Margaret Atwood Toronto Mayor

Maybe Doug Ford should read more

Dink quotes deserve dink headlines. So that's what Doug Ford gets for his latest comments regarding Toronto public libraries. When it was brought to his attention earlier today that Margaret Atwood has been campaigning on Twitter to prevent the closure of library branches, the mayor's older brother and Etobicoke North councillor delivered a gem that rivaled his Tim Horton's comment from last week:

"Good luck to Margaret Atwood. I don't even know her, she could walk by me, I wouldn't have a clue who she is. But she's not down here, she's not dealing the problem. If she did, tell her to go run in the next election, and get democratically elected. And we'd be more than happy to sit down and listen to Margaret Atwood."

Hmmm. That doesn't sound much like his bro's boasts about listening to constituents. Worse than that, of course, is that it is — or should be — embarrassing to admit that one doesn't know who Margaret Atwood is. Even if you didn't read it, at one point or another pretty much everyone had a copy of The Handmaid's Tale on their bookshelf. And that's not to mention the 25+ other works of poetry and prose she's produced over a career that's seen her nominated for the Governor General's Award seven times (winning twice).

I'm sure Ford has actually heard of Canada's most celebrated novelist, and that he was just being ornery, but he sure doesn't come off looking like the winner here. But hey, Atwood already pegged this type of attitude back in 1985 when her most famous dystopian tale was first published. "Ignoring isn't the same as ignorance, you have to work at it."

Yup, that sounds about right.

Photo by Michael D'Amico in the blogTO Flickr pool

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