Tonight marks Ford Fest 2014, the annual Ford Family celebration of all things Ford, especially Rob, the prodigal son.
From 5PM onwards at Thomson Park, in Scarborough, you can join thousands of others to get free “Ford Nation” shirts, burgers, and non-alcoholic beverages all while palling around with Toronto’s Mayor and a City Councillor. You may be thinking, “wow, I can’t believe that the city is allowing Rob Ford to hold a campaign event in a public park.” You wouldn’t be the only one.
In fact, “No permits, licenses, leases, or any other agreement for the use of City of Toronto facilities, including civic squares and parks, will be issued for the use or promotion of a particular candidate [during] an election,” according to the Toronto City Council. The Ford response is that this is not promoting a particular candidate, it’s promoting Rob Ford the person. The man, the myth, the legend.
The Ford Nation T-Shirts? Just celebrating the guy in a non-political type of way.
Free Food? A service to the people of Scarborough (when was the last time you saw Olivia Chow give someone free food, huh?).
Doug Ford saying that Ford fest will be an “election turning point“? Yeah, that’s a bit weird.
But what about this:
Is that…a robocall from Rob Ford asking you to go to Ford Fest? Worse, did he just ask you to press 3 to promise him your support? Yeah, “support for Ford Fest,” nothing to do with “support for that E-word thing.”
What makes it even fishier is that while Ford Fest has happened for the past 19 years without a problem, he claimed the food and drinks served at the 2010 Ford Fest as campaign expenses. Oops. On top of that, this whole “no campaigning in parks” only went into effect in 2012, so past performance shouldn’t really be taken into account.
Ever regrettably, however, is that tonight’s Ford Fest won’t have any booze as the province rejected their application. It’s probably just Wynne looking out for Robbie, and making sure that he’s not too tempted.
In the mean time, all the other candidates are complaining, but hoping that Rob Ford won’t actually do any campaigning. And if he doesn’t, there’ll probably be a nice shift in the polls because of a non-political event. Maybe we should all take a cue from Rob and have more non-political events. It’s a win-win: they get free food, and you’re get to ask people if they “support” you.
So raise a (soft) drink with the Fords, but remember not to ask them about politics. It’s 5PM at Thomson Park, if you want some free grub.