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Rob Ford ignites re-election bid with bombastic fan fest

Posted by Chris Bateman / April 18, 2014

toronto rob fordRob Ford's bid for re-election is officially in high gear. Before a raucous crowd of some 1,000 Ford Nation patriots, the mayor, surrounded by people in baggy white "Ford More Years" t-shirts, pledged to keep working for the taxpayers and battling the gravy train. He said be believed in "the spirit of second chances."

The massive event was like a physical manifestation of the inside of Rob Ford's brain. There was a big red firetruck covered in signs, one of which said the mayor had "saved the taxpayers a billion dollars" (Doug said Rob paid $4,000 for the vehicle at auction,) and vocal fans screaming messages of support. "We love you, Robbie," "Ford more years," "fight the power."

toronto rob fordThere were bobblehead dolls (three kinds, one limited "Jimmy Kimmel" edition,) big signs, foam fingers, branded coffee flasks, Ford Nation t-shirts, booming music, and a team of uniformed bagpipers who piped the mayor on stage.

toronto rob fordPeople of all ages sat at tables or crowded around the stage in the main hall of the Toronto Congress Centre on Dixon Road, a five-minute drive from 15 Windsor Road, the house at the centre of the crack video scandal. Though it was undoubtedly the biggest launch in terms of attendance so far, the sheer size of the room made the crowd seem patchy.

During his speech, Ford said he would continue to battle against "elitists, the special interests, and those who want to spend our hard-earned money." He promised to scale back the cost of government and cut red tape. "Together we have derailed the gravy train ... together we have saved the taxpayers a billion dollars."

toronto rob ford"I promise you, I promise you, Rob Ford will have your back for the next four years," he said, as We're Not Going to Take It by Twisted Sister began to play over the PA. Unfortunately, a net of red, white, and blue balloons hanging from the ceiling failed to deploy at the climax of the speech. Ford was piped off the stage and spent the next hour signing autographs and posing for photographs.

toronto rob fordStanding in the hallway as the event was winding down, a woman recognized me as a reporter and nervously asked how many people had been at Olivia Chow and John Tory's launches. She said it was good to know last night's event was the biggest so far, and that she wanted a mayor who would keep her taxes low.

Ford was more confident earlier in the night. "This is just the beginning, folks. This is just the beginning."


toronto rob fordtoronto rob fordtoronto rob fordtoronto rob fordtoronto rob fordChris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Images: Christian Bobak/blogTO



Davy Gravy / April 18, 2014 at 10:59 am
A confederacy of dunces.
Rich / April 18, 2014 at 11:04 am
This event was the literal definition of bread and circuses.
Matts / April 18, 2014 at 11:12 am
I look at the faces of people supporting him wondering if I know anyone. Fortunately, so far, no.
moopy / April 18, 2014 at 11:24 am
I would pick him over Olivia Chow anyday and that s the problem no real choices
Andrew / April 18, 2014 at 11:24 am
Sorry, that firetruck is pretty cool. I would buy that firetruck for $4,000.
Rob / April 18, 2014 at 11:44 am
Only thing I agree with is the foam finger! "Go Rob Go" (as in get out go home.. we don't want you here any more...)
Docguin replying to a comment from moopy / April 18, 2014 at 11:55 am
John Tory is a solid conservative and does not break the law or lie. The problem is that Ford idiots are so glued to his words about saving a billion dollars ...they actually believe. They don't see all the services we lose because of his attempts. You can't run a growing city without raising taxes...anyone foolish enough to think so should stay home on voting night.
ROB FORD ON CRACK / April 18, 2014 at 11:59 am
Putting it all in perspective. You know who to blame.

