Rob Ford issues “vague” policy response -

Rob Ford issues “vague” policy response

Toronto mayoral frontrunner slips up yet again


Toronto resident Cathie Besso emailed Rob Ford, frontrunner in the upcoming Toronto mayoral election, to ask him what he intended to do about bike lanes in the city. She was taken aback by the reply: a form letter first thanked her for voicing her concerns, the Toronto Star reports. In the second paragraph, written in bold, it said “Insert vague response on policy.” Presumably an error, there was no answer to her question, and Ford’s team didn’t return the Star’s requests for comment.

Toronto Star

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Rob Ford issues “vague” policy response

  1. This kind of thing does happen quite often. Even an evil reptilian kitten-eater from another planet knows the advantages of proofreading.

  2. The hilarity of unintentional honesty.

  3. Heh, and he's supposed to be such a good constituency guy.

  4. This is the front-runner, people. The front-runner…

    • Of course in this case the front runner has about the same support that conservatives usually lose with. J-Tory 38% J-Pitfield 32%

    • Sir_Francis, I am a future Ford voter.

      Recently, Heather Mallick asked in a Toronto Star article: Rob Ford as mayor? Are we nuts?

      If it makes us nuts to vote for the candidate who wants to reign in public spending in a city where the garbagemen make at least 25% more than the median income, then we'd have to be crazy to be sane.

      • …[Ford's] the candidate who wants to reign in public spending…

        In that case, I hope, for your sake, that Mr. Ford's mnemonic grasp of his campaign pledges is stronger than his mnemonic grasp of having once been pulled over and arrested by a Miami-Dade state trooper. Otherwise, he's likely to suffer a bout of acute amnesia immediately upon his swearing-in.

        • I suppose in any representational political system there is always the possibility of the successful candidate leaving his campaign pledges at the door, whether due to forgetfulness or abandonment.

          Rob Ford has always treated the taxpayer's dollar as if it were the taxpayer's dollar. As a councillor, he has not only always worked to fight profligate spending, but also to expose it. And, honestly, he does not seem clever enough to have kept-up a decade-long facade of frugality, simply as ruse to get him elected mayor.

          I understand that government is a slow-moving vehicle even with the most deft of drivers. I also understand that Rob Ford is not the most deft of drivers. But as a citizen who routinely finds that the only positive way to impact upon his democracy is by spoiling his ballot, I am pleased to, for once, have a candidate I can happily vote for… even if that candidate is a boorish and blundering brute.

          • Well, I do grant you that current cultural conditions tempt us to see ourselves not as voyagers upon a ship of state that requires a capable and courageous captain but passengers upon a mere cart of state that requires only a mule or clapped-out jade.

          • that is great (i will go with I believe your assessment for the sake of argument). what about the baggage he comes with? presumably we could find someone else that 1) agrees on the need to get the finances in shape and is committed to do so; and 2) does make archie bunker look evolved?

          • We have a number of candidates who agree on the need to get the finances in shape (ie, cut spending). Fiscal restraint was clearly going to be an election issue even before the race began, due to last year's municipal strike. Ford's surprising popularity has moved his competitors noticeably rightward on spending (except for Joe Pantalone, whom I do not consider a credible candidate). If I'm not mistaken, Rocco Rossi's campaign message is essentially, "Agrees with Ford on spending, but comes without the baggage."

            Ford is a veteran in the anti-spending crusade. I've watched his YouTube videos where he has detailed, item by item, all the perks councillors receive in addition to their salaries. I've used his website to review council votes. He has a history (often quixotic) of attacking public spending, it's not a position he has adopted to fit the hour.

            If Ford's "baggage" is that he is crude and uncouth, I'm cool with it. I much prefer the occasional "insensitive" comment to the nauseous, boiler-plate, po-co scriptedness of George Smitherman.

            If I have a concern about Ford (and I do), it is not that he is oafish, but, rather, that he displays an extremely unacuminous judgement in negotiations. Recently, Ford made headlines for endorsing for City Council some nut-job preacher-man who had just dropped out of the mayoral race. The ex-mayoral (and vehemently anti-gay) candidate reciprocated by endorsing Ford for mayor. Despite that it causes me immense concern that Ford wants to align himself, vis-a-vis his endorsements, to extreme lunatics, what is of greater worry to me is that he saw no political reason not to engage in this endorsement swap. If Ford failed to realise that he had everything to lose by effectively giving his approval to the wildly unpopular views of this fringe candidate, and absolutely nothing to gain from the endorsement of a man that nobody had ever heard of, and nobody would ever want to hear of, then it suggests to me that Ford lacks the perspicacity required to be Mayor of Toronto.

