Ford Fest has always been a meeting place of the thousands of Rob Ford’s supporters. United by the principles of frugal and responsible government, which have been at the centre of Mayor’s policies, they remind Toronto every year that there are people who matter even outside of the downtown core.
At the previous Ford Fest, the participants were provoked by the usual suspects (see the details here and here). Since then, the mayoral race has been a real roller coaster, especially after Mayor Ford was diagnosed with cancer. The brave man committed himself to fighting this new battle with the same decisiveness and consistency he applies when implementing his policies.
As one may expect, the difficult circumstances in his personal life didn’t stop the media from bashing him. On the contrary, with a false compassion to his health problems, they urged him to resign and withdraw from politics. The more extreme of his enemies went even further by making cruel jokes about his condition.
When, due to his condition, Rob was replaced by his brother Doug in the mayoral race, the “prominent” Canadian journalist Christie Blatchford compared their family with the murderous Kim dynasty in communist North Korea.
For anybody, who has followed the Toronto politics during the last few years, that shouldn’t come as a surprise. The Downtown Party sees the new parts of the city, which joined Toronto after the amalgamation, only as an expansion of its tax base and source of funds to finance their mindless social schemes, while ignoring the needs of the people who live there.
The Ford Fest, held last Saturday, showed that people were not willing to compromise and give up. Thousands gathered again in a park at the West end. Other than expressing their support for Doug Ford’s campaign, they were excited about the expected appearance of Mayor Ford. He was released from hospital just a few days earlier after going through his first round of chemotherapy treatment.
As you could expect, the Toronto media swarmed the event, trying to uncover and exaggerate anything that could hurt Ford’s campaign. The lefties decided not to risk another idiotic provocation this time, so the media had to work with a limited material. The best they could come up the next day was that that the event was “sedated” as they wrote in the Toronto Star. Journalists were roaming the crowd with microphones, cameras and recorders trying to “expose” Ford Nation.
Despite the concerns about Mayor’s health, the lively music kept the mood upbeat. When Doug Ford showed up with his family, he was surrounded by many people willing to shake his hand and take a picture with him.
Many of the supporters brought signs to express their positions or simply wish well to the politicians they support.
Of course, the most important part of the event was the anticipated appearance of Mayor Ford. I am not familiar with chemotherapy and its consequences for somebody’s health, so all kinds of dark scenarios were playing in my head. I expected to see Rob weakened and rolled in in a wheelchair or in other way showing his poor condition. It didn’t help when Dan Jacobs announced from the stage that the Mayor would be here any minute and people were advised not to approach him, shake his hand or give high-fives for the sake of his health.
It was a pleasant surprise to see Rob Ford going to the stage – smiling and energetic, on his own feet. It looked like he really was fighting the disease. Other than his raspy voice when he started to speak, nothing showed any signs of defeatism. Maybe the love of his family and the outpouring of support in Toronto made him stronger.
In his speech Rob described in an honest and clear way his fight with cancer. He also made sure to mention that regardless of what the media writes or talks about him (and it is very often bad stuff), he is not concerned, because his main concern is how to fulfill the promises he made to the Toronto taxpayers. On that note, he covered in detail what his administration has achieved. After that he introduced Doug Ford, who now runs for Mayor. Then Doug spoke about his life and negative campaign launched against him by John Tory.
You can see both speeches in the videos below.
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