Rob / April 18, 2014 at 12:01 pm
Would anyone attend a Ford event that didn't feature free beer and food??
Benedict replying to a comment from Dan I. Mimico / April 18, 2014 at 12:03 pm
Niagara Falls, Belleville, Hamilton? HA! You say that as if that's a GOOD thing. You know they can't vote - right?
Benedict / April 18, 2014 at 12:06 pm
There is no more #FordNation! Hurray!
Rich replying to a comment from Dan I. Mimico / April 18, 2014 at 12:07 pm
Couldn't get in? Is that why all the photos online show the place looking pretty empty?
AC replying to a comment from Dan I. Mimico / April 18, 2014 at 12:20 pm
Nice try. At least if you're going to troll, be clever at it.
Yardl / April 18, 2014 at 12:37 pm
"... The massive event was like a physical manifestation of the inside of Rob Ford's brain…"
Personality aside, Ford is the only credibly-known candidate that knows that Toronto deserves to be more than a 'liveable' city - but a Great city in the spirit of London, New York, and Tokyo with great events, great spectacles, and ambitious projects. This requires only the best, most productive members of society living, playing, and developing in the city which means car friendly, bike-separated, pro-subway, pro-casino/ multi-layer rink and other such grand gestures which further inspires people to be better more productive and fun citizens - this leads to more income, more opportunity, and more choice for all. You have to earn the right to be in this city - and this makes its way by being priced to match responsible and productive citizens. Overzealous spending on feel-good projects like libraries, non-income generating parks, and permanent affordable housing attracts unaffordable people who simply cannot live, buy or find meaningful work in the neighborhoods that these places exist. Permanent affordable housing is not an economically sustainable or pro-growth system - and I doubt the people that live there really value the place except that it happens to be where their friend-of-the-week or dive-not-yet-banned-from is. They would just be as happy in Brampton or Mississauga downtowns with cheaper expenses and slower pace. Fords understands this - opportunity for everyone but not permanent 'cheap' ride. I know people think that Toronto can be like some kind of Portlandia or other fictional-like hippy or south european city - but it can't be. Try and you get Detroit. Europe and North america are 2 completely different animals - and you don't want to be a european urban citizen with any kind of ambition. Toronto needs to be a high-energy meritocracy with high-intensity and productive opportunity for all - not a permanent refuge or some weird garden city hybrid where constant drama is the only reliable event.
Adam H. replying to a comment from Dan I. Mimico / April 18, 2014 at 12:41 pm
" Hundreds of people couldn't get in due to the venue being at maximum capacity"

No, that's completely untrue. We have actual pictorial evidence showing that you're lying.
Ell replying to a comment from Dan I. Mimico / April 18, 2014 at 12:42 pm
Ford Supporters Playbook:

1. Call everyone else what you actually are - goons
2. Lie
3. Make superficial statements without understanding underlying causes, policies or levers to steer municipal programs. Hell, no need to understand anything other than garbage pickup and snow plowing.
4. Repeat #1 - 3 above

It also helps to hate everyone else for some bitter reason.
nbb / April 18, 2014 at 12:51 pm
The venue looks empty in a bunch of these photos.
SPCDIM / April 18, 2014 at 01:01 pm
The Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Dan I. Mimico formally protests the derogatory comments about DIM's claim, above, about the Congress Centre being at full capacity. DIM, like many of Ford's supporters, does not function at a normal level and is to be congratulated for only being sub-normal. Congrats DIM!O:-)
Yardl is SHIRLEY! / April 18, 2014 at 01:06 pm
Shirley the movie is coming! Working Title: SHIRLEY vs GODZILLA!
RaRa / April 18, 2014 at 01:23 pm
The guy drinks like a fish and smokes crack, so yeah, I guess he would throw a better party then the other candidates.
Bobo / April 18, 2014 at 01:25 pm
Post amalgamation GTA just doesn't make sense from a civic governance perspective. The needs and values of the city and the suburbs are miles apart.

The City of Toronto never voted for the current mayor, the GTA did.
Torontonian / April 18, 2014 at 01:38 pm
The coverage on CP24 and CFRB was cringeworthy
to say the least. Anthony Furey on CFRB was
particularly annoying and taxed the daylights
out of John Downs' patience.

I don't think any other candidate has been given
as much fawning coverage during their campaign
openings as Ford received.

LMAO replying to a comment from Dan I. Mimico / April 18, 2014 at 01:45 pm
Seek mental help
McRib replying to a comment from Bobo / April 18, 2014 at 02:26 pm
This is the type of ignorance that gets Rob Ford elected. The GTA did not vote for Rob Ford, the GTA did not bring Ford to power. We've been amalgamated for 16 years now and still people confuse the GTA with Toronto?

the GTA encompasses more than Toronto, it includes Mississauga, Brampton, Ajax, Pickering, etc.... NONE of these people can vote in the Toronto election. You know who can vote in Toronto, and who voted for Rob Ford? Torontonians.

