Last night’s budget consultations reveal Rob Ford’s biggest foe: roller derby squads

Last night’s budget consultations reveal Rob Ford’s biggest foe: roller derby squads

In this 2009 picture, Chicks Ahoy take on Death Track Dolls at The Hanger in Downsview Park (Image: Scott Snider from the Flickr pool)

Last night saw two rounds of budget consultation—that’s half of all the public meetings Toronto’s going to get this year—in East York and North York. There were arguments about arts funding, the land transfer tax and, of course, the scrapping of Transit City. Awesomely, one of the best-organized lobby groups in the city at the moment appears to be the Toronto Roller Derby (ToRD) league. Deputees from ToRD appeared at both East York and North York to protest the proposed cut of the 101 Downsview Park bus, the only bus that services their league’s arena.

One of their members explained their grievance in McClung’s blog:

I spoke to Candy Crossbones, Captain of the Chicks Ahoy!, about the bus route cuts and how it could affect ToRD. Candy Crossbones, who daylights as Saira Peesker, is a hot jammer and has been playing with ToRD since its inception in 2006.

ToRD currently has approximately 120 skaters, and more than 50% of them take the bus at least once a week to and from practise, said Crossbones, herself included. Most skaters commute for at least an hour from the downtown core to the Hangar. It’s a long trip, but one that Crossbones and dozens of others are willing to make because The Hangar is the only space that is big enough for a full sized track that is not iced over for hockey in the winter months. This makes the space indispensable.

Of course, the laundry list of proposed cuts was itself shelved for a month while the TTC figures out what to do—they’ll be holding meetings next week for public consultation, and we’d wager the ladies from ToRD will show up at those as well.

If we learned one thing from watching Whip It (aside from the shocker that Texas might be a repressive environment for a teen) it’s that picking a fight with scrappy, underdog roller-derby athletes is a bad idea. Though if Rob Ford and the executive committee wanted to strap on some rollerblades and challenge ToRD to settle this, we’d be all for that.

War on Roller Derby: Bus Cuts will Hurt [McClung’s]
• Citizens give Ford an earful at consultation meetings [Toronto Star]
• TTC holds public hearings on cuts [Toronto Sun]