Apologize, Now!

In a piece of political theatre utterly unworthy of Toronto, Mayor Elect Rob Ford invited Don Cherry, a loudmouth sports celebrity who is paid a small fortune to pontificate about hockey, to address the inaugural meeting of Council today.  Cherry proceeded to insult over half the population of Toronto, those who didn’t vote for Ford, those “left-wing kooks” and “pinkos”.

If I or any member of the public, let alone a member of Council, had made remarks like that, they would have been summarily silenced by the chair and possibly thrown out of the room.  This bozo was there as the Mayor’s guest, telling it like it is.

Mayor Ford allowed the important ceremony of his investment in office to be cheapened into a political slam against all those folks, the downtowners, the latté-sippers, the people who like streetcars, and who knows how many other groups who have yet to learn just how small-minded our Mayor really is.

The words may have been Don Cherry’s, but they were said with Mayor Ford’s blessing.

Cherry is an asshole who has no place in Council Chamber, a clown who cannot understand the difference between the entertainment of a break in a hockey game and the serious business of Canada’s largest municipal government.  He is no doubt thrilled to death with the exposure.

The Mayor has a duty to all of the people, and to the Council itself.  He ran on a campaign of respect for taxpayers.  That doesn’t mean just the ones who voted for him, but all of us.  I shouldn’t have to produce a photocopy of my ballot to get attention at Rob Ford’s City Hall.

The institution of Council has already been sideswiped by Ford’s one-man show on municipal policy, the attitude that his “mandate”, all 47% of of it with a 53% voter turnout, gives him the right to rule by edict, not by agreement.  Now, by inviting Cherry to speak and failing to censure what was said, Ford has insulted all of Council and the voters — all of them.

Mayor Ford:  Prove to us that you’re not the boneheaded idiot 53% of Toronto thought you would be when they voted against you.  Apologize, unreservedly, now.

Waiting at Sheppard & McCowan

On Monday, December 6, CBC’s Metro Morning included a piece by Mary Wiens about the problems of commuting through the suburbs, and the hopes of folks on Sheppard (and by implication many other places) for a subway network some day.

In reply to this, I sent a note to Mary talking about some of the issues and misunderstandings, and my sadness at the degree to which people who think they voted for subways have been misled.  Metro Morning liked the piece enough they asked me to record it, and it aired on December 7.  As I write this, the podcast version is not on the CBC’s website, and so I have placed a copy on my own site.  When the podcast goes up, I will switch the link to use the CBC’s version.

What About Transit, by Mary Wiens

Steve’s Letter, by Steve Munro