10.28.2011 08:57 AM

The young Rob Ford

Now that he has become national news – and now that he has the entire country wondering how such a knuckle-dragging, mouth breathing hick could become mayor of Canada’s largest city – I figured I would go back in the archives and see if Rob Ford has always been this way.  My motivation was to understand him better. I mean, perhaps Rob Ford was smarter, way back when, and he hit is head on something, and it’s not really his fault.  That sort of thing.

He was elected to Toronto council in 2000.  A few months after his arrival, and after not much media attention, he was profiled – in the conservative National Post, of all places.  What they published about him (a) must be read and (b) makes clear that he has always been an idiot with anger management issues.  He will never change – notwithstanding the “secret” meeting he had with certain, um, well-known Conservatives who told him to get his act together, or else.

(Oh, and again: $300, minimum, for that tape, no questions asked.  I will then broadcast it on Sun News and here, in the hope that it will ensure Rob Ford’s defeat at the time of the next municipal election.)

The profile:

The odd rantings of young Rob Ford

(National Post, March 10, 2001.  By Don Wanagas, City Hall Columnist.)

What are the four words that people attending city council meetings most fear to hear these days?

The answer: “Councillor Ford to speak.”

That’s Councillor Ford as in Rob Ford. Young Mr. Ford (Ward 2 — Etobicoke North) has only been hanging out at Toronto City Hall for a few months now, but he has already made quite a name for himself. Not for anything he has actually done, mind you. Ford’s claim to fame are the outrageously incoherent speeches he likes to make expounding the supposed virtues of neo-Conservatism.

Alas, it is very doubtful he’s winning many converts to his cause. To help explain why, we return you now to the Thursday morning session of this week’s council meeting where Melville’s political braintrust has been busy debating the pros and cons of concepts like privatization and contracting out public services.

It has been a spirited but generally good-natured discussion thus far. Then, the meeting’s chairman, Deputy Mayor Case Ootes, utters the four dreaded words.

“Councillor Ford to speak.”

This is an unedited account of what Ford said.

“I have to give my head a shake because some of the rhetoric that comes out of the mouths of some of these councillors boggles my mind, I swear.

“This $200 that the province gave? How many of you guys gave it back to the province? How many gave it back to a special interest group? Did you? Fantastic. I think that’s great.

“Hey, Councillor [Raymond] Cho. You always keep complaining about $200. Did you give it back to the province? Did you give it back to the province?”

At this point, Ford is almost screaming.

“Walkerton. In Walkerton, I think people have been living under a rock. This was not Mike Harris’s fault. Walkerton. It was strictly the public sector that screwed it up; people drinking on the job and weren’t even competent at what they were doing. I think people haven’t been reading the papers.

“Competition is the best thing for the economy. Competition in public sector or private sector makes the mare gallop. It only makes a better person, makes a more efficient company when you have competition. I hope and I really hope the province makes this council 22 seats and we’ll see how really, really competitive you are. And then we’ll be efficient like our MPs and our MPPs having one per federal provincial riding.

“Another thing. Why does everyone blame the province? Everybody starts moaning and moaning about the province. Well, the province ruled this great province for 40 years, from ’40 to ’85, and things were going great until the Peterson government came and destroyed it. And then the Rae government came in and buried it. It was the Harris government that came in and did something positive.”

By now, the council chamber is in pandemonium. Ford is red with rage and screeching at the top of his lungs. Other councillors are screaming back. Ootes tries to regain control but can’t, and Ford carries on at increasingly higher volume.

“Get the government out of our backyards. It’s ridiculous. Government red tape here. Bureaucratic here. It’s nonsense having all this government. And it’s nonsense. It’s so ridiculous. If you don’t like what the province is doing, there’s going to be an election in June of ’03 — before our election, by the way.

“Go run as a Liberal or NDP. Go put your money where your mouth is and run as a Liberal or an NDP and see if you can knock out your Conservative member of Provincial Parliament. Thank you.”

Clearly bowled over by Ford’s performance, Councillor Anne Johnston jumps to her feet.

“I think he should receive the neo-con award of the day,” she suggests with a chuckle.

“I think that probably perked up the folks at home,” adds the Deputy Mayor.

