As expected, Don Cherry is the turd in the punch bowl at council’s first meeting
The opening of Toronto City Council’s first meeting was surprisingly amicable and friendly as Rob Ford took the oath of office and councillors had their pictures taken with him. The lefties on council didn’t let the occasion get too depressing, and, in fact, started to play a little with Ford when they could—Gord Perks gave Rob Ford a joke punch to the arm, but was upstaged when Glenn De Baeremaeker walked up and gave Ford a big ol’ smooch.
Things were doing fine until Don Cherry walked up to the podium and started opening his yap. Wearing pink “for all those pinkos who ride bikes,” Cherry said he supported Ford because of respect for taxpayers…straight-talker…something about a tree…OK, we sort of tuned out until Cherry finished off his rant with the words “put that in your pipe, you left wing kooks!” So, uh, that happened. Council’s kooks opposition were apparently, and understandably, non-plussed.
Cherry’s remarks were followed by His Worship Himself. No big surprises in Ford’s speech. He listed his priorities for the new council, and said that the city would be relying on council for leadership—just, presumably, not when it comes to Transit City. Ford closed with a shout-out to William Lyon Mackenzie, with whom the mayor feels some kinship because, said the mayor, “he fought for the little guy.” It was truly an odd moment—harkening back to a man who helped bring democracy to Canada with fire and musket shots almost immediately after Cherry’s display was, well, jarring.
Then council got down to business, for all of a few minutes: approving Ford’s picks for the Executive Committee, which (it turns out) is a total sausage fest so far. Once again, Ford’s critics are understandably irked. And with that, the first meeting of Toronto City Council, 2010-2014 adjourned until tomorrow.