more controversial suggestions in a consultants’ report, raising the rancour of many Torontonians, including celebrated author Margaret Atwood who has been waging an online battle to protect public libraries.

Councillor Doug Ford dismissed Ms. Atwood’s opposition on yesterday but the argument isn't over.

For Ms. Stintz, that’s clearly a non-starter in her ward. In comments posted to her blog, Ms. Stintz described libraries “an integral part of our community.” Obviously Ms. Stintz recognizes that libraries is a valuable part of education, job creation and crime prevention (areas with more libraries have lower crime rates).

Stintz gave a shout out to the three branches in Ward 16 — Armour Heights, Locke Library and the Northern District Branch — noting that they “serve the local community, are a part of our history and support the City’s literary talent.” Northern District underwent renovations, and recently welcome Terry Fallis, author of the book The Best Laid Plans, she wrote. “My kids have also benefited from the services of the libraries in the community. They each have library cards and love the library.” She assured her constituents “these are not the types of cuts I will support.”

Facebook Groups against Rob Ford

(Statistics below as of July 29th 2011.)
24 people like this.

12,170 people like this.
488 people like this.
Student Groups
421 members
365 people like this.
165 people like this.
119 members.
70 people like this.
5 people like this.

Rob Ford's history of bad conduct

Rob Ford gives mother and daughter the finger

Mayor Rob Ford is denying allegations that he gave the finger to a mother who told him to stop talking on his cellphone while driving. (An act which is illegal in Ontario and he should be arrested for it to set an example.)

“There has been a story published that while I was on the phone I made a rude gesture to a fellow driver. This is not accurate and it’s unfortunate this misunderstanding occurred,” Rob Ford says on his Facebook page. He doesn't deny driving while talking on his cellphone and he doesn't deny giving the finger... so apparently the finger was meant for someone else???

Ford’s press secretary, Adrienne Batra, says that the mayor admits to talking on his cellphone while driving, but did not give the other driver the finger.

When asked by a reporter “what happened with flipping the bird” Ford laughed and then refused to comment further.

Ottilie Mason, the woman who was given the finger, was unimpressed with Rob Ford's Facebook retort. “That doesn’t make any sense at all,” she says. “I misunderstand that I gave her the finger? It’s a very political, non-committal response.”

Mason says that, to be perfectly accurate, he hung up the phone, then gave her the finger.

It was apparently pretty obvious he was giving her the finger. Nothing to be misunderstood at all.

Mason, her 6-year-old daughter and her daughter’s babysitter were idling next to Ford at the intersection at Dundas and Spadina when she spotted the mayor talking on his cellphone behind the wheel.

She and her daughter gave him a thumbs-down, and she rolled down her window and told him to stop talking on the phone.

He responded by getting off the phone and then looking straight at her while giving her the finger.

According to Toronto Police Traffic Services they are unsure if police would pursue charges on the issue of driving while using a cellphone, but confirmed that Mark Pugash, director of corporate communications for the police, has been in contact with the mayor’s office about the incident.

And we all know Rob Ford is a liar and a drug addict, so him lying to the police is nothing new.

Doug Ford angry at Margaret Atwood for calling him a liar

On July 19th Maureen O'Reilly proved he lied about libraries in Etobicoke. See Doug Ford Vs Etobicoke Libraries.

Margaret Atwood, the famous Canadian author, then criticized Doug Ford on Twitter and his inaccurate view of local libraries and his goal of cutting libraries.

Councillor Doug Ford has now fired back at Margaret Atwood for her criticism of suggested library cuts, telling reporters: “I don’t even know her. If she walked by me, I wouldn’t have a clue who she is.”

(Why does he not know what Margaret Atwood looks like? Because Doug Ford is a moron who likes to stick his foot in his mouth. I know what she looks like and I haven't read a single one of her books.)

Ford also says Margaret Atwood should get herself elected to office or pipe down. (In other words he is telling her to censor herself. Evidently Doug Ford doesn't get the idea of Twitter...)

“Well good luck to Margaret Atwood. I don’t even know her. If she walked by me, I wouldn’t have a clue who she is,” says Doug Ford, the "brains" behind Mayor Rob Ford.