            This is the kind of thing that makes it hard to vote for Rob Ford.

          • I think his support of that stupid flagpole, the ski hills and lots of other stupid crap over the years makes it hard to vote for him. He doesn't seem to be really serious about spending.

            Like the rest of the Con's on Toronto city council he wants to pretend that not watering the plants at city hall will solve the city's mythological budget problems.

          • Mythological?

  5. Ms. Besso, in answer to your question, I'd like to shrug, smile enigmatically and say, "That's a very good question." I hope you'll remember me on election day.

  6. This is embarrassing. But it would be more embarrassin if Torontoians elect the person that wasted 1B at least of our tax money because of irrelevant crap like this.

  7. Well, if Ford didn't cooperate with the Toronto Red Star, it speaks well of him.

  8. Ford comes from the decal/label business where you must be very sure that both wants and needs are met with care at every step of the process, bearing in mind the limitations of your craft and various specifications laid out by someone else. And do it well year after year. Now that's what I'd call a good apprenticeship for governance!

    • And perhaps if Ford had built that business himself rather than inherited from his father (actually, I think his older (?) brother is more involved) you would have a point. But he didn't so you don't, and so he's just another privileged scion of wealth putting on airs of being an "Everyman", despite the fact that most people don't easily forget about past DUI convictions.

      • It was the envoirmement in which he made a living. It is a very demanding craft, make a mistake and you eat the costs. I still suggest it is a good basis to know what the you're doing and what the end results should be…and how to get there.

  9. A big-spending left-winger's form reply would be to insert endless blather about poor people, minorities, the disabled, 'working families', evil employers, rational thought of any kind – anything but a reply to the issue itself.

  10. rob ford = fat guy in a little coat.

    • Couldn't care less. But his convenient memory lapses and flashes of intolerance are certainly worth discussing.

  11. Rob Ford answers his own councillor e-mails more often than not. It’s unfortunate the campaign office volunteer?may have not been as alert,or detailed as they should’ve been. Sure Ford’s campaign staff will fine tune the volunteer process. With the disparaging Ford remarks,it only solidifies the passion one mayoral candidate can ignite;)IF Torontonians want change,vote for your ward councillor,and mayoral candidate who isn’t affiliated in ANY way to Miller,unions,or NDP. Our economy needs a fiscally strong council who isn’t tied to the past. “Fair wage,”deceptive policy,this election has helped me for one better understand irresponsible spending! Make the vote count…

    • I would assume that most are upset about the fact that the form letter read "insert vague response" not that the form was sent out without said response being filled in. The fact that this is Ford's policy speaks volumes about his dedication to the position and the people who will elect him.

  12. Pro-public-lynching?!

      • I had not seen that clip before.

        Clearly he is using exaggerated rhetoric to express his anger. He is not actually endorsing lynching.

        But the comment is stupid and ill-befitting of a city councillor.

        Thank you for writing a lengthy and thoughtful response to me. I appreciate it.

        However, I can only give your points the consideration they deserve by going at them one at a time.

        Regarding Pastor Wendell Brereton, understand that when I read about this issue in the newspaper I did feel that it was the kind of thing that could stop me from voting for Ford.

        The Globe and Mail provides this quote from Ford on the issue,

        “I support traditional marriage. I always have,” Mr. Ford added. “But if people want to, to each their own. I'm not worried about what people do in their private life. I look out for taxpayers' money.”

        Other than his support for traditional marriage (which is utterly meaningless to me, along with all other types of marriage), I find that Ford's opinion on the issue is exactly what it should be: indifference to what people do in their private lives.

        • no problem Justin. I am happy to have an honest point-by-point conversation!

          as to the lynching comment i agree (at least i hope so!!!) that is why i matched his exaggerated rhetoric with exaggerated punctuation. i will come back to the stupid point later i am sure which i am happy to concede.

          while I am happy to accept politicians indifference to people's private matters, how do you reconcile his said preferred indifference with his also said preference to be lock step with the noted homophobic reverend's positions? do you not see a chasm there? is this not a cause for concern?

          • It is a cause for concern.

            But I do not know that Brereton has said anything about intruding into people's private lives–which would obviously be irreconcilable with Ford's indifference.

            I've done a quick web search to try to find some of Brereton's inflammatory remarks. All I could find was from the same Globe article I mentioned above:

            "[Brereton] suggested online that same-sex marriage could 'dismantle' a 'healthy democratic civilization.'"

            I don't find that comment coherent enough to be deserving of refutation. Also, I don't think that comment was what Ford had in mind when he said he was "lock-step" with the reverend's positions. I think what Ford meant was that he and Brereton are generally of the same mind, on things like spending, crime, and, yes, traditional marriage.

