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Morning Brew: Ford won't attend LGBTQ flag-raising, Cllr. Pasternak wants to undo cuts, Ford radio show hits a new low, and Woodbine Live! could go deadpool

Posted by Chris Bateman / May 8, 2012

Morning Brew Aggregate Pile TorontoMayor Rob Ford says he won't attend a flag-raising event at city hall designed to show solidarity with the LGBTQ community on the May 17 International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Many thought Ford would attend the event along with Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke as a consolation for skipping the Pride parade later this summer. Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam described the event as "gentle" and "welcoming" to the Globe and Mail. And so the movie for this mayoralty continues to be "Do the Wrong Thing."

Councillor James Pasternak is hopeful council will vote to restore cash to High Park Zoo, Far Enough Farm, and a special hardship fund despite the budget committee voting against the measures. Pasternak wants council to use some of the $292-million surplus money to reverse some of the controversial budget cuts made earlier in the year. The budget committee advises council but cannot make decisions on its own.

The Ford's radio show is stupid and offensive and demeans us all, according to Matt Elliott on his Ford for Toronto blog. If you haven't heard, the brothers Ford and their sidekick, Sun Media's David Menzies, spent most of Sunday afternoon making completely inappropriate comments about many of their (former) rivals - including a discussion about why they couldn't ask George Smitherman if he would die from "HIV-leading-to-AIDS" in office. Though most of the insane remarks were made by Menzies, the Fords made no attempt to separate their own opinions from his.

Outside the radio studio, Rob Ford attended a special meeting of the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada yesterday in the City Hall rotunda to mark Press Freedom Day, but didn't take any questions. Amazingly, The Star write-up made no mention of the ridiculous irony of the occasion.

Pearson Airport is the worst and the second-best airport in Canada. It's also the sixth best in the world, according to a poll. Yeah, what?

Things aren't looking good for Woodbine Live! - the Rexdale entertainment and retail development we updated a couple of months back. The Star reports tax breaks promised by city council will expire in 2014 unless the development company can meet construction targets - something looking less and less likely every day the construction site sits idle. The location has been touted as a possible venue for a Toronto casino should the project implode completely. Meanwhile, Doug Ford says the project isn't dead yet.

And speaking of the casino, another telephone poll conducted last night and reported on Twitter asked "if the casino created millions of jobs, would you support the idea?" Millions? Really? That's a whole lot of croupiers. Also on the poll: the efficiency of councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong.

TWEET OF THE DAY

Inspired by the idea of Toronto residents in croupier uniforms, city hall writer Matt Elliott brought a little 80s nostalgia to the online dialogue surrounding the casino telephone poll.

Maybe everybody will work in a casino. It'll be just like that time Biff stole the sports almanac. 29 minutes ago via Echofon ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

IN OTHER NEWS:

Photo: "Aggregate View" by BruceK in the BlogTO Flickr pool.

Discussion

52 Comments

t-shirt idea / May 8, 2012 at 08:47 am
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Rob hates Fags.
No replying to a comment from t-shirt idea / May 8, 2012 at 08:56 am
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Rob hates Flags
Marc replying to a comment from No / May 8, 2012 at 08:57 am
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Rob hates fag flags
Christopher replying to a comment from t-shirt idea / May 8, 2012 at 08:57 am
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I hate smoking too, but that doesn't mean I turn my backside consistently on those who do :P
Fred Phelps replying to a comment from t-shirt idea / May 8, 2012 at 09:07 am
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Quit stealing my ideas.
agentsmith / May 8, 2012 at 09:40 am
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As much as I disagree with Ford's, shall we say, "conservative" opinions about the LGBT community, I'm getting tired of folks inviting him to events they already know he won't attend (and probably don't actually want him to attend anyway), then acting all insulted about it.
Flaggy McFlagerson replying to a comment from agentsmith / May 8, 2012 at 09:47 am
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He's the mayor. He's supposed to attend stuff like this. Anyone holding events like this is supposed to invite him. Keep inviting him, keep letting himself prove he's a d*ck. It never gets old.
oinks replying to a comment from Flaggy McFlagerson / May 8, 2012 at 09:51 am
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Um, so it's okay in your opinion, that he's not doing his job?

iSkyscraper / May 8, 2012 at 09:58 am
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Would really love it if someone could name a single big-city mayor in North America who boycotts gay pride events. Just one. Without that, how can anyone really make any kind of supporting argument for the Man-child Mayor?

