09.11.2010 08:02 PM

Rob Ford, just now, at Toronto mayoralty debate on diversity

“Diversity is not my priority.”

You can’t make this stuff up. Swear to God.


  1. Andrew says:

    Too many of these specialized debates are just creating noise and sound bits. The last few have been poorly covered and most of the media coverage is just a series of tweets. The Toronto mayoral campaign coverage has been squeezed down to 140 characters. Pretty soon coverage will only be done in haiku.

  2. Gary says:

    Be careful. While certainly it sounds like it was expressed in a crude fashion, I think there is a growing backlash against actions that appear to be “diversity for the sake of diversity”, and in this regard Ford’s message could resonate well. I’m certainly all for equal opportunities for anyone of any stripe, but look at all the hype the press in the US gave to Obama being the US’ first black president. While I’m certainly happy he got elected instead of McCain, I am completely uninterested in whether or not he is black. Likewise, the press here gave considerable talk to the possibility of Smitherman being Toronto’s first openly gay mayor. Again while I’d be happier having even Smitherman than Ford as mayor, I really don’t care at all about whether or not he’s gay.

  3. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Yeah, right. Obliviousness is Job One…

    T-Dot meets pointed-dot.

  4. Arnold Kwok says:

    Come on, it’s a debate. A quotation of a single sentence does not give any context. One can easily say that we have lots of diversity in Toronto and that Torontonians take for granted what visitors find remarkable about multiculturalism.

  5. The Other Jim says:

    Warren – Why should diversity be his priority? I’m not a Ford supporter (Rossi is by far the superior candidate), but I really don’t get how this is a controversial, or even negative statement.

    Toronto is a very diverse city. It was before Rob Ford came along, it will be if and when he becomes mayor, and it will continue to be long after he is gone. I’m not sure why, particularly in Canada, but in the West in general, we’ve elevated simple demographics to some supposedly morally superior state of existence. Is Scandinavia somehow morally or socially inferior to us because their population is less diverse?

    What matters is how we deal with that diversity (and Ford’s previous Tamil comments certainly suggest that he wouldn’t be welcoming or fair in that regard) and our treatment of all citizens, both as members of collectives and as individuals.

  6. Mark Crowley says:

    Are there any polls which look at who is supporting Rob Ford broken down by ethnic background?

    • MississaugaPeter says:

      Don’t overestimate the hate on for the status quo.

      A few days ago I spoke to a candidate in Downtown Toronto who was shocked at the number of fellow gay folks he encountered (while door knocking) that are going to vote for Ford.

  7. lukev says:

    Who is making diversity their #1 priority anyways? Good luck trying to make an issue out of this non-quote.

  8. Henry says:

    Warren, it not my #1 priority either, more like #99 behind, jobs, police, fire, transportation, education, services. etc…. you get my drift, no?

  9. Michelle says:

    Sounds more like an excellent rallying cry than a verbal misstep. Why should diversity be a priority? Avoiding total fiscal meltdown is the priority. The only priority. Everything else is a luxury or a wish.

    • Warren says:

      Fine. Then why is your solution the guy who inherited Daddy’s money, and has never met a payroll in his life?

      • Andrew says:

        Are you saying RF doesn’t pay his staff?

      • Michelle says:

        He inherited Daddy’s money – is that a crime? We’ll have to outlaw the Trudeau offspring from political office, I guess.

        Seriously, though, what do you mean he has never “met a payroll”. Lost me there.
        And is there another candidate who is more likely to keep Toronto spending under control. I know you might say it’s your guy, but what’s the history to support that?

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