Thursday, November 27, 2014

Did Doug Ford just announce that he's running for Premier in 2022?

Ok, so I'll admit that Doug's announcement that he isn't running for the leadership of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party was unexpected. However, on reflection I think what he's actually done is announce his intention to run in 2022. Here's why:

  • We can safely assume that staying out for the good of his family of university-aged children is total BS
  • Ford does have considerable support in the 416/905 and would have been a contender for the leadership
  • Ford's desire to be premier is well-documented
  • Ford clearly has no interest in the daily grind of politics. A lengthy spell in the opposition benches would not be his cup of tea
  • Ford owes Flaherty a few chits, but he's clearly not doing this just to be nice to Christine Elliott
  • The PCPO may have insisted he place Deco in a blind trust as leader, but it's not in good enough shape to do that just yet
  • Someone may have some really dirty dirt on him, and/or the PCPO won't let him get involved until the Conflict of Interest case is settled
Based on what we know to date, this is probably what Doug is thinking:

  1. Elliott has this one locked up so long as he stays out of the race
  2. Elliott would be receptive to a "deal" that keeps him out of the race
  3. Deco needs some love and attention for a few years, and his siblings are useless at business
  4. Elliott stands a good chance of winning government in 2018
  5. If he agrees to stay out of the PCPO race and back Elliott, he can probably secure the nomination in Etobicoke North and have Elliott commit to putting him in cabinet
  6. Elliott will be 67 in 2022, so she's probably going to be a one-termer
  7. Assuming Elliott becomes premier and he's a cabinet minister, that leaves him in a perfect position to take over the leadership and the premiership without ever having spent an elected minute outside of government
There's also the chance that Ford will run this time around - but Elliott would need to drop out (or get pushed out). It's not like the Ford's have ever been involved in ploys to keep people from running...

Doug's big "Surprise"

And as the Toronto media dutifully trucks up to Deco for Doug Ford's "surprise" announcement, keep in mind that running for PC Leader was Doug's plan from Day One.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

So long, and thanks for all the fish

It's the morning after, and it looks like the 2014 Toronto election has ended in a split decision. There won't be a Ford in the mayor's office, but Rob's been sent back to the minors and L'il Mikey is going to determine what your children learn in school. 1 for 3 ain't great but we'll have to make do.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to visit (over 150,000 times!) during the election, the thousands of people (and a few news outlets) who re-tweeted and spread the word, and especially those who contributed facts and material. We're going to take a break from posting for now, but don't worry because we'll back back for some exciting events that are coming up over the next term. These include:

  • Rob's Project Brazen 2 arrest
  • Sandro's court case, featuring testimony from Councillor Ford
  • Rob and Doug's conflict of interest trial
  • The series premiere of Honey RoFo
  • Mikey's candidacy in the upcoming Ward 2 by-election

Stay safe everyone, and don't do crack.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friends don't let friends vote Ford: Here's 43 reasons why

Trying to convince your drunk uncle not to vote Ford?
Need all of the Rob/Doug/Mike Ford facts on a single page for easy reference? 
Get the complete list at today!

And for your viewing pleasure, here are all the facts in a single GIF:

Don't forget to copy & paste onto your own page!

Fact #42: We called Rob Ford's Office about a pothole 102 days ago... and never heard back

What's this about?

We ran the Great Pothole Challenge, where we pit Rob Ford head-to-head against a random city councillor and 311 to see who can fix a pothole the fastest. We filed all of the requests on a weekday morning so there would be an even playing field.

We called Rob Ford's office on July 14th, 2014 (that was post-rehab, pre-cancer diagnosis and well before he dropped out of the mayor's race to run for council). Neither Rob Ford nor anyone in his office bothered to call us back.