“She’s not down here, she’s not dealing with the problem. Tell her to go run in the next election and get democratically elected. And we’d be more than happy to sit down and listen to Margaret Atwood.”

Margaret Atwood, an activist on literary and human rights causes, only briefly mentioned Doug Ford on a Twitter message. (See how things get blown out of scale?)

Initially it wasn't even Margaret Atwood's Tweet. She retweeted a Twitter message asking people to sign an online petition, started by the library workers’ union, telling city hall to ignore consultant KPMG’s suggestion to “rationalize the footprint of libraries to reduce service levels, closing some branches.”

Many of Atwood’s more than 250,000 Twitter followers complied and told their friends about the petition, promptly crashing the server hosting the petition.

Margaret Atwood then started tweeting about the library fight, mocking Doug Ford’s Tim Hortons comment on talk radio, and saying that Toronto’s libraries are “astonishing. I’ve done research in them.”

She tweeted Friday: “Twin Fordmayor seems to think those who eat Timbits (like me) don’t read, can’t count, & are stupid eh?” and later asked her followers to check out library books, hold a book club meeting in Tim Hortons and submit their names to win a visit from her and possibly other authors.

Doug Ford (Ward 2, Etobicoke North) says that some of Toronto’s 99 libraries should close, adding he would shut down one of the three in his Ward 2, Etobicoke North ward “in a heartbeat.”

Here are some statistics about one particular library branch Etobicoke Councillor Doug Ford said is unnecessary. Evidently its a lot more popular than he thinks. Doug Ford says nobody uses it at all.

Annual circulation: 96,328
In library use: 16,550
Information requests: 17,825
Holds placed: 15,557
Programs: 129
Program attendance: 1,692
Visitors: 39,775
Active users: 2,746
New users: 533

(Source: Toronto Public Library, 2010)

Doug Ford Vs Etobicoke Libraries

By Maureen O'Reilly on July 19, 2011

Council Doug Ford says:

“We have more libraries per person than any other city in the world. I’ve got more libraries in my area than I have Tim Horton’s.”

In fact:

When the Urban Affairs branch closes, Toronto will have 3.9 libraries per 100,000 people, which is what Vancouver has. Halifax has 4.3 libraries per 100,000 people, more than Toronto. In the U.S., the entire state of Vermont, which has only one-quarter of the population of Toronto, has 30 libraries per 100,000 people, which is 7-1/2 times the library density of Toronto.

In Etobicoke (Mr. Ford’s area), there are 13 library branches there, and 39 Tim Horton’s shops, not to mention all the other donut shops. In fact, on a per capita basis, the people in Etobicoke have fewer libraries than Toronto as a whole. They have one for every 27,000 people whereas in Toronto as a whole it’s about one for every 25,000 people.

Rob Ford's Lies Vs Facts

1. Toronto spends 80% of its budget on payroll

ROB FORD SAYS: “The last thing we want to do is lay off, Johnny, but when [payroll] makes up 80 per cent of your budget, there’s a lot of gravy there.”

THE TRUTH: Labour costs account for 48% of the city’s budget.

FACT CHECKER: Margus Gee, in the Globe and Mail.

2. Ford has already cut the Toronto budget by $70 million

ROB FORD SAYS: In his first six months in office, “We have saved over $70-million… And so if we can find 70 million, I’m sure we can find 700 million.”

THE TRUTH: $64 million of that money was not cut from spending, as Ford seems to claim, but cut from revenue, in the form of the elimination of the Vehicle Registration Tax. This does not save the city money, it costs the city money — the exact opposite of his claim.

FACT CHECKER: Gee, in the Globe.

3. Libraries in Etobicoke outnumber Tim Horton’s Franchises

DOUG FORD SAYS: “I’ve got more libraries in my area than I have Tim Hortons.”

THE TRUTH: Tim Hortons franchises outnumber public libraries in Etobicoke (where Doug Ford lives) by a margin of three to one. There are 13 public libraries in Etobicoke, and 39 Tim Hortons franchises.

