Good grief. The guy just will not go away.
Even when he actually does "go away"....he still won't go away. Not really.
Rob Ford, part-time mayor, part-time football coach, full-time buffoon, is in Chicago right now on a "Trade Mission". He has boasted, on the record, that this trip is not costing the taxpayers of Toronto "one dime". But, of course, he is lying because there are two senior staffers with him whose costs are being covered by the city. There will almost certainly be more costs, but there's already enough information to rebut his ridiculous claim.
|RoFo and the Bean: A Modern Ballet|
credit: Don Peat/Toronto Sun
But the hilarity doesn't stop there.
Today RoFo attended a breakfast in the Merchandise Market building, which was followed by a panel discussion on cities as economic growth centres. But that couldn't hold ol' Rob's attention, as he ducked out early to "prep" for his meeting with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel later in the day. Even though Ford showed up a day earlier than most delegates -- including Ernie Eves and Mike Harris -- and today's meeting with Emanuel is far from a last-minute addition, he still needed to bail on one of the key events of the summit to "prep". I guess he's not doing his own driving in Chicago; otherwise, he'd have had plenty of time to "prep" while in traffic this morning.
|Emanuel and Ford: "Cut from the same cloth"??!|
credit: Jeff Haynes/National Post
So let's recap what we've learned so far: Rob Ford is in Chicago on a "Trade Mission". He arrived a day earlier than almost every other delegate, but that's ok because the taxpayer won't have to pay "one dime" for his trip. Or perhaps they will, because he's already lied about that. While he was attending the panel discussion, he left early because apparently he had not had enough time to "prep" for his meeting with the mayor of Chicago, what with all the football he had to coach and so forth. He asked a male Star reporter if they would be sleeping together and claimed he has "paid for" the city-registered car that carried his special assistant to yesterday's Don Bosco football practice, even though a judge is currently deciding his fate in a Conflict of Interest case, another complaint has been lodged with the Integrity Commissioner over his use of city vehicles and staff for his volunteer work, and even his own staff has warned him about this practice. Oh, and this morning he also boasted (in reference to the recent teachers' strike in Chicago), that "we take care of all of our strikes" in Toronto. So all in all, it's been same-old-same-old for RoFo the past two days.
Well, except for one more thing. Yesterday this happened:
Mayor: I’m Rob, nice to meet you. You a Bulls fan? They’re a good basketball team, eh. Hi, how are you? I’m the mayor of Toronto. Nice to meet you. You ever been to Toronto?Winnipeg/Windsor. Manitoba/The Province You Live In. Feh. What's the diff, amiright folks? Hell, who hasn't confused Winnipeg with Windsor?
Young woman: I’ve been to Canada.
Mayor: Yeah, whereabouts in Canada?
Young woman: I don’t know, that part across from Detroit and the river.
Mayor: Oh Manitoba! You were in Manitoba. Winnipeg?
(The young woman shrugs. A reporter yells out “Windsor.”)
Mayor: Windsor? Windsor. Were you in the city? So, that’s Ontario. Toronto is about four hours away, Windsor and Toronto. Excellent, well come by Toronto some time.
|Windsor, Manitoba: on the Detroit river|
In the meantime, intelligent, politically astute and well-meaning journalists such as The Grid's Edward Keenan are forced to write hundreds of words each week outlining just how pathologically stupid our mayor is instead of discussing policy and the future of Toronto. I just hope they have the stamina to keep at it for the next couple of years, because the only thing "Ford Nashun" understands is the mindless repetition of words and phrases such as "subways, subways, subways" and "stop the gravy train". They need to be hit over the head as often and ruthlessly as possible until the very last possible minute: the 2014 mayoral vote. We can't let up for fear that Ford gets back in against all reason.
It should be a very dull and disheartening two years. Unless someone tells Ford that Windsor - and not Winnipeg - is actually south of Detroit. It might be fun to watch his head explode.