What the hell is our Mayor talking about?

Posted By: Ryan Doyle · 7/20/2012 7:15:00 PM

Last night will go down as one of the most bizarre moments of my radio career.

My co-host and nightly opponent, John Downs, and I were sharing an uncomfortable moment of agreement.

We were discussing Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's assertion that he was going to discuss immigration issues with Prime Minister Harper in the wake of Monday's shooting in Scarborough.

John and I kicked around a few theories as to why the Mayor of Canada's largest city would be pre-occupied with immigration, when we had no idea the citizenship status of the suspected shooters.

Perhaps the Mayor had the inside scoop and was told by police that the suspects were from another part of the world?

We both agreed that it would be reasonable for the Mayor to demand the deportation of newcomers to this country that were convicted of such a brazen and bold crime.

But what if the Mayor didn't have that intel?

He surely couldn't be suggesting that ALL immigrants are criminals, or that the majority of criminals in Toronto are immigrants. The former would be ignorant and the stats simply don't back the latter up.

As we were kicking all of these theories around our intern advised us that the Mayor was on the phone.

Not a common occurrence. When we usually take a call from a Ford, it is the Mayor's brother Doug that calls the show.

Our intern nervously tried to make sure that the caller on the line was in fact the Mayor, and we actually rashly hung up on him out of sheer disbelief.

The Mayor then called back and I spoke to him briefly off the air. He told me he wanted to clarify his position and tell "Downsy" (John's affectionate nickname) he was wrong.

We came back from a commercial and brought the Mayor into the conversation.

What followed was one of the most confused, inarticulate, and embarrassing radio interviews I have ever conducted.

The Mayor let us know that he wasn't in fact talking about deporting immigrants...he was talking about keeping Canadian citizens outside of Toronto's city limits.


The Mayor proceeded to tell us that "I don't care if you're a Canadian citizen or not, all I'm saying is if you're caught with a gun and convicted of a gun crime, I want you out of this city."

As Downs pressed the Mayor I sat back in stunned silence. He couldn't really mean what he was saying.

Downs asked for clarification as my jaw was firmly planted on the ground. "So what do you mean, can you clarify in terms of the citizenship angle here? Are you suggesting that you want to revoke citizenship? Or what is it?"

The Mayor's reply was even more baffling.

"No well maybe um, you can clarify things, John, with me. When you have a status in a country what portfolio does that fall under? Your address? Your date of birth? Your country of origin? I'm pretty sure it falls under citizenship and the portfolio..."

Pretty sure? You just called the largest radio station in Canada to clear things up and you are pretty sure?

Don't you have a research staff? A legal department? Google?

Further to that, the Mayor of Toronto is asking Downs to help him clear things up? Good lord we are all doomed.

The Mayor proceeded to clumsily walk around the talk radio china shop breaking every vase on his way out.

Once he finished describing his plan, the one he intended to present to the PMO, we went to commercial and the mood in the room could best be described as the feeling of watching a multi-vehicle collision and not knowing if it was real or something from a movie.

Now, a day later, most tv and newspaper outlets have picked up the interview and plastered it over their screen and pages. The reason is simple, the Mayor has made a bad situation worse.

As a constant defender of the Mayor's tough fiscal policies and some of the common sense he has used at City Hall, even I have to question what napkin he wrote this plan down on.

This is a City that is looking for leadership during one its toughest moments, and it is a shame that our Mayor seems to have taken the summer off.

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  1. Matt posted on 08/03/2012 06:10 PM
    Clearly he wants people convicted gun crimes to be banned from Toronto (GTA) city proper. They can go exist in other parts of the country, perhaps beautiful Vancouver. Whether thats possible is another matter.

    You're really pretending you didn't get that? I am disappoint.
    1. AJ posted on 08/07/2012 02:57 AM
      @Matt Its not what the Mayor wants, what is he smoking is the question. Tell me how is it possible for you to remove a citizen from one city? move him to Vancouver, are you kidding me? Since when did Vancouver become guantanamo bay??? Do you even know your rights as a Canadian Citizen? Its a shame that people like you do not know the meaning of Canadian Citizenship. If you had written the test then maybe you would have known. This is a shame to Toronto, this mayor isnt doing any good but damaging our city's image.

      During his election campaign he wanted to keep immigrans away from the city by not accepting new immigrants.

      Now he wants to keep deport Canadian citizen with criminal record from Toronto.

      Tomorrow he would say we should get rid of all the poor people of this city to solve the city's finacial problems.