I don't mean to be a dick (yeah i do) but this is such a simple thing to understand yet daily people come out with BS like "The GTA voted for Ford" or "The 905 voted him in!". No, no they didn't. Toronto has to wear this all on its own.

Jeffrey Gee / April 18, 2014 at 02:31 pm
Nice point made earlier. How many dunces would turn out for a Ford Village event if there wasn't free beer and food.
Holy Thundering Jesus / April 18, 2014 at 02:32 pm
The Ford Cracker Man's
Dr. Kukko / April 18, 2014 at 02:42 pm
After the first comment - Confederacy of Dunces - there's nothing more to say. The perfect, killer comment. The perfect title for the book about Ford when he's out of politics, which is soon, hopefully. Too bad it's already been used.
ThatsNotShirley is Shirley! / April 18, 2014 at 02:46 pm
The Shirley Fan Club will meet at the Ashbridges Bay Sewage Plant, West Door, at 2:00 p.m. every Saturday.
Oxford Canadian Dictionary - New Words 2014 / April 18, 2014 at 02:51 pm
"Shitley" - 1. Proper Name 2. Incoherent, lengthy comment Use: "She posted a Shirley in the Letters to the Editor section". "The Korean leader's speeches were shirleys."
Davy Gravy replying to a comment from Yardl / April 18, 2014 at 03:39 pm
Congratulations. That's the single stupidest thing I've ever read. And for good measure, it's profoundly offensive.

This city has one overriding problem keeping it from greatness: you and those who think like you.
Davy Gravy replying to a comment from ThatsNotShirley / April 18, 2014 at 03:46 pm
"police officers with far left views"

Does this actually mean something on your planet? Because here on Earth it doesn't.
Robert replying to a comment from ThatsNotShirley / April 18, 2014 at 04:04 pm
What a load of ignorance. The city did not amalgamate the province forced it. The province download a lot of provincial cost on the city without the funds.
Funny how the last transit built in the city was 60 year ago. Since then routes have been cut in the city and service trimmed. All transit expansion has occurred in the suburbs and continues. The city looses to the suburbs with the car centric attitude.
There is much more buy why bother you have made up all the facts you need for now and will add more as you go along.
You will loose to your ignorance but blame those that had no hand in creating bad outcome.
Tammy terrific / April 18, 2014 at 04:15 pm
Ford says he is just like us.Really?
I don't know anyone that inherited millions of dollars from their dads that claims to do a job that he barely shows up for and skips important meetings to attend a sports game instead. He must be on crack!
CW replying to a comment from ThatsNotShirley / April 18, 2014 at 04:29 pm
> the place WAS filled to capacity with people outside the building also.

Prior to the event the Fire Marshall set capacity at 38 people. Two people were seen having a smoke outside at one point.
Oxford Canadian Dictionary - New Words 2014 / April 18, 2014 at 04:38 pm
Errata - "Shitely" is a Freudian slip for which The Editors beg your forgiveness and is not meant as a slight of any kind to the great and powerful Shirley. Correction is "Shirley" for "Shitely".
nope. replying to a comment from ThatsNotShirley / April 18, 2014 at 05:58 pm
That'sNotShirley YOU are dead wrong about amalgamation. Mike Harris came up with it along with his good pal Jim Flaherty way back in 1997. And for the record the city had a referendum also in 1997 where 3/4 of all voters said NO. Mike Harris didn't care and did it anyway.
This is fact. Just fucking Google it.
Shurely Not! / April 18, 2014 at 06:03 pm
Mike Harris's idea, Surely! (ed. - or Harris' Puppetmaster?).
Davy Gravy replying to a comment from ThatsNotShirley / April 18, 2014 at 06:33 pm
I knew it didn't mean anything. Thanks for confirming.
JRRS / April 18, 2014 at 06:56 pm
Oh, red white and blue…. Are we American now? eat it Ford!
UnbelievableFordShamw / April 18, 2014 at 06:59 pm
Really? If this bulging, crack-consuming, tomato-faced lard bag gets in I will wear a shoe as a hat and ride my dinosaur to work. I will also lose my faith in humanity,

Mind blowing, Ford shame.
Mike Harris / April 18, 2014 at 07:10 pm
Ha-hah! Gotcha, you pinko Iraqis, Iranian, poufs in Toronto!™ I squueeezzzed you into one! That'll teach ya, you elitist pricks!...............™Trademark owned by Mike Harris, quoted verbatim grom comments made by Premier Mike while watching a day of action parade.
MER1978 replying to a comment from ThatsNotShirley / April 18, 2014 at 08:23 pm
"Lots of people have multiple homes in different cities. They're entitled to vote in both places."