FACT CHECKER: Maureen O’Reilly, Our Public Library

4. Toronto has more libraries per capita than any other city

DOUG FORD SAYS: “We have more libraries per person than any other city in the world.”

THE TRUTH: Vermont has more than seven times as many libraries per capita as Toronto. Halifax has 4.3 libraries per 100,000 people, while Toronto has 3.9.

FACT CHECKER: Maureen O’Reilly, Our Public Library

5. Labour costs should make up no more than 1/5 of an enterprise’s spending

ROB FORD SAYS: “In business the first thing you look at is the labour. Your labour should be making up maximum 20 per cent…”

THE TRUTH: The ideal labour cost as a percentage of total spending varies wildly depending on the industry the company is operating in. As KPMG—a consulting firm Ford presumably trusts, since he hired them to investigate the city’s spending—notes in their Competitive Alternatives study, “For manufacturing operations, labor typically represents 46 to 60 percent of total location-sensitive costs, while for non-manufacturing operations this range is typically 74 to 85 percent.” Meanwhile, in the construction equipment industry, in 2008 average payroll costs were about 58 per cent, according to this report. Second Wind consultants say that a lot varies by industry, but that 30-38 per cent of revenue is “a good place to be.” Apparently celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay says restaurants should aim to have labour costs be about 1/3 of the total budget.

FACT CHECKER: Edward Keenan, in The Grid.

CONCLUSIONS: Rob Ford is a liar and/or can't do math.

Rob Ford’s financial numbers don’t add up

Marcus Gee
From Saturday's Globe and Mail - Jul. 15, 2011

It was a hairy week at city hall, a foreshadowing of the tumult the city is likely to face as it seeks to cut hundreds of millions of dollars in spending. The city rolled out an employee-buyout plan aimed at cutting thousands of staff, launched task force investigations on daycare, homelessness and arena construction and released consultants’ reports that floated the idea of cuts on everything from daycares to zoos to fluoridation of the water supply.

With so much at stake, it would be nice to think that there is someone in charge who seems to know what he is doing. Instead, we have His Worship Mayor Rob Ford.

Mr. Ford kept a low profile for most of the week, leaving it to titans such as Giorgio Mammoliti, the York West councillor famous for proposing a red-light district on the Toronto Islands, to field most of the questions. On Tuesday, a day when the efficiency consultants fingered a program that helps elderly people buy medical supplies, Mr. Ford found time to kick off the annual Caribbean festival. The mayor, who pointedly declined to raise the Pride Week flag last month, even did a little dance with a woman in a feathered headdress. Apparently he has no trouble cavorting with scantily clad revellers just as long as they aren’t gay.

With city council meeting for its monthly session, Mr. Ford had a perfect chance to speak about the city’s financial fix and to explain to residents how he planned to get out of it without cutting cherished services. Instead, he focused on graffiti and traffic lights.

Two city councillors wanted to put in new stoplights on Dufferin Street and Queen’s Park Crescent to protect pedestrians. Mr. Ford, a famous champion of motorists, was opposed. When he lost the votes, an unusually agitated and apparently angry mayor stormed around the chamber trying to find out how it happened.

Earlier, he distinguished himself by voting against programs that hand out money to community groups supporting seniors, the disabled, immigrant youth and minor hockey. As a penny-pinching Etobicoke councillor, he always opposed the grants as a waste of money. But now that he is the top man, holding a big cleaver over the city budget, it is not exactly comforting that he believes things like that are gravy. Even his conservative allies weren’t with him. He lost one of the votes on the grants 43-1.

It was not until Friday that Mr. Ford gave his first interview on the burning issue of the week: cutbacks. He chose a friendly venue, the John Oakley Show on AM640 radio, where he announced his mayoral bid last year.

Although those KPMG consultants have yet to find a dollop of gravy in their exhaustive floor-by-floor search of city hall departments, the mayor told his friend “Johnny” that city hall has positively “tons” of the stuff. Just look, he said: in his first six months in office, “we have saved over $70-million.”

“And so if we can find 70 million, I’m sure we can find 700 million” – the amount the city needs to close its annual budget shortfall. There is only one small problem. When he says he has “saved” $70-million, he does not mean he has cut that amount from what the city spends. In fact, most of it comes from what the city collects in taxes.

