Rob Ford

Do you listen to the people?

It’s days like this that I’m ashamed of working in the media. As much as most news organizations claim to be non biased, that’s clearly not the case — especially when Mayor Rob Ford is running the show.  Certain news programs seem to take great pleasure in reporting the Mayor’s failures, incluidng this whole subway vs. LRT debacle that is unfolding today.

The real problem is none of the news outlets are listening to the people. Instead they are pushing their anti-Ford agenda. This is amusing considering a great number of their viewers rely on public transit and would prefer subways. I’m personally agreeing with the pro-subway folks. In a city of this size, underground transit makes sense. It’s a smarter long-term investment.

What I found interesting is that both CityNews and CP24 had on-line polls up today asking people what they really want. The results are clear. (more…)

Adam Gimabrone has some big balls

When I first heard that disgraced former city councillor and transit chairman Adam Giambrone was writing an article for Now, I figured he was finally publishing one of his sex stories.  You know, detailed accounts of his romp with undergrad Kristin Lewis in his office. After all, I’m willing to bet that since the back pages of Now are filled with sex and hooker ads, an article about Gimabrone cheating on his girlfriend (and trying to write off dates using his city expense account) would be a perfect fit.

But no. Instead, Giambrone decided to write an article about Mayor Rob Ford. He wrote some drivel back in January,  and now a follow up on how he is “committing political suicide“. And since the graphic school grads at Now have a fetish for Photoshop (remember the photo last spring of a almost naked Rob Ford?) they have a picture of Ford with a gun to his head.

I find it somewhat ironic that Gimabrone, who had to drop out because of his affairs, thankfully ending his run at the mayor’s office, is in ANY place to write about other people committing political suicide. (Then again, I guess he knows best.)

I, like many, had hoped that after being shamed out of politics – at least for the foreseeable future – that he would crawl under a rock and stay there. But sadly no. He continues to put his face out there, as a commentator on Sun News, occasionally on CP24 and writing about how people don’t like Rob Ford.

I’ve always believed that unless you are squeaky clean, you shouldn’t be telling others how to live their lives and what to do.

rob ford isn’t always to blame

I noticed when talking to colleagues and friends that Toronto mayor Rob Ford is getting a lot of flack these days because of the cuts he needs to make in order to get the city back on track. Naturally, people who don’t like Ford, his policies and his way of running things, use this as a chance to blast him over and over again.  Most recently, the announcement of cuts, buyouts and layoffs at City Hall have got people taking pop-shots at him.

Aside from all the “Slob” Ford jokes (because after all, nothing says ‘classy’ like attacking a man because of his weight) Ford Haters blame him for everything that goes wrong. But they forget why Toronto is in the situation its in: David Miller.

The seven-year long Miller administration left this city in shambles. Over-taxed and poorly run.  Very similar to how the U.S. is trying to cope with the leftovers from the Bush administration.  Obama is not a miracle worker and he is struggling to get the country back on its feet. Ford certainly has his work cut out of him too.

Miller’s need to make the city the greenest place in the world, coupled with his high taxes, bad management and over-spending is almost forgotten when people are looking for someone to point the finger at. But it shouldn’t be. Miller and his administration were heading in the wrong direction.

Greedy politicians and critics of Ford seem to think that because Toronto has so many people living in it, and it’s the top choice for business as well as media and commerce, that there is some bottomless pit where money comes from. So they lash out at the mayor when he tells everyone we have to tighten our belts.

It’s true: cuts need to be made and yes, in some cases that sucks. But if those cuts aren’t made, then the city will have to look at new ways of generating money — and that always means higher taxes.

And who do you think everyone will blame for that when it happens?

mayor rob ford and pride

From yesterday until this morning  it seems everyone is talking about Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s decision not to march in the upcoming Pride Parade as part of Pride Toronto 2011.

Seriously. Is anyone really shocked?

Now don’t get me wrong. I like Ford and I think he’s doing a good job as mayor of our city. But this is a man who lets his brother Doug do all the talking at media scrums.  Did anyone really espect the right-wing, increasingly shy mayor to stroll down Yonge Street in some multi-colored shirt, while “YMCA” blasts in the background? (Toss in a feather boa and Elton John-stun glasses and I’d actually pay money to see that.)

Besides, it’s his choice not to march. If I was mayor — and maybe one day I will be… consider yourself warned — there are a ton of events I wouldn’t go to.  The mayor doesn’t have to show up to every thing — big or small — that happens.

The only thing that doesn’t sit well with me is the honesty factor. Back in May, Ford said he “didn’t know what his schedule will be like” — yet now we are hearing that his planned cottage trip is a long-standing Ford family tradition. How could he have not known about that? Or maybe, walking in the Pride Parade is just not his thing because he feels uncomfortable or doesn’t support the lifestyle.

Whatever the case is, I’d rather he just be honest (although I like I said, did anyone really expect him to march?) and everyone else can just move on and enjoy the weekend.

Pride Week is a huge event that pumps millions into Toronto’s economy and it showcases the diversity of the city and maybe to show people he’s not such a bad guy (as many left-wing people and the media make him out to be) he should have marched in the parade as a publicity stunt. But that would have cheapened the whole thing and people would have known it was just for show.

The real twist is that according to on-line polls, the majority of people in the city either don’t care about his decision or think he shouldn’t change his plans at all. So maybe the media should stop trying to paint Ford in a negative light again and just accept him for who he is.

For those interested, the Pride Parade happens July 3.

rob ford: toronto’s new mayor

So Rob Ford is now mayor of Toronto and a great deal of people in the on-line world are voicing their concerns about this.

I’m glad to see Ford is getting his chance and if he keeps his promises, then Toronto could improve. Folks here in town have been taxed to death by David Miller so it was time for a change, one way or another.

And for all those who complain about Ford, he did win which means people believed in him enough to give him a shot.

I don’t agree with his idea of getting rid of the streetcars, but I for one am not going to be sad to see the vehicle registration tax done away with, as well as the land-transfer tax and hopefully (keeping my fingers crossed here) the ridiculous bag fee. I think we all agree that saving some coin is never a bad idea.

I wish Rob Ford the best of luck because he certainly has his work cut out for him and he has his share of critics he has to impress. It’s not an easy job, so we’ll see how things go.