Thank GOD Rob Ford is available to represent all those non elites.
MER1978 replying to a comment from McRib / April 18, 2014 at 08:28 pm
"This is the type of ignorance that gets Rob Ford elected. The GTA did not vote for Rob Ford, the GTA did not bring Ford to power. We've been amalgamated for 16 years now and still people confuse the GTA with Toronto?"

People from the GTA didn't elect Rob Ford... that is true... but given that a third of his campaign budget came from the GTA it's absolutely fair to say they helped to get him elected.
JGHali replying to a comment from ThatsNotShirley / April 18, 2014 at 11:05 pm
Sorry, in what way is it the case that "neither of us is wrong"? You are WRONG. Amalgamation was forced in Metro Toronto by the Harris government. It was opposed by all 6 municipalities and even opposed in a city-wide referendum. The city didn't save any money and in fact did a lot worse because the province downloaded all manner of services *and* cut off its operational subsidy to the TTC. So, you are actually 100% wrong.
ThatsNotShirley is Hallucinating Again! / April 18, 2014 at 11:37 pm
Yes, but she's such a bore!
Greg / April 19, 2014 at 01:26 am
Its very rare for the incumbent mayor to be this far ahead in the polls as Rob Ford. He's 7-10 points behind Chow he's holding "second place" for Christ sake! Usually the incumbent mayor is way down in the polls because the public is tired of them and excited by the new candidates, clearly not the case in Toronto. You all get exactly who you deserve.
Vote Chow Internationally / April 19, 2014 at 01:31 am

people living in other regions can still vote in Toronto. Why do you think Chow is trying to get Torontonians living in Hong Kong to vote for her

If Adam Vaughan makes into the federal government Canada is just F'd / April 19, 2014 at 01:45 am
Adam Vaughan is running for Olivia Chow’s federal seat.....Good luck with that Adam
Tara / April 19, 2014 at 02:06 am
Chow is onmly leadinmg becaise shes the sole candidate running on the left.
How Ford could win again from the CBC
what / April 19, 2014 at 06:29 am
What about the LGBTI2Q taxpayers? Does he care about them?
MER1978 replying to a comment from ThatsNotShirley / April 19, 2014 at 08:11 am
"I'm curious MER1978. How do you know who contributed to Fords campaign"

... because his 2010 donations are public and have been analyzed. From the CBC... "An analysis by social geographer Trevor McKenzie-Smith for Press Progress, a project of the Ottawa-based Broadbent Institute, indicates that Ford raised $623,000 from donors outside the city during the 2010 municipal campaign — more than a third of all his donations."

"and what makes you think none of the "elites" (do they even like being called that?) will be voting for Ford?"

I don't believe I said that elites wouldn't be voting for Ford... My point was that plenty will... contrary to the image the Fords have tried to cultivate of a "regular guy" (who doesn't know how many Florida condos he has) funded by regular folks and small $20 donations (another Ford lie).
p replying to a comment from Dan I. Mimico / April 19, 2014 at 08:13 am
Again and again: Ford supporters ONLY support him for "keeping their taxes low".

Your children and grandchildren will feel shame when they find a Ford Nation button in the attic. YOU ARE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY.
You are choosing to be on the side of: "I don't care if he describes HIMSELF as a sick motherf@#$er, smokes crack, has the WORLD laughing at us, and has people threaten entire neighborhoods for him, AS LONG AS I PAY LESS". You are the worst kind of citizen.

Why do you have no shame? How do you feel any peace in propping him up as your leader?
Do you not understand that a normal person's response would be to pay a little more to not be represented by someone like this?

Peter replying to a comment from Yardl / April 19, 2014 at 10:41 am
The things of which you speak of, Casinos, highways, and Ferris wheels are the dreams of small minded suburbanites and not progressive modern cities. You, Ford and his nation of imbeciles have no idea what a "world class city' because you've never visited any of them. You are damaging Toronto and halting it's progress, we can only pray that the Ford nightmare will soon be over.
Donna replying to a comment from Peter / April 19, 2014 at 12:24 pm
To understand a world class city as a resident and tax payer, you need to live there. Going for a 2week-2month trip gives you a glimpse but not how the city and the city politicians actually work. EPIC FAIL!
Randy replying to a comment from Peter / April 19, 2014 at 12:31 pm
Why do Torontonians put so much emphasis on BECOMING a World Class city? In any other city I've lived in or travelled to they just are what they are they don't run around looking for ways to BECOME world class, the words aren't even mentioned. In Toronto its part of every day speak.