(Well, ok, I think there might be a single such mayor, but that's the guy from Oklahoma City who heads the Republican council on mayors and is so far-right you need peripheral vision just to see him. Not exactly a peer city either. Of the big, normal cities of NA, are there any mayors who pull the stuff RoFo does?)
agentsmith replying to a comment from Flaggy McFlagerson / May 8, 2012 at 09:59 am
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People aren't automatically dicks just for not showing up to something they were invited to. If he showed up to every silly little event he'd never have time to find the gravy (spoiler: it's in the cafeteria).
iSkyscraper / May 8, 2012 at 10:04 am
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By the way, this is how you do a mayoral radio show. Just saying:

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/audio-on-demand/mayor-bloombergs-radio-address/

EricM replying to a comment from agentsmith / May 8, 2012 at 10:06 am
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If he didn't want to go to or be in the parade, then that is fine. It wouldn't exactly be a welcoming environment for him (because of himself) anyway. Still, he could attend the flag raising... I mean he can see it from his office window. He was invited to other events and also said no. Councillor Wong-Tam even invited him to an event that was designed to be for him and he said no. At this point the logical conclusion is that he is a bigot. Nothing more or less. He is a sad phase in our collective history.
mike in parkdale / May 8, 2012 at 10:08 am
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Let's not think about pride as a gay event... think of it as a Mmassive tourist cash cow -- Rob Ford is being a bad mayor by doing something that could potentially hurt a huge influx of tourist cash. This isn't some little event that he can blow off -- this is a money monster that means big business for the city.

I never though I'd say this... but Rob Form could learn a lesson from Mel Lastman - Mel never met a tourist dollar he didn't like. Smile a big fake grim, and encourage everyone to keep shopping. Even Dubya Bush wasn't dumb enough to miss that one.
duder / May 8, 2012 at 10:20 am
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Sigh...

This is so EASY for the mayor. It is outside his office! Just show up for 5 minutes, smile, and - voila! Accusations that he's homophobic subside.

Unfortunately, after constantly refusing to show even a token gesture of support, it's pretty hard to not come to the conclusion that he's a bigot.
steve replying to a comment from agentsmith / May 8, 2012 at 10:28 am
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If you do not invite him, he and his cronies will say you did not invite me, inviting him makes him show his true colours
Jacob replying to a comment from duder / May 8, 2012 at 10:30 am
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He's in permanent campaign mode.

He worries that if he shows up he'll lose the critical bigot vote.
lol replying to a comment from agentsmith / May 8, 2012 at 10:30 am
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your right the people ford chooses to ignore should be silenced...
lol replying to a comment from agentsmith / May 8, 2012 at 10:30 am
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(sarcasm)
Logic / May 8, 2012 at 10:31 am
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He shows up, the gays get to boo him, it shows up on the evening news and Ford looks stupid standing there faking a smile while he's heckled and harrassed by the professional protestors and bigots who show up to these things. Where's the benefit to the mayor? Instead, he stays away, puts up with some more attacks by the media already pre-disposed to attacking him, he builds his base of support and expands it in the increasing immigrant demographic and helps his re-election. Not showing up really doesn't hurt him, while showing up does.
Flaggy McFlagerson replying to a comment from oinks / May 8, 2012 at 10:33 am
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I didn't say that. I just said keep inviting him. Don't let him off the hook because he keeps saying no. Maybe one day he'll surprise everyone and grow up.
Jenny replying to a comment from duder / May 8, 2012 at 10:36 am
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Ford was invited to and turned down the following:

HIV/AIDS gala - last time I checked this wasn't called the 'gay cancer' anymore and infects many communities.
Flag Raising - outside his window
Parade - whatever
Wong-Tam event - this was suppose to be for him. Pretty amazing olive branch really.. but nope.