Included in the $70-million figure is $64-million from the cancellation of the vehicle registration tax earlier this year. That is a plus for taxpayers, but a minus for the city treasury, which must make do with $64-million less each year to pay for the services it delivers. Mr. Ford’s tax cut has made it harder, not easier, to balance the budget. So the mayor is way off base to claim he has found $70-million in budget savings in six months.

Either Mr. Ford is misleading the public or he simply does not understand the apples-and-oranges difference between money taken in and money saved. To make matters worse, he told Mr. Oakley that the city spends 80 per cent of its budget on labour. The real figure is 48 per cent. “The last thing we want to do is lay off, Johnny, but when it makes up 80 per cent of your budget, there’s a lot of gravy there,” he said. Oh dear.

The sad thing about all of this is that most people probably support Mr. Ford in his drive to get city spending under control. But if they are going to go along with big cuts, they want to know they will be done sensibly and humanely. Mr. Ford’s performance this week did not reassure.

SOURCE: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/marcus-gee/fords-financial-numbers-dont-add-up/article2099511/

Doug Ford bullied Activist?

The city's compliance audit committee will meet on Wednesday to consider allegations that four right-leaning councillors broke elections law. The stakes are high, and so are tensions.

The committee ordered an audit of Mayor Rob Ford's campaign financial statements in May after assessing a complaint by library board vice-chair and left-leaning activist Adam Chaleff-Freudenthaler. A new group fronted by Chaleff-Freudenthaler, Fair Elections Toronto, filed additional complaints in June about the financial statements of conservatives Doug Ford, Giorgio Mammoliti, James Pasternak and Michael Thompson.

Compliance audits are expensive and stressful for politicians. Their legal fees frequently run into the tens of thousands of dollars, and they face potential sanctions ranging from fines to, less likely, removal from office. In an attempt to prevent an audit, Rob Ford has appealed the committee's decision in court.

Mammoliti alleged in June that the “frivolous” complaints against him and the other councillors were the product of a conspiracy against the mayor and his allies. He said he was considering a lawsuit. Now Chaleff-Freudenthaler, the apparent target of Mammoliti's ire, has alleged in a complaint to the city's integrity commissioner that Doug Ford attempted to “bully and intimidate” him at City Hall during a council meeting Wednesday afternoon.

Chaleff-Freudenthaler wrote in the complaint that Ford “accosted” him outside the council chamber. Speaking in an “aggressive tone,” Chaleff-Freudenthaler wrote, Ford told him to be “prepared” for something Ford didn't identify.

Chaleff-Freudenthaler wrote that he sought to “de-escalate the situation” by declining to “engage” with Ford, but that Ford continued to speak threateningly. Eventually, Chaleff-Freudenthaler wrote, Ford told him that he “should be careful because ‘what goes around comes around.’”

Chaleff-Freudenthaler wrote: “Following those words, I asked Councillor Ford if he was threatening me. He then nervously turned around and walked away.”

Doug Ford and Chaleff-Freudenthaler declined to comment.

Mammoliti said in June that Chaleff-Freudenthaler's group has a “political agenda,” and that it filed the complaints in an effort to embarrass councillors who support the Ford administration. Chaleff-Freudenthaler said the four conservatives simply happen to be the councillors who appear to have contravened the Municipal Elections Act.

The committee will consider another series of complaints on Monday. Among them are complaints against left-leaning Councillor Maria Augimeri and the Ford-backed challenger with whom she is embroiled in a separate court battle, Gus Cusimano.

Rob Ford Vs Riverdale Farm, Park Zoos and Daycare Centres

SOURCE: http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1024733--riverdale-farm-park-zoos-move-to-chopping-block

By David Rider

As he introduced 3-year-old Emily to the cherished rural oasis, where sheep bleats drown out highway hum, Justin Sampson paused to consider a Toronto without Riverdale Farm.

“I’ve been coming here since I was 4 years old. My mother used to bring us here all the time. Now I can bring my daughter here, and it’s free,” he said. “It blows my mind that (Mayor Rob Ford) could think of closing it down.”