It's like someone that tries to hard to be cool/hip/trendy, the fact that you're trying too hard just works against you.

Wha.... ? / April 19, 2014 at 12:32 pm
The only thing missing from this article is a picture of the seating area that accurately shows how empty the place actually was.
freddy / April 19, 2014 at 12:42 pm
Why the hell did Olivia Chow invite voters to a drink at a bar on Yonge. The Firkin is a PUB we all know what PUBS are for drinking. She is not a good example for the grandkids!!!!!!

Ian / April 19, 2014 at 12:46 pm
I wanna be a world class city, I wanna be a world class city so I can be part of the 1%!

Forget the second and third world. FIRST CLASS 1% for Toronto in 2014!!!
gabe / April 19, 2014 at 12:56 pm
Olivia Chow better start coming up with some actual plans to impress the tax payers. This non stop attack on the other candidates is making her look like a USA politician.

Alot of people aren't actually impressed with her lack of platform, she's in the lead because she's the only candidate on the left.

Olivia Chow’s underwhelming position on paying for transit. How will be pay for it Olivia?
"For answers to that question, we need to look to Queen’s Park.” That's it your going to do nothing in the city to generate funding just go to the feds for a hand out? Not sustainable. I love ya Olivia but I need more substance from you than just flinging turds at Ford. Get in the game.

Jacob replying to a comment from Wha.... ? / April 19, 2014 at 01:19 pm
OHH so its a popularity contest is it? A big man with big dreams needs and rents a big convention centre.

I mean you could have your campaign kick off at Parish Hall at St. Simon-the-Apostle Church like Olivia Chow, If you want to go for a small capacity to make it look full.
adrian / April 19, 2014 at 01:48 pm
rob fords campaign line is saved taxpayers 1 billion dollars. i guess ford and his supporters forgot the facts or dont bother with them. below are links to three stories over the past year with facts



Tom replying to a comment from adrian / April 19, 2014 at 01:54 pm
Even if the truth is stretch slightly. Saving taxpayers 600-700 Million dollars is still a massive accomplishment. Not sure why he's stretching it to a billion either way he's achieved way more in his life and for the city than any of the other candidates.
Gabe / April 19, 2014 at 02:27 pm
CBC - HOW FORD COULD WIN AGAIN. A must read for all debaters on here...

Wha.... ? replying to a comment from ThatsNotShirley / April 19, 2014 at 04:31 pm
To Notthatshirley
"Well of the pictures that did load (most of them, sans 3), I didn't see any of the crowd or this patchiness you speak of. There were also over 2000 people at the event. CBC has some good coverage (in my humble opinion Fords numbers were downplayed), and the place WAS filled to capacity with people outside the building also. "

No way. Look in the background in the 2nd and 3rd picture from the bottom. If there were that many people there, the place would be a heck of a lot more full. It's clear that the photographer was using angles (going down low and aiming the camera up) to make it look more crowded than it actually was.

Anybody with a trained eye and a bit of photography knowledge can spot this lameness a mile away.
Dream / April 19, 2014 at 10:00 pm
My Definition of a BOOMBASTIC jazz style

Rob Ford / April 20, 2014 at 04:35 pm
Isn't pot legal? What about drunk driving?¿ Public urination? Conflict of interest voting? Defamation? Beating Renata? Lying to Police? Threatening? Influence peddling? Having people beat up? Buying drugs? Stupidity? Dereliction of duty? Lying to the public? Prostitution?
CW replying to a comment from Tom / April 20, 2014 at 05:34 pm
> Saving taxpayers 600-700 Million dollars is still a massive accomplishment.

Think about it. He saved you money, but your property tax is going up.
Derek Pearce replying to a comment from Dan I. Mimico / April 20, 2014 at 06:01 pm
Uh, well I saw photos taken from the back of the hall and it was half empty, so I don't know where you're getting this idea that people couldn't get in...
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