Which is odd, because a Ford would never lie to us about his commitment to customer service, right?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fun Fact: This week's top 10 search terms for

1. doug ford
2. rob ford
3. tor star doug ford rotary
4. doug ford lies
5. doug ford "paul harris fellow"
6. doug ford award
7. doug ford fun facts
8. doug ford jewish wife
9. doug ford mean hockey coach
10. doug ford paul harris fellow award

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Rotary Club responds - here's what they had to say

Readers may note that the Toronto Star ran with the Paul Harris Fellow story and added some useful details and research.
In response to last week's email, we were copied in on a discussion between senior Rotarians on the subject. They weren't speaking on the record so we won't quote them directly, but suffice it to say that they were far to polite to make a public issue out of Ford's aggrandizement. They did add a few useful comments:
  • "Just for the record... the Paul Harris Fellowship Award is really the only recognition award that most clubs have to honour someone within a club or the community. It is very common to refer to it as the 'highest' honour. So likely when Doug Ford was presented with his - he was told that."
  • "The true purpose (of the Paul Harris Fellow) was and is to recognize the contribution of $ 1k USD to our Rotary Foundation."
  • Some clubs do try to link actual community service to the Fellowship. The Toronto chapter, for example, will only award it to a club member who has been with the club for 10 years.
The Rotarians were careful to distinguish between club-level and foundation-level recognitions. Of course, that's not how Ford described it at all. Once again Ford has co-opted the good faith of people actually working to make a difference in their communities and turns it into cheap political points.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Will the Rotary Club stand up to Doug Ford's lie? We've asked - let's see what they say

What's this all about?

We've covered this topic before. Basically, Doug Ford is padding his extremely thin resume by exaggerating the breadth and depth of his community service. In particular, he claims that he has been recognized by Rotary International for extraordinary contributions to his community, while in fact he has received a rather routine club-level recognition that only required a cash donation (and for which there are several hundred thousand recipients around the world).

Doug's false claim insults all of the worthy recipients of actual service awards, including Rotary's truly-prestigious Service Above Self award. Will Rotary International stand up to this obvious lie? Check back to see how they reply!

Darwin LeSinge <> Fri, Oct 10, 2014
To: chris@*******.ca
Cc: 137clarke@******.com 
Hello Chris,
I was wondering if I could get your thoughts a current municipal election issue.
I understand that you are one of the few Toronto-area recipients of Rotary International's prestigious Service Above Self award, and that you earned this recognition after a career of substantial public service. Rotary International's website lists this as the "highest honour" that they can bestow (congrats, by the way!). 
Doug Ford likes to declare his Rotary membership as evidence of public service, though he never provides much in the way of details. One item that is mentioned on his official City of Toronto and campaign website bios is that he is the recipient of a Paul Harris Fellow award which he calls the "the highest award bestowed to a Rotarian for outstanding service to the community". 
However, it's my understanding that this award is given to anyone who donates $1,000 to Rotary, or has a donation in their name. Actual community service does not appear to be part of the criteria. I understand that there is even a special recognition when everyone in a chapter has earned the honour. 
Giving $1,000 is a worthy goal, but it is hardly extraordinary. As a distinguished Rotary member, do you feel that Doug Ford's claims are misleading and unethical? Do you feel that they reflect poorly on the values that Rotary International promotes? Is Rotary going to take steps to distance themselves from Doug Ford's claims prior to the election?
I am very interested to hear your thoughts. 
cc: Richard Clarke, Director Rotary Foundation Canada

How should Rotary respond?

We're interested to hear your thoughts - add your comments below!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fact #41: Doug Ford skipped major votes on Eglinton Connects, Build Toronto, Portlands, TCHC and more

Has Doug Ford missed any important votes?

Doug Ford has brushed off questions about his third-worst voting record at City Council by saying that he only skips the unimportant votes. Is this true? Let's look at the data.
Doug skipped over 2,300 votes since becoming a councillor. Of those, 908 were to "adopt item" or "adopt item as amended". Some were clearly minor, such as parking variances and Ontario Municipal Board applications. However, Ford was absent for a number of votes concerning boards and agencies that he has criticized or considers to be poorly run.
Some of the topics where Doug Ford didn't show up for the vote:

  • Metrolinx
  • Eglinton Connects
  • Build Toronto
  • Sony Centre
  • Waterfront Revitalization
  • TCHC
  • Pan Am Games
  • Portlands
  • City of Toronto Executive Compensation Policies
  • Accountability of Major Capital Projects

Doug Ford had four years to prove that he knows how to "look out for the taxpayer". Too bad he didn't bother to show up.

Specific examples continue after the break.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Fact #40: Doug Ford claims that his evangelical Christian wife and kids are Jewish

Editor's note: Your belief system is your own business.
Just don't misrepresent it to beef up your street cred.

Update: The Toronto Star has published a good story on the topic.
Their article draws from information on this page, which was itself
cribbed from a certain online forum (you know who you are) 


Short answer: Yes, it's true.

