You won't find Rob Ford shimmying down Church St, a feather boa around his neck when Toronto hosts World Pride this June.
"I'm not going to go to Pride parade", Ford said Wednesday at a mayoral candidates' forum hosted by the University of Toronto, Scarborough Students' Union. And it seems Ford's mind is made up for future Pride festivals too.
"I've never gone to a Pride parade, so I'm not going to change the ways (sic) I am", said Ford.
In the past, the mayor has said a long-standing family tradition of spending the Canada Day long weekend at the cottage has kept him away from Pride. 2014's World Pride parade falls on June 29th at the end of a colourful festival that's expected to draw some two million people to Toronto over nine days.
U of T students weren't pleased to hear Ford is taking a permanent pass on Pride.
"If you're gonna represent Toronto, you have to represent everybody", said Cailen English-Sufrin. "That includes going to Gay Pride, being able to say 'I can identify with these people', and he just doesn't." "How many people of Toronto did he (Ford) just wipe out and admit that he's not gonna care about them, because they don't align with his views", wondered Hagar Davidov.
Wannabe mayors David Soknacki, Al Gore, Robb Johannes and Rich Underhill also took part in the "get to know your candidates" session at U of T that featured student questions. All four men said they'd be joining in the fun at Pride.
"Yes, I will be there in fishnets and ass-less chaps", said Johannes. "How could I not", he continued, "that's just irresponsible to not go to Pride".
Soknacki said if he could get his hands on a SuperSoaker he'd be happy to be part of the parade. He told reporters afterward that "the mayor has to represent all Torontonians".