Howard Moscoe: a retrospective of antics
Last week, we saw some strange antics from city councillor Howard Moscoe. First, he invited drivers to support transit with those peculiar bumper stickers that had Dalton McGuinty struggling for an appropriate response (“It’s an interesting evolution of the conversation,” he ended up saying). Then, Moscoe called out the Toronto Star for, well, we’re not quite sure what, but at least he managed to demonstrate his penchant for flower metaphors. On Sunday, he was back in the news again, vocalizing disdain for a top-secret book of parking exemptions that is apparently costing the city millions of dollars and that nobody (except him) wants to talk about.
This short list inspired us to think back over the long-serving councillor’s career and round up his oddest, funniest and downright baffling moments. In no particular order, here’s Moscoe in a nutshell:
1.Tacky is as tacky does
Once, Moscoe saw fit to decorate the area outside his office with a pair of flamboyant orange loveseats. They were so reviled that other city councillors went out of their way to not only get them removed, but to prevent the future use of unauthorized furniture. “Sure they’re tacky, but I like tacky,” he told the Star.
2. Illeism at its finest
Moscoe has been known to speak in the third person, like Duffman. “I couldn’t think of a more appropriate way for the chair of the TTC to campaign,” he told the Star in 2006, referring to himself and his decision to campaign on a bus.
3. The proof is in the pudding
In order to cut down on the abuse of handicapped parking spots, Moscoe once proposed having disabled people prove their disabilities before a committee. What were they going to do, not perform cartwheels?
4. Fun facts
Moscoe likes to undertake “fact-finding” missions by touring Toronto’s strip clubs. He did it in 1990 and again in 2001. The gumption behind such an action is probably funnier than any joke we could write about it.
5. Mr. Dress-up
That’s what the Globe called him in 2007 for his penchant for wearing costumes. But it was his decision to delegate the costume-wearing that, in part, caused a city councillor to resign from the TTC Pizzazz committee in 2006. Moscoe had sent a memo requesting that the councillor wear a bunny costume to help boost TTC rider morale.
6. Lastman’s toupée
After Mel Lastman donated his toupée to a charity auction, Moscoe got his wife to bid on it. At city council meetings, Moscoe was known to pull out the toupée and elaborately dust off his desk and chair with it—in full view of Lastman, natch.