          • Well, in Canada it's still legal to roll the dice. For Toronto's sake I hope the gamble pays off, since at this point it looks like Ford could bite the head off a live bat at a press conference and still take the office. But I suppose Toronto's survived bad mayors before.

          • well, i am not sure that i agree that it does not deservew to be refuted, though i would prefer a clarification from Ford. but i will take you at your world that you think Ford is just obtuse here, and that he deserves the benefit of the doubt. which point would like to move to next?

          • No matter how hard I strain my imagination I cannot get "Gino boy" to strike me as even moderately offensive, even when accounting for Toronto's obsessive cultural sensitivity standards.

            However, I do see how “Those Oriental people work like dogs" would hit people right on their spontaneous outrage G-spots. But I think the statement is fairly accurate. If I were to modify it, I would do so by saying "Asians" instead of Orientals, as, in my experience, it is immigrants from that entire continent who could be said to have a much stronger work ethic than a lot of other people, and certainly stronger than those born and raised in this city. I also would not say "work like dogs," because I have never seen dogs work all that hard.

          • well i disagree on Gino. the term is clearly intended to be a racial slur intoning stupidity etc. do agree that oriental bit is also a racial slur, and comparing you are denoting as 'others' to animals is also too much.

            that is two of the points, how about we go to ignorance of relevant policy issues next?

          • The last time that I heard the term "Gino" prior to this issue with Ford was when I was in high school. It was used to refer to guys who drove Honda Civics and used a medley of products to keep their hair erect. It is not clear to me that it is a "racial slur intoning stupidity etc.".

            I once worked with a man who, after a difficult shift, would say, "I've been working like a dirty dog". He was not calling himself a dog, just comparing his effort to that of a dogs (presumably dogs work hard, I've never seen it). If someone is said to be as "quiet as a mouse", he is not being called a rodent, it's just an analogy to describe his quietness.

            What policy issues is he ignorant of?

          • well 30s with google and you should understand. and it is not the comparison to the dog in isolation. have you read orientalism by edward said? the comparison with the construction of the other is what i object to.

            as to policy, from above:

            And further yet, he has made clear that he has no understanding of serious Toronto policy issues. Days after the city is glibly patting itself on the back over its stance on the endorsement of 'harm reduction' as the focus as its approach to drug enforcement/treatment, he does not know what OxyContin is, or as noted above, doesn't understand AIDS (what year is it???). He also doesn't seem to understand traffic congestion relative to bike lanes. And that is just the incompetence, it does not get you to his shamefully cavemanish approach to the poor (anti-public housing; anti-shelter; pro-public-lynching???).

          • What does he not understand about traffic congestion relative to bike lanes?

  13. Whatever. David Miller was supposed to save our city and before him, Mel Lastman. Miller is a total joke and Lastman was just embarrassing. I have a feeling whatever happens, we'll be worst off. The important thing in this election is who is smart enough to remove that stupid bike lane from Eastern Avenue. Miller (and Sandra Busson) have done some really idiotic things like giving the councillors the power to use public money to sue anyone who criticizes (kinda shocked that the same people who petitioned against Harper proroguing don't have a problem with this) them but nothing makes my blood boil quite like that Eastern Ave bike lane.

    • it it was up to me, we would have bike lanes in your back yard. how about removing your stupid car lanes from queen street.

  14. the kitchen sink just flew by……

    and……….he goes up in the polls.

    mostly because stuff like this, or a joint, or a beer at a hockey game, or calling people "oriental" instead of "asian" doesn't matter at all in the grand scheme of things.

    cut my taxes, you win.

  15. If you have a properly formed conscience, you will vote Rob Ford for mayor!

  16. Please stop the libel and the malicious attacks on Rob Ford! It is obvious that the forces of evil and trying to stop Rob Ford, who is good and the best person for the job. He has the grace to lead Toronto as mayor. Rob Ford will win this election. People make mistakes, but Rob Ford will right things as our next mayor.

  17. I love Rob Ford and just finished voting for him even though I usually don't bother voting. He was probably too busy dealing with issues that actually matter to be bothered with a silly question about bike lanes. We have roads, people, use them. With all the issues facing us right now, I just don't think bike lanes are a real priority. The ten seconds it took to read that silly email could have been better spent elsewhere. I think it was a silly topic to bring up and it's a shame we have all these self-righteous time wasters getting in the way of real progress. People like the lady who asked that stupid question are half the reason that nothing ever gets done. I wish she'd sit down and shut up unless she has something of value to discuss.