Longer answer: Ok, Ford could have been referring to the Orthodox Jewish principle of irrevocable matrilineality as codified in the Shulchan Aruch of 1565. Or, perhaps he means that the Middlebrook family tree contains Jewish ancestry. But we're betting it was just a cynical ploy for votes.

On October 6th, Doug Ford scrummed with the press, where he clarified his (highly criticized) remarks from the previous evening's debate when he said that he understands the Jewish community because has a "Jewish doctor, a Jewish dentist, a Jewish lawyer". Ford announced:
"Matter of fact, my wife is Jewish. Her mother is Jewish. And they have to come after me? You got to be joking. My wife was furious last night at John Tory's statement. It's disgusting."
Meanwhile, the Fords are a well-known family of evangelical Christians. Karla, Ford's wife, is herself an evangelical Christian. As was her father, who was "known for his devotion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ".
Name:  Bill Middlebrook.JPG
Views: 325
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Ford was most likely implying that his wife's family descends from a line of ethnic Jews - which would also make Karla and their four children Jewish. This may well be true, but it's a bit disingenuous for Ford to appropriate this heritage only when it became politically convenient.

Does Doug Ford really donate his salary to charity? Time for him to prove it.

Does Doug Ford do what he claims?

After the 2010 election, Doug Ford promised to donate his salary to charity. This claim has been repeated many times, and continues to be quoted as evidence of his community focus.

Just one day after he was elected to his brother's former council seat, Ford vowed he will donate his entire councillor salary of around $100,000 to community organizations during his entire four-year term. 
"I'm going to donate it back into the community and different community organizations," Ford said Tuesday. "When Rob asked me to get involved I told him pretty clearly that I'm not going to be down there for a position or a paycheque." 
Ford said he hasn't settled on the groups he would donate to yet but he said he is looking for organizations that can leverage the support.
"It's just something I want to do to help out the community," he said.

The only problem is, nobody knows if Doug Ford is telling the truth (readers may note that this is a recurring theme). When he does talk about donations, such as the $3,500 to Pride, he often clarifies to say that it was "free printing services", not cash. Now, one could argue that the whole idea of donating your salary is stupid, because it implies that a councillor's job isn't worth getting paid to do (it is), and that politics should be left to those who are rich enough to treat it like a hobby (it shouldn't). Nevertheless, if you are going to make it a major part of your election campaign, maybe you should show some proof.

Time to see some proof

It's time to hold Doug to account. If he has been donating his salary as promised, he should be almost half a million dollars in charitable donation slips to show for it ($421,588 to be precise). Is he still pretending that Deco donations in time or services count towards the total? Is he claiming Deco cash donations as his own?

If Doug is telling the truth he can prove it. Easily.

Ask Doug to "Show You The Slips":

"Doug Ford: It's time to show us the slips and prove you donated your salary"

Call 416-751-3673

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fact #38: Rob Ford posed for selfies at the scene of a fatal accident


It's true. On September 30th, 2014 a woman was struck and killed by a streetcar on St. Clair West. Rob Ford happened to be in the area and remained at the scene while rescue crews arrived and tended to the victim. Rob also made calls related to the accident, including to TTC CEO Andy Byford.

While still on the scene, Rob also stopped to pose for selfies with onlookers. In one particular case the ambulance and emergency personnel are plainly visible in the background:

Why should I care?

The fact that Rob remained at the scene of an accident is not an issue (assuming he stayed out of the way of emergency workers). However, this incident raises yet more questions about his sense of judgement.

First, by calling the TTC's CEO about an (admittedly serious) accident, Rob shows that he still doesn't understand the difference between executive and operational roles. By skipping established notification procedures, Ford took up both his and Byford's time on a matter when neither were in a position to do anything. He also duplicated the effort (i.e., "gravy") of first responders who are specially trained and paid to manage accident scenes. Rob's actions on St. Clair are just like how he insists constituents should call him to get their potholes fixed rather than just call 311 directly, which is faster and more effective. The mayor's job is to make sure the city is running efficiently, not to pretend to run it themselves.

Second, posing for photos in front of an accident scene where someone has just died is mind-bogglingly inappropriate. That the accident involved city employees and a city vehicle makes it even more so. Rob could easily have said no to the photo, yet he did not. For Ford, the only thing that appears to matter is his celebrity (or failing that, his notoriety).

