A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘rob ford

[URBAN NOTE] Five Toronto links: Rob Ford, decolonizing art, Humber Bay bus, Don Valley art, crime

leave a comment »

  • The National Post notes that Toronto city council voted against naming a stadium after the late Rob Ford.
  • blogTO notes that Humber Bay Shores wants to run a private neighbourhood bus service, for want of a TTC presence.
  • Andrew Hunter, former Canadian curator at the AGO, calls for a decolonization of art galleries across Canada.
  • Joanna Lavoie describes the concrete sculptures of Duane Linklater newly installed across the Don valley.
  • At Torontoist, Dennis Duffy reports on the 19th century criminal gangs once populating the Don Valley. Seriously.
Advertisements

[URBAN NOTE] Five Toronto links: Videoflicks, ghost service, Rob Ford football, parks, real estate

leave a comment »

  • blogTO notes that video rental store Videoflicks, on Avenue Road, is set to close down.
  • The TTC, blogTO notes, has begun “ghost service” on its half-dozen new subway stations.
  • Edward Keenan thinks that we may as well name a football stadium after Rob Ford. Why not? If it makes Ford Nation feel better …
  • Spacing Toronto features John Lorinc looking at how community parks organizations, like at Ramsden, can exclude outsiders.
  • VICE notes on recent study suggesting the real estate market of Toronto is the most overvalued of world cities.

[URBAN NOTE] Four Toronto links: Doug Ford, marijuana, Airbnb, Lower Don Trail

  • Doug Ford is running for mayor in 2018, hoping to continue Rob’s legacy. (Doug was the more functional of the two.)
  • Toronto has cracked down successfully on a property owner in Cabbagetown using their buildings for Airbnb.
  • The Lower Don Trail is scheduled to reopen later this month, one year later than originally scheduled.
  • The LCBO will be the authorized seller of marijuana in Ontario. I think I largely support this: regulation matters.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 9, 2017 at 7:00 pm

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • Centauri Dreams looks at the complex prebiotic chemistry in the system of young triple IRAS 16293-2422.
  • Language Hat looks at the central role played by Kyrgzystan writer Chinghiz Aitmatov in shaping Kyrgyz identity.
  • The Map Room Blog shares Baltimore’s new transit map.
  • Steve Munro examines the Ford family’s various issues with TTC streetcars.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog reports on the latest UN report on the Donbas and the conflict there.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that the number of ethnic Russians in the former Soviet Union has fallen sharply through demographic change including assimilation.

[URBAN NOTE] “Doug Ford leads protest against Tory’s budget and hints he might run for mayor”

David Rider’s Toronto Star article is terribly worrisome, especially since Doug Ford is the political genius of the current generation of Fords. Rob, in truth, was but a puppet of his more functional brother.

I would like to believe that, with the memory of Rob Ford’s one term and with the very negative example of Trump to our south, Doug Ford would have no chance of being elected to the mayoralty of Toronto. I would like to believe this, but I cannot: Populism is really popular nowadays, especially if you have–as you do in the outer neighbourhoods of Toronto–populations which are relatively deprived and feel themselves to be disenfranchised. If we cannot offer better alternatives, I really can imagine a Mayor Doug Ford.

Several hundred people packed a Finch Ave. banquet hall to accuse Mayor John Tory of pushing a tax-heavy proposed 2017 budget.

The Monday night “budget consultation” on Finch Ave. W. was organized by Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti.

He told the crowd his often-outrageous antics are mostly to draw attention to city spending run amok.

“I’ll continue to take the blows (from other councillors) and yes, I am somewhat of a lone wolf at city hall because Doug (Ford) isn’t there,” he told the crowd.

Ford, the ex-councillor who lost to Tory in 2014 and says he might be up for a rematch in next year’s mayoral election, told the crowd: “The gravy train is in full swing down at city hall again.”

He repeated a discredited claim that his late brother Rob’s mayoral administration saved Toronto taxpayers “more than a billion dollars.”