As Torontonians digested the latest city consultant’s report, which also suggests closing zoos at High Park and Centre Island, and the Toronto Environment Office, Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday asked them to keep an open mind and tell councillors what needs to survive.

“We’re putting everything on the table and it will be up to council to decide what to cut — some things are obviously totally unreasonable,” he said. “Politicians are always susceptible to public opinion; that always plays a part in the decisions we make. But some things will go.”

The KPMG review of parks and environment services, released Thursday, was the fourth commissioned to identify the city’s “core services” and what can be cut. Four more will be released on staggered days next week.

Instead of finding the “gravy” Mayor Rob Ford promised to strain from the city budget, KPMG has so far suggested likely non-starters — taking fluoride out of drinking water — and the painful, like closing city-run daycares.

Read the full version on the Toronto Star.

If mowing grass is Rob Ford’s ‘gravy’, I’ll do it myself

SOURCE: http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1025096--mallick-if-mowing-grass-is-rob-ford-s-gravy-i-ll-do-it-myself

By Heather Mallick

If Mayor Rob Ford defines cutting the grass in public parks as “gravy,” which is clearly the implication of the KPMG report, then I will arise and go now, and mow Oriole Park, a green place I dearly love, and tiny Healey Willan. Won’t all gravy-hating Ford voters do the same? I’m hearing a great big yes.

It is of course possible to save money by keeping Toronto less natty and asking amateurs like me to mow parks, plant flowers and pick up garbage. Running public parks as non-profits has worked in other cities. Certainly New York’s Bryant Park, surrounded by businesses, the wealthy and fashion shows clamouring for space, looks very glam. London has hundreds of private parks, but they are enclosed in iron fencing and locked with keys issued to the rich whose homes surround them.

I cannot think that parks outside the richest bits of Toronto will have the same appeal. KPMG is going for something different here.

You’ll be hearing a lot of jargon as the report is studied for some way to make Ford look like a cost-cutter. “Save taxpayers money, create a more responsive flexible government, enhance public engagement,” as Scarborough Councillor Norm Kelly, chair of the parks and environment committee, put it.

Me, I have another word for it. That word is “communism,” in the nicest possible way of course. It’s another means of turning citizens of a particular neighbourhood into the garbage-clearing chain gangs mooted by PC leader Tim Hudak. The genius of it is that prisoners must be paid, while I work for free...

See the full version on the Toronto Star website.

Ford votes alone against funding for HIV/AIDS programs

Rob Ford also opposes grants for seniors, immigrants, poor and disabled

Once again, Mayor Rob Ford was the lone member on City Council to vote against grant money earmarked to HIV/AIDS related programs.

The grant was even supported by right-wing councillors Doug Ford, Doug Holyday and Michael Thompson.

But not Ford. In a stunning 37 to 1 vote at the very end of the day July 13, Ford was the only one to say no to budgeted funding earmarked to The AIDS Prevention Community Investment Program (APCIP), a program that reaches more than 250,000 people through outreach and workshops.

Councillors that were absent from the vote include Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Josh Colle, Gary Crawford, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Giorgio Mammoliti and Karen Stintz.

The APCIP includes an allocation of $1,679,000 to be used between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012.
Mayor Rob Ford was again the only vote against funding for HIV/AIDS related programs
(Andrea Houston)

The funding pays for outreach workers and funds projects at several vital community organizations, including at the 519 Church Street Community Centre, Action Positive, Africans In Partnership Against AIDS, the AIDS Committee of Toronto, the Alliance of South Asian AIDS Prevention, Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention, Central Toronto Community Health Centers, Fife House, the Hassle Free Clinic, Native Child and Family Services, Youthlink and Schools Without Borders, to name a few.

Black CAP’s chair Angela Robertson tells Xtra that the grants support a community of people who are often marginalized and face tremendous stigma and discrimination.

“The kinds of services that the mayor has voted against are part of invisible yet essential services in our communities,” she says. “We need the support of the city for prevention work that these grants support. It’s incomprehensible why the mayor would vote against these kinds of supports. But it’s heartening to know that these grants were approved.”