If it's possible to encapsulate the mayoralty of Rob Ford in a single photo, then this is it:
Rob Ford is the mayor who interferes with the work of city employees, adds no value and then vainly poses for photos with clueless admirers. Meanwhile, not thirty feet away, one of his constituents has just lost their life.

Ford more years indeed.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Ford More Weeks!


It's true. After a four-year campaign, Toronto is just four weeks away from the 2014 election. Voters across the City of Toronto, in Ward 2 and in TDSB Ward 1 are the only people who can make sure that the Ford Family goes 0 for 3 at the ballot box.

It's been quite the ride, folks, but now it's time to move on. Guaranteed.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Exclusive: Here's what's in Doug Ford's unreleased website


It's true. The "best webmaster in the world" has gone ahead and posted Doug Ford's website for the world to see... if you know where to look. Here's what's coming down the pipes (note that the site content may change between now and the "official" reveal).

We will annotate Doug's "facts" so be sure to check back!

Site extracts are below the break.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fact #36: Rob Ford was chauffeured to his crack binges by a city employee


It's true. In the police ITO (Information to Obtain) released on September 24th it was revealed that Rob Ford was driven to his sister's house on the night of the second crack tape by Jerry Agyemang, a taxpayer-funded city hall security guard.

Why should I care?

Remember when Rob and Doug Ford said that they would never be caught mis-spending a dollar of public money? That should make you feel good about the overtime you paid out to Jerry so that the mayor could hang out with his sister and get baked.

At least Ford didn't try to drive home wasted, which is what he used to do. Good times.

How do I know you're not lying?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The 100k club

Today we passed 100,000 pageviews - that's about 600 per day since we started posting in March. Thanks for visiting, and here's hoping that we won't need to post anything else after October 28th!

Fact #35: This is what it looks like to lose control of City Council

(click for larger version)

The above chart shows the percentage of votes cast by each councillor that aligned with the ultimate vote outcome (i.e., they voted yes when the item carried and no when it failed, absences ignored) over the four years of council. The vast majority of councillors stayed in the 90-95% range over the four years, but as the chart shows there were a number of significant trends:

  1. In 2011 the Ford brothers were reasonably successful at pushing their agenda through Council, with alignment in the high 80s. They entered the term with a strong electoral mandate and an ability to achieve majorities, if not consensus, on their votes. However, note the telling fragmentation on council, with a number of councillors actively resisting the Fords' pressure tactics (these are the Paula Fletchers and Adam Vaughans). Note that the 2011 term includes December 2010.
  2. By 2012 the tide started to change against Rob and Doug. Their notorious strong-arming of councillors began to backfire, and their opponents were increasingly successful at achieving their agendas. Just one year after election the Fords had lost their control on council
  3. 2013 saw their remaining loyalists peel off and join the crowd. The crack scandal and subsequent stripping of mayoral powers meant that it was much easier to achieve consensus and get things done. Doug and Rob were now losing a quarter of the decisions.
  4. Note that by 2014 the two Fords had essentially given up, throwing contrarian votes seemingly for the hell of it. At this point their only kindred spirit was the morally reprobate Giorgio Mammoliti. 

Why should I care?

Remember when Rob Ford said that he could work with City Council? Those were fun times. Despite a significant electoral plurality and significant resources at their disposal, the Ford brothers utterly failed to push their agenda through Council. The result was two wasted years of disruption, protest votes and absenteeism. If Doug Ford wins the 2014 mayoral race, he has utterly failed to demonstrate how the outcome would be any different the second time around.

How do I know you're not lying: 

Source Data:

Councillor 2011 2012 2013 2014
Ainslie Paul 91% 88% 94% 94%
Augimeri Maria 77% 93% 92% 94%
Bailao Anna 91% 96% 96% 97%
Berardinetti Michelle 94% 94% 96% 95%
Carroll Shelley 81% 92% 91% 92%
Cho Raymond 84% 94% 95% 95%
Cole Josh 88% 94% 94% 93%
Crawford Gary 93% 94% 94% 95%
Crisanti Vincent 94% 94% 92% 94%
Davis Janet 77% 91% 91% 92%
DeBaeremaeker Glenn 83% 94% 94% 95%
DelGrande Mike 89% 85% 84% 87%
DiGiorgio Frank 91% 92% 90% 93%
Doucette Sarah 81% 93% 93% 94%
Filion Jon 76% 92% 94% 94%
Fletcher Paula 75% 92% 92% 92%
Ford Doug 88% 82% 75% 74%
Ford Rob 87% 78% 75% 68%
Fragedakis Mary 78% 92% 94% 94%
Grimes Mark 85% 87% 92% 93%
Holyday Doug 89% 82% 82%
Kelly Norman 91% 88% 89% 93%
Layton Mike 81% 93% 93% 95%
Lee Chin 90% 95% 95% 96%
Leon Peter 91% 95%
LindsayLuby Gloria 91% 94% 93% 94%
Maloney James 96%
Mammoliti Giorgio 89% 87% 84% 70%
Matlow Josh 86% 94% 90% 92%
McConnell Pam 78% 92% 93% 95%
McMahon Mary-Margaret 86% 95% 94% 95%
Mihevic Joe 81% 93% 93% 95%
Milczyn Peter 92% 92% 94% 94%
Minnan-Wong Denzel 88% 88% 90% 88%
Moeser Ron 86% 91% 91% 92%
Nunziata Frances 91% 92% 90% 95%
Palacio Cesar 93% 94% 93% 94%
Parker John 90% 90% 87% 90%
Pasternak James 92% 94% 94% 92%
Perks Gord 79% 91% 92% 92%
Perruzza Anthony 79% 92% 91% 92%
Ramkhalawansingh Ceta 95%
Robinson Jaye 93% 93% 93% 94%
Shiner David 89% 88% 87% 88%
Stintz Karen 91% 96% 94% 93%
Thompson Michael 93% 92% 95% 94%
Vaughan Adam 77% 91% 91% 94%
WongTam Kristyn 79% 92% 92% 94%

Monday, September 15, 2014

Fact #34: Doug Ford had the worst (non-medical) attendance record at City Hall


It's true. Doug missed 2,319 out of 7,813 votes in City Council, for an absence rate of 30%. That's almost one in three votes where Doug didn't bother to show up. The only councillors with worse records were Ron Moser and Giorgio Mammolliti, both of whom required extended time off for medical reasons.

(click for larger version)

Why should I care?

Nothing says dedication to your job and to your city like skipping a third of what you were hired to do. Maybe he donated those votes to charity?

How do I know you're not lying?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Fact #33: Rob Ford's 2010 Transit Plan - Promises Made: 14. Promises Kept: 0


It's true. Rob Ford's 2010 Transit Plan made a number of promises, that ranged from taking credit for existing plans to outright fantasy. As his campaign team prepares to release their 2014 version, here's a look back at Rob Ford's transit track record:

Transit (By 2015):

Promise Kept?
By 2015 we will complete the Sheppard Avenue Line as a subway line. This
will include 12 km of new track and up to 10 new stations between
Downsview and Scarborough Town Centre. Cost: $3 Billion.
Sheppard is proceeding as planned as an LRT.
By 2015 we will extend the Bloor-Danforth Line to Scarborough Town Centre.
This will run on the elevated SRT platform and will connect to the Sheppard line at Scarborough Town Centre, completing a “closed loop” making travel across Toronto much easier. Cost: $1 Billion.
Federal/provincial funding has been promised for the SRT to be replaced by a 2-3 stop underground subway extension. The route and details have not been finalized, and the official plan still shows an Eglinton LRT extension. Assuming this goes ahead, construction won’t begin until 2018, so completion by 2015 is pure fantasy.
Where we cannot afford subways, we will use clean buses. Combining Express and Collector buses will improve transit service along major arterials. Zero net cost. Cost to purchase and operate new buses will be offset by savings from reduced purchase of streetcars, sale of existing streetcars and reduced streetcar system maintenance.
No clean buses have been purchased. The purchase order for new streetcars has not been reduced.
We will improve traffic flow downtown by removing some streetcars.
Streetcars on downtown arterial streets will be replaced with clean buses that provide the same capacity on the same routes. This will make the system safer and more accessible for all users. It will also improve traffic flow. Zero net cost. Cost to purchase and operate new buses will be offset by savings from reduced purchase of streetcars, sale of existing streetcars and reduced streetcar system maintenance.
No clean buses have been purchased. The purchase order for new streetcars has not been reduced.
BY 2015 we will introduce Smart Card technology for fare payment. Use of smart cards will reduce operating cost, improve our ability to measure and adjust the system to meet demands of a growing ridership and enable the TTC to set adjustable fares. Cost: currently included in TTC budget.
TTC had already adopted PRESTO, so Ford is taking credit for other peoples’ work.