So yeah... unless he is at the cottage all of that week what are we suppose to think?! His politics, although not my own, I can deal with. His bigotry shames us all.
Fight Ire with Ire / May 8, 2012 at 10:38 am
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Where's rob's cottage? Maybe we should bring pride to his lake!!!
From the LGBTQ community / May 8, 2012 at 10:45 am
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As Lily Allen so concisely puts it Mr. Mayor: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHC05_9b0gw
Brilliant replying to a comment from Fight Ire with Ire / May 8, 2012 at 10:45 am
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Picture it: a group of oiled up scantily clad men swimming by the Mayor's cottage. The Mayor, in his speedo also, screaming "Are you spying on me?", waving his fists in anger, man boobs giggling in unison.
Alex / May 8, 2012 at 10:50 am
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The Mayor being at World Press Freedom day is too funny. From the star article:
“The day serves as a reminder of violations of press freedom that occur in countries around the world, where journalists, editors, publishers are harassed, detained, attacked and killed,” Ford said.

I can't believe Ford said that with a straight face. If I was in the room when he did I would have burst out laughing.
james / May 8, 2012 at 10:55 am
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When does the Toronto Star proclaim Privacy Day?
Rob Ford / May 8, 2012 at 11:00 am
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The gay community is nothing but a special interest group, and i was elected by the suburbs not to give into downtown special interest groups. I will make sure i have the shades of my office closed all week so i don't have to see the fag flag. And the comments i made on my radio show still ring true!
Fight Ire with Ire replying to a comment from Brilliant / May 8, 2012 at 11:05 am
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I'm thinking that they boat by his house, waving flags, playing circuit house, blowing whistles all weekend. Also, rainbow fireworks and drag queens.



timmy / May 8, 2012 at 11:18 am
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"Mayor Rob Ford has not ruled out attending gay outreach event, Doug Ford says"
http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1174856

Am I the only one fed up with Doug always speaking on Rob's behalf?
Tit for Tat replying to a comment from Fight Ire with Ire / May 8, 2012 at 11:21 am
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Great idea. Then they can send some fire-breathing Iman's and preachers over to your place and preach the koran or bible to you and your friends.
Fight Ire with Ire replying to a comment from Tit for Tat / May 8, 2012 at 11:25 am
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If they do it on public property, I don't care!
agentsmith replying to a comment from EricM / May 8, 2012 at 11:39 am
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"At this point the logical conclusion is that he is a bigot. Nothing more or less."
Correct, but that's already a given.
agentsmith replying to a comment from Logic / May 8, 2012 at 11:41 am
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Exactly, or at least that's how he views it. The LGBT community didn't vote for him and never will, so he avoids them and in doing so solidifies his appeal to ignorant homophobes who did vote for him.
Alex replying to a comment from agentsmith / May 8, 2012 at 11:48 am
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At best, about 40% of people vote in a municipal election. Of those 40% that voted, I think Ford only got about 30% or 40% to win last time. So, about 12%-16% of the city voted for him.

Even if 50% of people voted (which would be a record turnout) and of those someone won with over half the vote, it's still only about 20% - 30% of the city voting for them.

So yes, someone can easily win by only appealing to angry bigots. Sad that it is.
Dan / May 8, 2012 at 11:58 am
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Frankly, the people who are upset at Ford for standing up Pride events wouldn't vote for him in a million years, and the LAST thing that would bring tourist dollars into Toronto is the image of Rob Ford. The number of people who are offended by him constantly rejecting Pride's advances are simply a very vocal minority. I'm guessing the million people who attend the parade don't have their day ruined by the lack of an appearance of Lord Gravy.
Tommy / May 8, 2012 at 01:11 pm
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So Record Store Day 2012 was a few weeks ago, and Ford found time to send out thank you notes to all the participating record stores for their contribution to Toronto's economy. If Ford is able to do this, why can't he give a quick hello to an event that brings in a few orders of magnitude more money to the city?!