The projects target gay and bisexual men, injection drug users, women and men from countries where HIV is endemic, people living with HIV/AIDS, gay youth, trans populations, youth at risk, sex workers and incarcerated men and women.

There is no financial impact beyond what has been approved in the city’s 2011 approved operating budget, the city report states.

The vote capped two days at council that saw Ford vote against six other community development grants programs that improve the lives of the city’s seniors, immigrants, the poor and the disabled. The community development and recreation committee recommended that the city give 259 groups a total of $7.2 million. Some of the groups include Etobicoke Services for Seniors, Cabbagetown Youth Centre, the New Canadian Community Centre and Variety Village.

The mayor was defeated 43 to 1 when he tried to halt funding for Access Equity and Human Rights, the Community Recreation Investment Program and the Community Safety Investment Program and Community Festivals and Special Events, which includes Caribana.

Much like his days as a city councillor, Ford made a point of telling city council he opposes them all. Ultimately all the grants passed.

If he got his way, the move would have further impacted marginalized black communities that are targeted through outreach at Caribana, Black CAP’s Michael Went points out.

“He voted to end funding to festivals and events like Caribana, which is another way Black CAP does outreach. That’s funding that helps marginalized black communities. After the vote, he then goes out to celebrate the launch of Caribana.”

It’s also not the first time Ford has voted against funding earmarked to HIV prevention strategies. In February, the mayor was the only member of council to vote against accepting $100,000 from the provincial government to establish screening programs for syphilis and HIV.

Ford has also consistently voted against the APCIP every year since 2006.

Source: http://www.xtra.ca/public/Toronto/Ford_votes_alone_against_funding_for_HIVAIDS_programs-10493.aspx

Art about Rob Ford

"Rob Ford, you fat fuck, this is all your fault"

SOURCE: http://blog.fawny.org/2010/10/20/ford-marche/

From a garret soundproofed to all but the call of the cantor, Mondoville emitted yet another asocial Twit: “[N]ot one person online today was sticking up for Stephen Marche, writer unpublished by [the Globe and Mail].”

Well, give me enough time to formulate a response, for fuck sakes. (I can’t do everything same-day.) I will stick up for Marche, despite the fact he’s quite well-connected enough not to need it. I’ll stand up for him on principle, which I shouldn’t be doing, because he wasn’t being honest.

“Rob Ford’s not popular despite being fat”

Marche’s column in the 2010.10.16 Globe described how, far from resenting Toronto mayoral candidate Rob Ford for being fat, we identify with him:

Marche should have known this was dangerous territory – then carried right on anyway. It was only a couple of years ago that former Globe city columnist John Barber called Rob Ford a fat fuck in one of Ford’s many ashtray-heaving shitfits right there in hallowed Council Chambers. An augury of the future, as it turned out: Ford is a fat fuck only because he’s so repugnant in so many other ways at the same time.

Marche missed a chance to write an honest piece about the constellation of indicators Ford presents to urban Torontonians, who recoil in disgust. Instead, he chose to wax analytical and bullshit us.

Let me take this from the top

I don’t really “do” politics, so you should view the following as a statement of principle that merely happens to coincide with an election campaign. It is fundamentally about urbanism and the wrong kind of people, a distinction I am happy to make even if you’re afraid to.

It is insulting and damaging to dismiss or demean people just because they’re fat, even if they ate themselves to that state. We don’t lecture lung-cancer patients that they had all that time to quit smoking. If you get yourself into an accident and lose an arm, we don’t harangue you for the rest of your life about how stupid you were and, by extension, are. We could do so; civilizing forces prevent us. If you’re fat, maybe that’s a subject for discussion with your doctor or at Lazy Bear, but that’s about it. We can still campaign against obesity and smoking and for accident prevention, but blaming individuals just is not done.