Roadways (By 2014):

Promise Kept?
We will keep and maintain our Expressways. The Gardiner Expressway, Don Valley Parkway and Allen Road/Expressway will be maintained,
without tolls, as key components of our transportation infrastructure. Cost:
managed within current budget.

Road maintenance was already part of the budget. The plan to revitalize the Gardiner was passed in March 2014, but Ford missed the vote because he was in rehab. No tolls have been implemented.
We will clear up the $250 million backlog in road repairs. We will return Toronto’s roads to a state of good repair that can be maintained by normal
annual operations. Cost: $250 million.
We will synchronize the city’s traffic signals to improve traffic flow. We will complete the installation of SCOOT technology on all signalized intersections, improving traffic flow throughout the city. Cost: $50 million.
In June 2013 council approved an $11m purchase of synchronization equipment for 1,000 high-priority intersections over three years. There are no plans to change the entire city.
We will make critical road improvements to improve traffic flow. We will invest up to $400 Million to address major problem areas by connecting disjointed roadways making other changes to reduce congestion. Cost: up to $400 million.
No progress on new connecting roads or problem areas. The Six Points Kipling/Dundas/Bloor intersection rebuild is proceeding, but that will actually slow down traffic.
We will make parking rules easier to understand. By simplifying signage on city roads and introducing color-coded curb painting in pilot areas, drivers will better understand when and where they can park their vehicles. Cost: managed within current budget.
Signage rules have not changed. A curb painting pilot was completed in 2013 but a report on its efficacy has not been published, and no plans to make the pilot permanent have been introduced.
We will manage roadwork to minimize traffc disruption. We will require utility companies to make permanent road repairs where possible after digging up streets to reduce pavement degradation and minimize “follow-up” road closures. We will create a Central Roadwork Coordination Centre to improve coordination of work by public and private entities that interfere with traffic on city streets. We will require more roadwork be conducted during off-peak hours, including nights or weekends in non-residential areas. Cost: managed within current budget.
No material changes to policies or processes have been implemented. No roadwork coordination centre has been created (the Major Capital Infrastructure Coordination (MCIC) division already exists at City Hall, and predates Ford’s mayoralty).

Trails and Bicycles (By 2014):

Promise Kept?
We will build a comprehensive network of bicycle trails across the city. This will include 100 km of off-road bicycle paths along rail and hydro corridors, ravines and valleys. This system of dedicated 2-metre wide, paved trails illuminated with street lamps will provide a safe, convenient “backbone” for bicycle transportation across Toronto. Cost: $50 million.
Bike trails continue to be built, but nothing resembling this promise has been completed. An implementation plan was approved in 2013 but it only sets priorities, not funding or actual construction. Proposed construction does not match Ford's description.
We will build 100 km of pedestrian paths alongside the bicycle trails.
Walking, jogging and running are inexpensive, effective recreational activities that
encourage physical fitness. We will provide a well-lit network of safe, connected
paths for runners, joggers and walkers. Cost: included in the bicycle trails cost.
Pedestrian paths continue to be built, but nothing resembling this promise has been completed. An implementation plan was approved in 2013 but it only sets priorities, not funding or actual construction. Proposed construction does not match Ford's description.
We will create some on-road bicycle lanes where they make sense. Where the community supports them and where they do not impede traffic flow, we will create on-street bicycle lanes and complete some critical connections
in the city’s current bicycle network. Cost: $5 million.
The city’s on-road bicycle network continues to expand. In 2011 Ford voted against bike lanes on Richmond/Adelaide, but he did vote in favour of extending the Bay Street bike lane in 2013.

Why should I care?

Rob Ford talks about "another promise made, another promise kept." If he says that, you can pretty much guarantee that he's lying. The 2010 plan also shows how a well-staffed campaign with professional advisors can still put out a plan that is completely unrealistic. The only thing Ford missed in 2010 was a promise to power his clean buses with unicorn farts. Four years later his campaign is a shambles and completely lacking in policy experts. Whatever he and Doug draw up on the back of a napkin will likely surpass his first effort.