“Prozac, get some prozac,” shouts Councillor Joe Pantalone, obviously concerned his overwrought colleague from Etobicoke had failed to refill his prescription.

I don’t know about Prozac. But he sure as heck needs something.

This is, after all, the same Rob Ford who a day earlier had advised his colleagues that money to be spent erecting a suicide prevention barrier on the Bloor St. Viaduct would be better used to round up child molesters who, he claimed, are the main cause of people jumping off bridges.

Take a pill, big fella.



  1. Pat says:

    Wait… didn’t the Liberals give the PCs the ol’smackdown in 2003? His ability to understand reality seems to have remained steady throughout the years…

  2. David says:

    “[N]otwithstanding the “secret” meeting he had with certain, um, well-known Conservatives who told him to get his act together, or else.” More information please.

    • Warren says:

      If I had wanted to provide more, I would have. But I like and know the people who met with him. They told he lacks a clear message, he lacks credibility, and his brother needs to shut up. He listened, but he obviously didn’t listen well enough, as the CBC mess happened just a few days later.

      • Ted says:

        I heard the same thing. That one of the messages was: work with people, not everyone is your enemy just because they aren’t your friend, you’re too unpredictable to work with and it’s hurting EVERYONE.

      • Steven says:

        …and Kouvalis is nowhere to be seen or heard!

      • James says:

        I’ve been arguing on blogs since Ford was elected as mayor that he’s nothing if not a liability to the political Right. He claims to be a neo-con, but his absolutely appalling and misogynistic behaviour undermines his political goals and the public’s perception of everyone else on the Right. I can’t say that I’m glad someone had a “chat” with him because frankly I enjoy watching Ford’s Hindenberg impersonation, but it’s hardly surprising and I would do the same thing if I was anyone with any sort of authority on the Right. I eagerly await the day these tapes are “leaked” to the public and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if it came from the Right themselves.

  3. MC says:

    And this story from 2006 seems relevant to the current situation:

    “Rob Ford has apologized for causing a drunken, expletive-laced disturbance at a recent Leafs game…

    …When first confronted with the couple’s allegations Monday, Ford said he was being slandered. In an interview with the Toronto Star, he denied he was even at the April 15 game where the Maple Leafs beat archrivals the Ottawa Senators.

    Yesterday, Ford, who looked down as he spoke to reporters, said he had lied …”


  4. Kevin says:

    Beautiful comment from the CBC message boards:

    “The sight of Margaret Atwood caused Rob Ford to reach for a Tim Horton’s outlet.
    The sight of Mary Walsh prompted him to dial 911.

    I wonder what will happen when he sees Carole Pope.”

  5. frazworth says:

    Mr. Kinsella,

    To be fair, Mr. Ford knows a drunkard on the job when he sees it: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150849874025525&set=a.10150291923355525.510219.691080524&type=1&theater

    Toronto, this is what happens when you do not care about your municipal politics! I mean, just because Benedict Baldy was trying to run using a highly questionable Sopranos-themed poster does not mean the entire election was a joke – a farce maybe but not a joke. There should be a countdown clock on Bloor that counts down the seconds till Baby Huey is out of office and back to saying asinine things in the comfort of his own home (don’t think the good people of Etobicoke will have him back either)

    • Pat says:

      The good people of Etobicoke are the reason Toronto is stuck with this joke. If they hadn’t put him in office for 10 years, then backed him again in the most recent election, he wouldn’t be mayor. They had a decade to realize he was a pathetic slob, and they didn’t do anything about it except vote for him again and again…

  6. Ted says:

    You really don’t get the true impact of Ford from the transcript. And in that transcript he is downright civil compared to later rampages, which always seemed to end with his signature “you commie”.

    Here’s a collection of “The Best of Rob Ford“.

    This is not a left-right-liberal-conservative thing. It’s a behaviour thing.

  7. The Other Jim says:

    “Well, the province ruled this great province for 40 years, from ’40 to ’85, and things were going great”


    Seriously, you can just see the spittle flying from his mouth and the veins throbbing in his neck with every word!

  8. Dave Wells says:

    I STILL ask the question- has ANYONE seen Mayor Ford and Violent J from the Insane Clown Posse in the same room at the same time????