It is journalistically possible to discuss a celebrity’s weight. You don’t even have to pussyfoot around the subject. Jan Wong didn’t when she took Rita MacNeil to lunch (Globe, 1998.12.29):
But when my platter of lox and bagels arrives, she agrees to share it – onions, cream cheese, capers and all. At 54, MacNeil is 5′2″ and probably weighs close to 300 pounds. “I don’t tell my weight,” she says, but allows that her dress size is “in the 20s.” As Canada’s biggest country crooner, MacNeil has endured tasteless jokes about her size, even as she’s tried – unsuccessfully – to launch a line of plus-sized women’s clothing.
She swims 45 minutes a day. But her weight, she says, has “gone up and down like a yo-yo.” After trying “everything under the sun,” she’s given up. “The way I look at it, if you’re big, you’re big,” says MacNeil, in an ankle-length black velvet dress with a flowing green and black leaf-patterned coat. “You got to live your life. You can’t wait until you’re a size that image-conscious people will approve of.”
That’s the same no-nonsense attitude MacNeil takes in her new book, On a Personal Note. Well-meaning people sometimes ask, she writes, “Rita, did you ever think you’d get this big?” She also details the insults, including her nickname, Eat a Big Meal.
But we aren’t talking about that kind of article.

Rob Ford isn’t repugnant and offensive because he’s fat. Being fat is only one part of a full package of traits that trigger disgust and apprehension in anyone who doesn’t pick fights with the press, doesn’t assault his wife (charges dropped), doesn’t lie about getting shitfaced and telling off civilians at a football game, doesn’t call AIDS your own fucking fault, doesn’t praise Orientals for working like dogs, doesn’t drive impaired in his natural home, Florida, and isn’t a boorish, backward daddy’s boy. And he’s fat.

Citizens of this city who want this city to become a real city full of real citizens recoil at the discovery of so many troglodyte characteristics packed into a single sweaty package. The implications are even more disturbing: There are more people just like him, and they live in the same city. But why? Are they even aware they live in a city? Like the Toronto Sun, is their mentality still that of a small town in the hinterlands circa 1979? How is that possible?

Why are we sharing a city with these people?

They’re obviously temperamentally and intellectually unsuited to city life. Their idea of a good time is a barbecue. Do we really live in the same city as them? Before amalgamation, we could pretend we actually didn’t. Why do we have to now, or tomorrow, or ever again?

These are not people who move to a city to better themselves. They have no idea of self-betterment, only selfishness and greed. They want more roads, more cars, more money spent on roads and cars and precisely fuck-all for everything else. Most emblematically, they demand the unfettered right to chop down any tree on their own property. (They all own “property.”)

These people make the committed urbanite sick. They’re appalling. “Vulgar” doesn’t begin to describe what’s wrong with them. Their entire way of life is completely wrong; the difference is they think the same about you and want the right to defund everything that makes your way of life possible.

That right there is the difference between a liberal and a conservative. A liberal is so out of touch with his own beliefs and feelings he can’t even write them down when you pay him to. A liberal will write a column in a national newspaper not actually saying what he means, attempting to empathize with a buffoon his social class finds disgusting. (He won’t mention the disgust.) A conservative will tell you to your face you’re wrong and he’ll mean it. Why shouldn’t he? He knows he’s right.

The wrong kind of people

An honest columnist would spend the entire election campaign writing what he actually thinks: The fat fuck Rob Ford represents all the wrong kind of people. (Their very existence in the same city is alarming.) It boggles the mind to imagine a lying, abusive buffoon like Rob Ford actually holding mayoral office, an honest columnist would admit. And it shouldn’t take a doctor to wonder if Rob Ford is medically fit for the job. (It was John Barber who mused – in the Globe, 2006.05.17 – that David Miller could die in office. Care to lay odds?)

The existence of Rob Ford as a credible candidate for mayor further demonstrates that Spacers™ and the soi-disant progressives of the urban downtown have not budged the meter one notch. You don’t need to be Evgeny Morosov to observe that the Twittering classes, obsessed with their shared streets and bike lanes and centres for social innovation and urban de-fencing and subway macaroons and sonic histories of the city, have quite wasted their time. Importantly, they never missed an opportunity to refrain from openly declaring there is a war on the car and the car’s got to lose. They might as well have been sporting green Twibbons or nattering on about Moldova.

Stephen Marche was not, in this context, an honest columnist. Nonetheless, I support his right to write what he did – a mild, off-topic, allusive and disingenuous rebuke. Hardly a firing offence.

