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 robfordfacts.ca/thelist 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 RobFordFacts.ca

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 <robfordfacts@gmail.com> 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
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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