I miss Mel. He didn't do much as Mayor, but you'd never miss him at an event, or on those Saturday morning CFMT/OMNI cultural TV shows.
imakehighways / May 8, 2012 at 01:17 pm
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Is there even one person here to DEFEND Rob Ford?

No?

It won't be me!
Dave replying to a comment from Logic / May 8, 2012 at 01:44 pm
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"He shows up, the gays get to boo him, it shows up on the evening news and Ford looks stupid standing there faking a smile while he's heckled and harrassed by the professional protestors and bigots who show up to these things."

Yeah, those PFLAG moms are the *meanest*.
Alex replying to a comment from Logic / May 8, 2012 at 01:59 pm
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Ford gets booed whenever he shows up to a public event, it's just because he's so unpopular. I was at the Christmas tree lighting and he got loudly booed. By your logic he should just avoid all public events because he'll get booed.
Breaking Ford News / May 8, 2012 at 02:10 pm
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Rob Ford gained 4lbs at today's weigh in.
HURPA replying to a comment from Brilliant / May 8, 2012 at 02:16 pm
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And bears in the woods, you know?

SarSar Binx replying to a comment from duder / May 8, 2012 at 02:31 pm
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Rob is basically everything/name in the book. Including a CRIMINAL!

It may be best for him to stay out of town along with his supporters!

Most ppl want our Toronto back from him et al.

SarSar Binx replying to a comment from timmy / May 8, 2012 at 02:36 pm
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Trust me, ur not the only one who is irritated.
John replying to a comment from SarSar Binx / May 8, 2012 at 03:29 pm
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So sorry SarSar but Toronto is our town, not just some hippie enclave. Perhaps you need to consider leaving cause we're not going anywhere.
serge / May 8, 2012 at 04:02 pm
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John, I think SarSar was talking about the useless ten councilors that support all fords motions but get nothing passed. not limp dick cheetos scented marathon wankers that take short breaks from cybersexing each other on omegle to post their support for ford on comment threads.
serge / May 8, 2012 at 04:02 pm
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we know you guys have nowhere to go.
Mike / May 8, 2012 at 05:49 pm
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Can we not agree that this has come to the point of almost open antagonism towards the LGBT community?

This looks sooooooo bad on our city.
auditorydamage / May 8, 2012 at 07:20 pm
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I'm reminded of the final transit debate, where even Ford's allies tried to save him from his own recalcitrant ignorance and failed. In this case, a political opponent tried to offer him an olive branch, an opportunity to de-escalate the conflict he created by snubbing the LGBT community's biggest celebration... and he slapped it away.

If Ford can't bother to show respect for all taxpayers, including LGBT taxpayers, he shouldn't have run for a job that requires such respect. He's demonstrated more concern for his personal feelings and prejudices than the people who live in the city he ostensibly runs. Would it be acceptable for him to openly snub Caribbean communities, Eastern European communities, or religious communities the way he's treated the LGBT community?

If Ford was a mature person, he would face the possibility of open derision and boos at an event celebrating a community he has previously snubbed. His poor fee-fees should be a lower priority than his job as a servant and representative of everyone in the city. He has been given countless opportunities to demonstrate his fitness as an administrator, as a facilitator, and as a civic leader, and he has consistently failed. His allies keep having to cover for his statements and behaviour. It's frustrating and embarrassing to watch.
Craig replying to a comment from Tit for Tat / May 8, 2012 at 08:56 pm
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Along with the fire breathing Imans, will there be sword swallowing Rabbis? Chainsaw Juggling Priests? A Reverend or two on the Flying Trapeze? How about a Morman mariachi band and a few Catholic conjurers?

I love religious circuses!
MrsPotato replying to a comment from Breaking Ford News / May 8, 2012 at 09:52 pm
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AT the very least of 'things we know about Rob Ford', we now know he's an emotional eater!
Oi / May 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm
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If you're not Ford "Nation", he hates you.
Well Actually replying to a comment from No / May 9, 2012 at 08:53 pm
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Flags hate Ford.

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