If I may paraphrase Sinéad O’Connor, fight the real enemy.

Fuck Rob Ford Graffiti

Petition to Impeach Rob Ford

Sign the Petition to Impeach Rob Ford:


Woody Harrelson Vs Rob Ford

Queers Against Israeli Apartheid vs. Rob Ford

Rob Ford in action

Rob Ford Vs Gay Pride


Rob Ford Vs Cyclists

Rob Ford Vs Asians and Immigrants

Rob Ford says Asians work like dogs

Rob Ford hates Homeless People

Rob Ford Temper Tantrum

Rob Ford took donations, had dinner with businessman linked to corruption probe

Adrian Morrow
Globe and Mail Update
Published Wednesday, Mar. 30, 2011 11:55AM EDT

Mayor Rob Ford received $2,000 worth in campaign donations and held a meeting with a controversial former bar owner turned business consultant who was once accused of paying police officers for help obtaining a liquor license and reprimanded by a judge who said he misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars from an aboriginal group at the SARSstock concert.

In early February, Mr. Ford lunched with Johnathan Vrozos, who had earlier donated two tranches of $1,000 each to Mr. Ford's campaign, $500 less than the maximum amount.

In a brief scrum at city hall Wednesday morning, Mr. Ford said Mr. Vrozos won the lunch at a fundraising golf tournament.

“We fund-raised money for my campaign, so if someone bids on it I don’t check their background, and I went out to lunch like I had to commit to. And that’s it,” he said.

Full copy at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/subscribe.jsp?art=1963251

Rob Ford on CBC Radio

Old Election Ad

Rob Ford lies about Toronto Community housing

Quote from YouTube: "On March 9 Rob Ford said his hand picked one man TCHC Board (Case Ootes) would not be doing any big deals. Within weeks 22 units of Toronto Community housing worth more than 30 million dollars were up for sale. What lies will Ford tell on May 17 to privatize solid waste ?"

Debra Mewdell comments on Rob Ford's Bike Plan

Sid Ryan Calls Out Toronto Mayor Rob Ford

Cyclists protesting against Rob Ford

Rob Ford Pinata

Rob Ford Hates Gays

Rob Ford's nepotism knows no bounds

The new mayor of Toronto has only been on the job since November, boosted to his position on the promise of putting a stop to "the gravy train" in Toronto's City Hall.

Except apparently this was a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Since becoming the mayor Rob Ford has been giving one job posting after another to his closest friends, giving all his friends raises in salaries, and to top it all off... the gravy train seems to have gotten bigger and faster.

Former North York councillor Gordon Chong is the latest friend of Mayor Rob Ford to be appointed to a high paying public job — this time working with the TTC - gaining a salary of $100,000 / year plus perks.

A month ago former councillor Case Ootes was named head of Toronto Community Housing Corporation, with another big fat salary and perks.

Both of these people are also SIMULTANEOUSLY collecting pensions for their previous work as councillors. (Pensions stack BTW.)

On top of that Rob Ford has given a major TTC infrastructure building contract worth billions (the most expensive project in Toronto history at $4.2 billion) to a company which, surprise surprise, is run by 2 directors:

Rob Ford's friend and Councillor Norm Kelly (Ward 40, Scarborough-Agincourt) and Councillor Doug Ford (Ward 2, Etobicoke North), Rob Ford's brother.

The appointments and billion dollar contracts have led many City Hall councillors to accuse the mayor of sole-sourcing senior government jobs to his friends and relatives.

The TTC has given the job of heading one of the most important projects facing the city to someone who didn’t even go through a job search, says Councillor Joe Mihevc.

The $4.2 billion being given to Rob Ford's brother is more than "all the accumulated debt of (former Mayor) Mel Lastman, plus all the accumulated debt of (former mayor) David Miller … This has to be one of the two or three biggest decisions that will face the commission and face council in the next three or four months,” says Councillor Joe Mihevc.

Note: Nepotism is a crime because it constitutes fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud.

In comparison however Rob Ford's gravy train is not illegal, but it should open the eyes of the idiots who voted for him just so they could get rid of the vehicle registration tax (the only good thing Rob Ford has done so far).

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