Of all the political niches active in Canada today, there is arguably no group as intriguing, confusing and misunderstood as the supporters of Rob Ford. On July 25, photographer James Hunter and I had the opportunity of attending Ford Fest, the mayor’s annual community BBQ at Thomson Memorial Park, located in Scarborough (the eastern district of the city affectionately referred to by Torontonians as ‘Scarberia’). Despite the plethora of scandals and bad press Mayor Ford faces and his uncertainty in the polls, this community event, attended by thousands of his supporters, proved that the political movement behind him has not slowed down one bit.
The lines were long and the mobs were angry, but above all, the people were present.
Ford Nation lives. These are their stories.
Everyone’s a human being. His statistics speak for themselves. He’s human. He makes mistakes, so what? He smoked crack, he’s done bad things. Which one of us hasn’t tried alcohol? I’m not saying it’s good morally, I don’t agree with that, but I don’t think he’s a bad man.
I’ve received a phone call, but that’s not enough for me. I must meet the man. I want to touch his flesh. He has inspired me, out of all the politicians. I am not interested in politics, but he made me interested in politics. He identifies with the people; I identify with him.
Because Ford supports us people. I believe Ford supports us minorities, the poor people as they would say, and he actually does what he’s supposed to do. His personal life may be f*cked up… sorry, messed up, but he does his job. That’s all that matters: he does his job.
If you see his style, he looks really powerful for a mayor. He might even be the future prime minister. That’s my decision! I’m voting for him.
They found me on Facebook and asked me to do the musical. But when I found out they wanted me to play him as a bumbling drunk, I said no.
He’s a man with morals. He believes in marriage between man and woman. And right now that is so huge because we’re being oppressed! Our children are being brainwashed… Maybe he’s gonna make some changes! All it takes is one man. Just ‘cause he’s in the city, he could still help Kathleen Wynne to change her mind
I’m not here for Ford Fest. I’m just here for the park.
All photos by James Hunter for The True North Times