How do I know you're not lying?

The winner of the #RobFordIn140 contest is @trixiepicasso!

At their request, we have made a $25 donation in their name to the Toronto Wildlife Centre. Thanks to everyone who contributed and voted!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Announcing the #RobFordIn140 finalists! Vote for your favourite today!

Here are the #RobFordIn140 contest finalists! Be sure to pick your favourite and vote using the sidebar tool. The winner will be selected at midnight on Sunday, August 31st. Good luck!

Mobile users click here to see the poll.

1. Our first finalist goes straight for the emotional heartstrings:
2. Entry #2 takes the rhyming approach:

3. Our third finalist takes a brief-but-direct approach:

4. Finalist #4 crams in the facts:

5. And finally, our final finalist takes a decidedly unique approach:

Monday, August 18, 2014

Fact #32: Doug Ford Sr. did not, as his family claims, swim Lake Ontario with Marilyn Bell

Editor's Note: There's a school of thought that says every family has their tall tales, and this isn't newsworthy. To an extent that's true - it's certainly no $85M LRT cancellation fee boondoggle. However, the swim story provides some important context on the Fords: 1. It shows how they will lie about anything, even when it doesn't matter; 2. It shows how they are happy to promote their fictionalized history in official government documents; and 3. It's yet another reminder that the whole concept of Fordian Exceptionalism that stretches from Doug Sr. all the way down to 'lil Mikey in Ward 2 is based on high grade, uncut BS.

Of course, there is perhaps a 1% chance that we've got this all wrong. If the Fords can provide evidence that the Marilyn Bell swim happened like they claim we'll print a full retraction. Until then, we can't comment on a swim that we have never seen or does not exist.


It's true. Much of the Ford Family myth comes from stories about their larger-than life father, who single-handedly founded Deco (he didn't), was a major player in provincial politics (he was a one-term backbencher) and who served as an honoured Rotarion (he got his award for donating $1,000, just like Doug Jr.). The impact of Doug Sr. on the Ford clan is profound. "My dad’s my political hero," Rob said in 2012, "my business hero—he’s my hero overall. End of story."

One of the anchors of the Doug Ford Sr. legend is that he was a champion swimmer who set out with Marilyn Bell the night she conquered Lake Ontario. As the nomination for renaming a park in his honour states:
"He was a championship swimmer and, at the age of 16, became the youngest person ever to attempt the annual CNE marathon swim across Lake Ontario."
Toronto Life expands the story:
A talented athlete, he played football for the East York Argonauts and attempted to swim Lake Ontario in the same crossing that turned Marilyn Bell into the nation’s darling, but it was a job as a lifeguard that changed his fortunes.
And in Crazy Town, Robyn Doolittle writes:
"Standing six feet tall, with his chiselled jaw, thick golden hair, and dashing smile, he looked like a movie star," Robyn Doolittle Robyn Doolittle writes in her book Crazy Town. He loved long distance swimming, and when 16-year-old Marilyn Bell attempted to cross Lake Ontario on Sept. 10, 1954, Ford attempted to swim by her side. "He didn't make it," Doolittle writes. "[He] kept training, and on the side worked as a lifeguard. It was at the local pool that he first caught sight of a beautiful, blond Diane Campbell [Rob, Doug, Randy, and Diane's mother.]" 
And Mayor Ford's official YouTube channel posted a video with similar text:
"As a youth, Mr. Ford was a championship swimmer and in 1954, at the age of 16, attempted the CNE marathon swim across Lake Ontario, alongside Marilyn Bell, who completed the distance."

There's only one problem with the story - it never happened. Here's why:

Announcing the #RobFordIn140 Challenge: Tweet your summary of Rob Ford's first term and win!

It's contest time!

Downtown Elites - drop your half-caf non-fat soy lattes and fold up your bikes! Ford Nationistas - get ready to stash your spears and clubs! Rob Ford Facts is holding the #RobFordIn140 challenge, so get your submissions in today!

Here are some examples to get you started:

How does it work?

The contest is simple: just find the best way to summarize Rob Ford's first (and/or last) term as mayor in a single tweet. You can be pro-Ford, anti-Ford or bi-Fordian. You can be funy, scathing or coolly ironic in a detached sort of way. Tag it with #RobFordIn140 and submit by August 25th. We'll take the best entries (including both pros and cons) and open it up to an online vote.