Written by Randy McDonald

February 13, 2017 at 11:59 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “A Rob-Ford-beat reporter’s advice to the scribes covering Donald Trump”

The Toronto Star shares veteran reporter David Rider’s advice to journalists covering the many issues of Donald Trump, with five paragraphs drawing from his experience with Rob Ford when that man was mayor of Toronto.

1. Lack of shame is a political stun gun: Public officials caught in lies usually duck, weave and when pressed, apologize. Trump is remarkably Ford-like in his ability to boldly lie and shrug off unwelcome facts, dumbfounding reporters. Your only defence is to keep asking key accountability questions over and over and over, wherever you can, and refuse to let him dictate the story. After the Star revealed Ford was impaired at a military ball, I had to interrupt softball questions after a “Key to the City” ceremony in 2013 to ask him if he was battling alcoholism.

2. Don’t count on your competitors: Freezing out and even demonizing specific media outlets while giving preferred access to rivals is effective — divide and conquer works. It’s great that a Fox anchor stuck up for CNN, but don’t expect mass boycotts or co-ordinated demands for equal access by competitive media outlets covering the biggest newsmaker in the world. When Ford froze out the Star, some rivals helped informally, passing on press releases or notices of events when they remembered. Others actively took advantage of our disadvantage.

3. Being blackballed has its benefits: As Bob Dylan sang: “When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose.” Most great stories come from sources and documents, not news conferences and press releases. While it was inconvenient and unfair to be cut off from mayoral communications, it was also incredibly freeing not to have to worry about keeping the pipeline open More importantly, the flow of leaks and brown envelopes increased amid the Ford Freeze because we were seen as the outlet holding him to account. Also, some politicos felt sorry for us.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 22, 2017 at 6:15 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “When Rob Ford was Trump before Trump”

Marcus Gee’s response in The Globe and Mail to Rob Ford, in the light of the book published about his life by his brother and the election of Trump, is thoughtful analysis.

Doug Ford’s new book on the rise and fall of his late brother doesn’t tell us much we didn’t already know about the Ford years. Despite his thunderous pre-publication threats to call out their media foes and “rock the political world,” this is, for the Fords, a mild tell-little memoir with none of the revelations readers might expect from someone who saw the Ford drama from the inside. Still, its release comes as a timely reminder of how potent populism can be and how badly it can go wrong.

It was only two weeks ago that Donald Trump shocked the world by winning election as 45th president of the United States. How could this have happened? How did all the journalists and pollsters and experts miss what was going on? As the results came in and Mr. Trump claimed victory, it was hard not to think back six years to the night when Rob Ford greeted cheering crowds after winning election as the 64th mayor of Toronto.

No one expected that either. When Rob Ford decided to run for mayor in 2010, he was discounted as a long-odds bet. A cranky suburban councillor known for his rants about cyclists, streetcars, potholes and wasteful spending, he had none of the gravitas you might expect in a serious candidate for mayor. But people didn’t want gravitas. They wanted change.

Toronto had recently come through a strike by city workers that seemed to underline the failure of the usual politicians to tackle Toronto’s problems, from its chronic budget struggles to its underbuilt public transit. Mr. Ford stood out in early election debates, hammering home his message of respect for the taxpayer. He had a direct way about him that came as a gust of fresh air in a world grown tired of buttoned-down, scripted politicians.

Many voters didn’t seem to mind that he had a history of dodgy behaviour, such as a drunk-driving episode or an abusive tirade aimed at some fellow fans at a hockey game. They didn’t care that he was often outrageous. That’s what they liked about him. It made them believe he would shake things up.

Many of his followers lived in Toronto’s troubled inner suburbs. Like the rural and working-class white Americans who helped boost Mr. Trump to victory, they felt left behind and shut out. When Rob and Doug poured scorn on the pampered downtown elite, “Ford Nation” cheered. Trump followers cheered their champion for a similar message.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 23, 2016 at 5:30 pm