  9. pcase says:

    Good find. Anger issues you say?

    He was just enjoying the hockey game and:

    According to public complaints, Ford was the epitome of obnoxious during a tense battle between the Leafs and rival Senators, spewing obscenities and bullheaded political jargon. When the complainant asked him to “tone it down a little,” Ford apparently responded, “Who the f*** do you think you are? Are you some kind of right wing Commie bastard? “Do you want your little wife to go over to Iran and get raped and shot?”
    Initially, Ford denied he was even at the game, but soon backtracked and owned up to the less than exemplary behaviour. “I’m both embarrassed and humiliated by the whole series of events and I sincerely apologize to anyone that I’ve offended,” he said with a sheepish shrug.

    The Ford households moto: Lose it, deny it, confirm it, apologize for it(only when necessary)

  10. pcase says:

    Will be this “clownshow” to describe this mayoralty from here on in.


  11. TheSilentObserver says:

    If Ford were to resign/die/end up behind bars before ’14, would Doug Holyday become mayor as per some line of succession, and would he be any better/worse?

    • Wannabeapiper says:

      I was thinking the same thing but more along the lines of an impeachment process. I don’t really know.

      Warren you know more than I in just about everything, do you know what the process would be?

      • Warren says:

        Good question, my friend…I don’t think there has ever been an impeachment of a sitting mayor in Canada. He or she would have to be convicted of a criminal offence first, I think, before a council could act. Will check.

        • Pat says:

          I’m pretty sure the Municipal Elections Act states that an elected official can be removed from office if they are found to have broken campaign financing rules (which Ford may have done). The same rules often restrict the offender from running in the next election. There are similar punishments (I believe) for breaking other rules outlined in the Municipal Elections Act.

          I don’t think that the Municipal Act has anything on this.

          I would be remiss if I failed to mention political pressure and popular opinion as a potential means of “impeaching” a mayor. I mean, I don’t think the public could force Ford to step down, but that doesn’t mean that with enough support Ford couldn’t be shamed into resigning (though the man appears to have no shame). He still seems deluded into thinking that he has a Ford Army, so I doubt anyone could convince him to resign, even if 99% of the public wanted him gone.

          Maybe he’ll break the law…

  12. rmarie699 says:

    Have you noticed how CTV has reported the issue to-day? On Newsnet this afternoon the reporter describing the ‘latest’ says “a woman in cosume accosted the mayor”. They cannot even say CBC or This Hour has 22 mins. CTV must have a CBC complex which makes me rethink the quality of the “news” from this network. What kind of News is that!??!! We are all in big trouble if that is all we are left with.

  13. Andrew says:

    Somehow I can’t see Bill Davis on the same page as Rob Ford and Mike Harris.

  14. smelter rat says:

    You truly do live in an alternate universe, Gord.

    • Justin says:

      How about promising not to cut services. Sounds like a lie to me. Where are the so called billions in ‘gravy’? Bottom line is Ford is a moron and only won because a split in the progressive vote.

  15. DL says:

    We could stop Ford and his evil policies right in their tracks were it not for big “L” Liberals on council Like Berardinetti, Palacio, Nunziata, Milczyn and Kelly etc…who keep voting for 100% of the Ford agenda. Why don’t any Liberals out there apply a bit of pressure to these Liberal Ford-enablers. It would only take a couple of them to switch sides and Ford’s power would be dead.

    What are you waiting for? I can assure you that if there was a councillor who was elected trading on NDP connections who then turned around and vote pro-Ford 100% of the time – people would be picketing outside that person’s office and there would be moved to have them expelled from the party. Why are Liberals so quiet about the Ford-enablers in their midst. only Shelley Carroll has spoken (who btw: should run for mayor and i would support her 100% if she did even though she’s a Liberal)

  16. Justin says:

    Bottom line is ford is a habitual liar and I’m sure the people of Toronto can’t wait till 2014 to turf baby Huey out of office.

  17. John says:

    Played football for him for a few years before he entered politics. He was WAY worse then when he didn’t have to worry about the public eye on him. He was the craziest, most humiliating bully I’ve ever known!

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