Don Peat - November 21st, 2013
Mayor Rob Ford is taking a break from his ongoing crack cocaine scandal tonight to give a speech at Casa Loma to around 500 business people.
The event is an economic development party planned before Ford’s drug controversy exploded into worldwide headlines.
Media have been invited to cover the event and Ford’s speech but won’t be permitted to ask the mayor questions.
Here’s the rules for media covering the event sent out by city officials today:
Media Instructions for the Signature Sites series event November 21 at Casa Loma
When you enter the Casa Loma parking lot there will be media parking for trucks and cars on the East side of the parking lot.
Media will not be able to access the building until 5:45 p.m. Cabling into the building will not be permitted. You will be asked to remain in the parking lot area until the entry time.
Media will be escorted by City Communications staff into an assigned stanchioned area inside the room where the speeches will occur.
Media will be expected to remain in the stanchioned area for the duration of the event. Remarks are expected to begin at 6 p.m. and will be done by 6:30 p.m.
After the speeches are completed Mayor Ford’s staff have indicated that Mayor Ford will not be taking media questions.
Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the City’s Economic Development Committee, will be available for media questions after the speeches occur in the stanchioned area.
After the media has spoken with Councillor Thompson, they will be asked to vacate the venue but may remain in the parking lot area if they wish to do so to finalize their coverage.
Don Peat - November 13th, 2013
Wednesday’s city council meeting began with Councillor Jaye Robinson introducing a petition signed by councillors urging Mayor Rob Ford to get help for substance abuse issues.
As Robinson read out the names of the councillors who signed the petition, she asked each of them to stand to send a strong message to the mayor. Ford and Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti were the two lone votes against receiving the petition at council.
Here is the full text of the petition that Robinson read out in the council chamber:
November 12, 2013
Mayor Rob Ford,
We write to you as colleagues representing wards from across the city and the political spectrum.
Over the past six months, and especially the past few weeks, we have grown increasingly concerned by the seemingly endless cycle of allegations, denials and belated admissions about your behaviour.
Toronto is distracted and for good reason. Our city’s reputation has been damaged and continues to suffer, and it has become difficult to focus on the pressing and substantive issues facing City Council.
Today we stand together to ask that you step aside and take a leave of absence to address your challenges privately, outside of the public eye. We believe that the majority of Torontonians share our view, and that City Council will excuse any absences you require to address the situation with finality.
The city and the Office of the Mayor demands nothing less than honesty, accountability and transparency.
Glenn De Baeremaeker
Mike Del Grande
Gloria Lindsay Luby
Don Peat - November 13th, 2013
After around four and a half hours, Mayor Rob Ford ran out of Rob Ford bobbleheads to sign on Tuesday.
But that didn’t stop some residents from lining up to meet the mayor and have him sign other items including Rob Ford magnets, a laptop and “Ford Nation” T-shirts. A group of people were in City Hall trying to cash in on the mayor’s appearance by selling the T-shirts to Ford fans.
The shirts featured the Ford Motor Co. logo – a trademark infringement many were quick to point out on social media.
Ford signed the shirts that were put in front of him and didn’t comment on the Ford logo.
The T-shirts prompted a quick reply from Ford Canada via Twitter:
It wasn’t clear who was selling the T-shirts. Before I could interview the sellers, they were kicked out of City Hall by security – you can’t walk into the building and start selling stuff, even “Ford Nation” shirts.
Mayor Rob Ford is expected to be selling Ford Nation T-shirts Wednesday for $20 each to support the United Way.
Those shirts aren’t expected to use the Ford car company logo.
Don Peat - November 11th, 2013
Here’s the speech Mayor Rob Ford delivered on Remembrance Day 2013:
Good morning, everyone.
Canada’s first Remembrance Day was held on this day in 1919 to mark the first anniversary of the end of the First World War. And so, as we have done for the last 94 years, the people of Toronto join all Canadians to remember and honour those who have fought for our freedom.
We honour and remember the service and sacrifice of more than one and a half million Canadians. It is hoped that by remembering, we will do all we can to strive for peace.
This year, Canada marks several significant anniversaries. This is the year that we officially recognize the six long years of the Battle of the Atlantic. We also mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War. Canada joined the Korean War in support of the United Nations ideals of peace and freedom. In the pursuit of a global peace, over 26,000 Canadians served in the Korean War. The names of the 516 Canadians who died are recorded in the Korea Book of Remembrance.
