Latest debate sees Ford, Smitherman compete for irrelevance to black community

Latest debate sees Ford, Smitherman compete for irrelevance to black community

Left to right: Rob Ford, Wendell Brereton, George Smitherman

Given that they’re signed up for literally dozens of debates, it’s easy to believe that the mayoral candidates run out of things to say. Last night’s debate, sponsored by the Canadian Black Caucus, offered further proof, with neither of the front runners distinguishing himself as the two took on some of the race’s less prominent candidates.

From the Star:

[Mayoral candidate Wendell] Brereton focused on holding the leading candidates to account. As [Rob] Ford touted his long-running sports programs as a way to engage at-risk youth, Brereton cut him off.

“I have five kids,” said Brereton, “and I don’t want anyone to offer my children another gymnasium. If you want to do anything in my community, bring a bank.”

He derided [George] Smitherman’s lavish praise for Regent Park, saying the relocation of residents during the redevelopment was a “badge of shame.”

When confronted with issues like crime, poverty and discrimination, nothing shows the relevance of your ideas more than suggesting that kids just need to run a few laps. Smitherman did Ford a favour, though, by leaving early and signalling his own keen interest in the matters of Toronto’s black community, prompting another zinger from Brereton:

When someone asked whether the winner would “forget about” black people after the election, Brereton replied, “Well, I won’t walk out of the Black Caucus debate early.”

• Mayoral candidates talk ‘priority neighbourhoods’ [Toronto Star]

Images: Ford,; Smitherman, OldTownGuy; Brereton, Facebook