Feeling a little under the weather tonight, I caught up on my civic duty by watching two hours of Toronto city council working on the budget on television. It was riveting. Riveting.
I was particularly enthralled by the antics of Councillor for Etobicoke North (Ward II) Rob Ford. This dude, claiming to represent the taxpayers, wasted a good hour of council’s time arguing over tiny, miniscule things in the new budget.
Time and time again, council voted against his motions, which were just a bunch of grandstanding about this or that two-page inter-office newsletter that he thought should be cut. He spent a good long time arguing against the Toronto Zoo giving out VIP passes to councillors. "We do not deserve to get into the zoo for free!" he shouted, claiming that this free passes cost the citizens of Toronto “thousands and thousands” of dollars.
This, of course, is the kind of perk that doesn’t actually cost taxpayers anything, except for, theoretically, in lost zoo revenue. According to one member of council, a mere 5 to 10 councillors used their VIP passes to take their families to the zoo last year.
Ford, whose resemblance to Chris Farley is remarked upon often, is clearly a dick. The guy was all fuss and bluster and must have wasted a good hour and a half of council’s time and money tonight. Just let the chair chair, buddy! Out of order! Who has the floor anyway? Woo!!!!
Here are a couple of Ford’s bon mots from this evening:
After having one of his long-winded motions voted down again: "That’s the democratic process -- I don’t agree with it."
After making a sarcastic aside: "I have to be sarcastic sometimes, because I’m passionate about this job."
Other notes on city council:
- I now have a big municipal crush on Karen Stintz from Ward 16. Stintz, your impassioned talk about the TTC totally makes me want to move to Eglinton Lawrence. Knowing that you sit on the boards of the National Ballet, Harbourfront Centre and Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People seals the deal.
- Uh, John Filion? How long have you been on council now? 21 years? Well, how come you haven’t figured out how to use the voting buttons yet? Do the clerks have to remind you to vote every single friggin’ time? Pay attention!
- Oh, Gay Cowbourne… How am I supposed to take you seriously when your name is Gay Cowbourne? That you managed to get elected at all with that name must mean that you’re pretty damn good at your job.