Since then, over 125,000 Canadians have served in pursuit of global peace. Those who did not return are owed a debt that can never ever be repaid. Today, we remember those who have served Canada so valiantly in times of need.
Ford didn’t read the last line of his speech that was included in the copy released to reporters:
“I hope all Torontonians will join me in thanking our proud veterans for their service.”
Don Peat - October 27th, 2013
Mayor Rob Ford is planning on turning his City Hall office into a haunted house this week.
I’m not kidding.
This is no trick and he is promising treats – chocolate bars – for any kids that stop by.
I thought Sun columnist Joe Warmington was kidding when he called me up to tell me about this on Sunday.
But Ford’s spokesman Amin Massoudi confirmed this is actually happening and the mayor will be turning his office into a house of horrors this week. He said more details about this will be out on Monday.
I just listened to Ford’s radio show from today and sure enough Ford and his brother Councillor Doug Ford said they will be decorating the place for Halloween.
“We’re decorating up the mayor’s office,” Councillor Ford said. ”We thought we’d have some fun this year.”
He stressed to listeners that they are paying for the haunted house out of their own pocket.
Mayor Ford went on to say he’s looking forward to getting reporters in dark places inside the mayor’s office haunted house.
“I’m going to invite some media guys in there,” Ford said.
Don Peat - October 25th, 2013
Mayor Rob Ford speaks to reporters at the Etobicoke Civic Centre (Craig Robertson/Toronto Sun)
“I won’t be supporting it. You’re going to kill tourism, I’ll tell you that. A lot of tourists won’t come here if they can’t have a cigarette.”
- Mayor Rob Ford speaking to reporters on Friday about the parks committee recommendation to beef up the city’s smoking ban in parks, beaches and sports fields. The issue goes to council next month.
Don Peat - October 24th, 2013
“Because, I’ve answered it, that’s it. Anything else? Thanks. It’s over. Forget it, forget it, done. See ya, done. Forget it … I gave you an opportunity and you just want to cause problems, it is all you want to do.”
- Mayor Rob Ford during his own press conference Wednesday at City Hall. Ford got mad at the first question and left the building (story here). It was his first press conference so far this week.
Don Peat - October 21st, 2013
Mayor Rob Ford leaving his City Hall office Monday with his spokesman Amin Massoudi (Dave Abel/Toronto Sun)
Mayor Rob Ford’s brother Randy Ford is in hospital, according to the mayor’s office.
I know this because Ford’s spokesman Amin Massoudi appears to have accidentally sent me a message Monday night telling me to send Randy a basket at Humber hospital Tuesday morning. I think he meant to send the five messages to another Ford staffer.
According to the messages, the mayor wants the basket to cost around $150 and to include nuts, pistachios and sunflower seeds. It has to be done “first thing tomorrow”, it needs to be sent “on behalf of the mayor’s office” and it has to be delivered.
“It should say: ‘Get well soon from the mayor’s office,’” he adds.
Not sure who Massoudi actually intended to send these messages to but hopefully they read this blog post and get the message.
Hope Randy gets well soon.
Massoudi sent me two messages Tuesday morning:
“Don, those messages were sent to you in error last night. I apologize for any confusion,” he wrote.
“Please disregard the messages.”
Here are photographs of the Monday night messages from my Blackberry screen:
Don Peat - October 17th, 2013
“You get it all, you get it all, you get it all. At the end of the day, you guys FOI, I give it to you. You do that anyways, it doesn’t matter. I have nothing to hide. Business between me and a person that calls me, it is privacy issues. I don’t think they’d want to know or want to put their name or their issues out for the public to see. If you don’t believe that I was out there, I don’t care what you guys believe or not. Call Jim Hart, we had a tree issue in Nunziata’s area, I had a municipal licensing and standards and flooding issue in Luby’s area, there’s time to travel. So yeah, I was busy.”
- Mayor Rob Ford on why he won’t make his daily schedule public and what he did Thursday morning before he arrived at City Hall at 12:30 p.m. Ford’s schedule isn’t made public. Reporters have to file a freedom of information request if they want to see Ford’s official schedule weeks or even months after the fact.
Don Peat - October 17th, 2013
“It has a big mouth and it has sharp teeth. If anything gets in its way, he takes care of it pretty quick.”
- Mayor Rob Ford on his favourite fish – the great white shark – during the opening of Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada on Wednesday.
Interestingly, Ford was one of only four members of council to vote against a ban on the possession, sale and consumption of shark fin products in the City of Toronto back in 2011.