Musings —10.28.2011 08:57 AM—
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 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.