Rob Ford: Man of the (lunch) hour

Emma Teitel on lunch with the mayor of Toronto

by Emma Teitel

(The Canadian Press)

Earlier today, just before lunch, some 200 members of the Economic Club of Canada gathered in the basement conference room of a Toronto hotel.

The non-profit business group has hosted Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Clinton and Viktor Yushchenko, among others. Today its members paid $900 a table to hear from the notorious Rob Ford.

And so they did — eventually.

Each table setting boasted a Rob Ford fridge magnet and business card. And yet the man of the lunch hour was nowhere to be found.

Ford was MIA at 11:45 a.m., when the lunch was scheduled to begin. He was also MIA at noon, 12:30 and 1 p.m.

Twitter feeds from reporters on the scene went from “Rob Ford will give a speech” to “Where in God’s name is he?”

Meanwhile, the guests were antsy having devoured all the dinner rolls. On Twitter, some wondered whether they would soon devour each other.

Related post: We sent a sketch artist to cover the political circus

Turns out Ford got stuck in an elevator. The president of the Economic Club, also trapped, says the mayor was “calm” and “gracious” throughout the 45-minute ordeal. (No Patois-laced ranting, no crack, just a big guy stuck in a lift.)

Long after the rubber chicken had been cleared and dessert had been served, Ford lumbered to the lectern. “Afternoon, ladies and gentlemen,” he said. “I want to thank the Economic Club of Canada for getting me locked in the elevator for 45 minutes.”

It was meant to be a joke—I think—but had the cadence of a dig. So did the rest of Ford’s speech—which touched on everything from lower taxes to “fancy streetcars,” (the mayor’s nickname for light rail transit).

Ford isn’t known for his public-speaking chops, but today’s speech today was by far one of his worst. His address to the Economic Club was not unlike every other of his laboured stump speeches. Today, though, he seemed unusually combative.

Ford has a habit of loudly articulating the second or third word in each sentence (“I do NOT smoke crack cocaine, nor am I an ADDICT of crack cocaine). Today it was so pronounced that he sounded peeved — even when touting his accomplishments: “Ask yourself. Are we better now than we were three years ago? ABSOLUTELY.”

Maybe so. The only problem — at least for this lunch crowd — is that no one seemed better off than they’d been two hours earlier. In the words of one club member, “We were all very hungry.”




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Rob Ford: Man of the (lunch) hour

  1. I just can’t help myself. I am captivated by the notion of fancy streetcars, driven by fancy drivers. It’s like Toronto has become Springfield, and Homer Simpson is running the show. Oh yes – the Garbage man can! Good god – art has become life! https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&ei=3sPhUo2cL-ei2wXflIDYCQ&url=http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trash_of_the_Titans&cd=1&ved=0CCkQFjAA&usg=AFQjCNH6mSC0ZbJBl5clU_rMfNMXpHucvQ&sig2=sp3JOzNzRGrtrafgvPNhmQ

  2. Was Kathleen Wynne there handing out McDonald’s gift cards to all the starving attendees?

    • Why? The attendees were the authors of their dilemna.

      • So were the people who were too stupid to figure out how to keep their food refrigerated when ice was literally falling from the sky. “It’s freezing outside but I can’t figure out how to keep my food frozen!”

        • Well, obviously the solution was to open all the doors and windows.

          • ummmmm?????duuuuuuuhhhhh!!

    • I’m surprised Rob Ford didn’t get Doug to wander around with a wad of 20s distributing it to the “worthies” along with a fridge magnet; but then this wasn’t a funeral.

    • nope, no photo ops to be had, besides, some of the people in attendance have a brain and that just would not go with her platform of ‘forget everything the liberals have done and focus on the squirrel’…look, a squirrel…there it goes again, look!
      yuuuup, pensions….squirrel…pensions…squirrel…notice both words have 8 letters…pensions…squirrel…notice both words have the same meaning????

  3. Hmmm did Roberto hold up the elevator to smoke some crack on the way up???

  4. There’s a basic math problem here: A Rob Ford is expected to appear at 11:45 but gets trapped in an elevator for 45 minutes and isn’t on stage until after 1 p.m. How late was he already before he got on the elevator?

  5. I dont know why people like him so much hes discussing as a politition

  6. The fact that the economics club of Canada is made up of a group of people who would pay to listen to this guy explains somewhat why we have a deficit. Not only are they clueless about economics but they are members of a club started by “chance of a lifetime” photo op man himself.

  7. I’ve been stuck in an elevator before, and it’s not fun. When it happened, I sure wished I had a drink or 20 to pass the time.

    • And ideally, an on-suite to avoid the inevitable indignity…

  8. We should give a silver medal to the person who held him captive for 45 minutes. It would have been a gold one if it would have been a whole day.

  9. I am speaker Phil Ryerson Rob ford: why don’t you just take a drug test show everyone your clean or not I believe sir you are clean prove it to the citizens of Toronto show them how you have plans of saving that money and come out and ask everyone else including RMPs aldermans and other mares to also take a drug test and allow me to bring Sparky the dog fights crack Toronto City Hall as I will be bringing home to home within City Hall I’m not going to run for mayor against you Mr Ford I’m going to run for mayor here Hamilton and if we both win the year after sorry on Ford nation party let’s go fight the MP’s a show the citizens of Toronto Hampton Inn around Canada that you sir will be the person to help him save money along with myself

  10. Why bother continuing to follow such a discredited politician? Forget him. He’ll be much more upset with NO media coverage, and we the public will be hugely relieved.

    • Keeping up with the Kardashians….need I say more?

  11. Look there, a squirrel!!!

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