      One can never solve an issue by getting rid of it or avoiding it. Gangs exist all over the world but the gangs that are armed are the most dangerous human kind.

      Guns are not for everyone. Guns should be banned. If you want to use a gun then you should join the Army. Guns are for wars.

      Lets look at mass shooting in USA. Gangs didnt modivate that clown to kill all those people in the theater, Gang was not the reason for that home grown terrorist to kill those innocent people in te Sikh temple. It was GUN. When you own a gun, you become powerful, when you become powerful, you become ruthless.

      GUN should be banned!!! If you are caught with a GUN, there should be no excuse and should be jailed for a long time. Thats how you keep these clowns under control.

      Right wing people may not like what i say here but KILLING is a SIN, when you HUNT you are killing a life.

      If you want to use a GUN or own a GUN, GO JOIN the Canadian defence forces, they NEED YOU!!!!
  2. A. Comment posted on 08/06/2012 05:45 PM
    It is possible for radio 680 News/CFRB and all Ontario-based media (if you have any brain tissue and I say this sincerely) to refer to the problems with black gangs as being a gang problem? If the media referred to mob, mafia, triad or other criminal behaviour as problems in certain named communities, I would not be sending you this e-mail. What do you or does anyone hope to do by constantly and frequently using this phrase—as if the (only) problem in society (in Ontario) is with black people? Are you attempting to hurt the feelings of people that have black skin? If you claim to respect the feelings or lives of black people, do this one thing: Refer to the gang problem as a black gang problem or a Jamaican/African American gang problem—not as a problem in the black community. The very term “black community” is almost a racist term—black Canadian people are not African Americans—we don’t share the same history and problems. Maybe black people deserve the dignity given to other people of nationality, to be referred to by there place of origin. Take time to answer this question: What on earth does a new, Ethiopian immigrant have to do with some black thug killing people on the streets of Toronto? You and many others, and I have to say, thoughtless people, seem to want to create a perpetual link between what has no basis in reality. The attempt to link skin colour to crime (government by race or Nazism) only helps to perpetuate an ongoing employment problem among many black youth; people will have “second thoughts” (just by human nature and not racism) about hiring educated and clean blacks. Let me say this, how many white people marry, divorce and are left as single parents (fatherless or motherless children) or live together, have kids and then separate while the children are still young? Shall we analyze the white community and say that we need to “fix” this problem in the “white community”. You would say that my statements are utterly ridiculous. Here’s another “brilliant” idea—attempting to compel black ministers to do what the police need to do—manage crime in the city. This concept is nothing but another foolish idea. True men of God cannot be told, by unbelieving or simply religious individuals, that this is God’s calling for their lives—only God can tell a man (or woman) what He wants them to do. Law Enforcement and politicians should stay out of God’s business.

    What is the answer to what I have stated: Attempt to turn all members of society against all gang or criminal behaviour—take the focus away from black people in general. If society was united to report and condemn all gang activity (with Law Enforcement and political assistance), from any nationality or race of people, perhaps the fight against this kind of crime might take on a new strength. The people who like to say that black people don’t want an honest discussion about problems in their “community” are so hypocritical that they should be turned off like a television set. The focus should be to have Law Enforcement budget for, strategize (within the limits of Charter rights) and then capture and rightly punish the perpetrators of gang crime.

    Most crimes, in Canada, are committed by people with white skin—a statistical fact. Shall I, like some ignorant people in the media, go on some illogical rampage against white people because of criminal stats? I’m not so stupid to do so because I know that there is an explanation behind the statement that I have made. I’m not going to play some stupid, racist game.

    Finally, I don’t think that my statements are unreasonable. I think that the current focus is all wrong and the media has to bear part of the blame.
    1. CoffeeCon posted on 08/18/2012 12:08 AM
      @A. Comment If you're accusing white people of committing most of the crimes in Canada you need to cite a source or you are yourself, a racist.

      Also, since we're discussing it, the next time a black youth (which does not include Canadians of Ethopian descent) shoots someone, what is the right thing to call that person in the media?

      Is it a *ahem* person of nationality who may or may not belong to a gang and/or the mob and whom may or may not also live near a certain north western area of Toronto?
  3. BirgitA posted on 08/25/2012 12:28 AM
    I hate say I told you so, but I recognised the Ford brothers as intellectual light weights from the get go. Too bad so many fell for their slimplistic "ae shucks" folksy style. This isn.t Kansas anymore, Toto.
  4. yor aeroben posted on 10/12/2012 05:51 PM
    Mayor Ford continues to maintain his perfect record of behaving like an absolute idiot.
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