Ontario Coalition Against Poverty activists remind city they exist, are loud, frequently arrested
The city’s budget committee meeting had just gotten around to announcing some pretty horrifying news—2012 is looking to have a budget shortfall of about a half-billion dollars—when its grim work was interrupted by some unexpected guests: the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty. Obscenities were shouted, drums were beaten (seriously—OCAP apparently formed an impromptu drum circle) and eventually protesters were dragged away by the police. Particularly amusing was Doug Ford’s attempt at community outreach. According to reports, the mayor’s brother told one of the louder protestors to “get a job.”
According to the Toronto Star:
After Ontario Coalition Against Poverty protesters stormed a meeting of city council’s budget committee Thursday morning, committee vice-chair Doug Ford told a confrontational protester to “get a job” — echoing a comment his brother and then-councillor Rob Ford made to an OCAP supporter during a similar demonstration at City Hall in 2005.
The radio station 680 News captured Doug Ford’s comment on tape. Asked about it during the budget committee’s lunch break, Ford said, “I didn’t say ‘Get a job,’ not at all. Show me on tape when I said that.” Told that reporters had listened to the tape, he did not respond; a security guard then escorted him out of the committee room.
When OCAP protesters stormed a council meeting in 2005, Rob Ford said, “I’m working. Why don’t you get a job.”
We would never dream of questioning the credentials of either Ford brother, who got their pre-politics jobs from the family firm, but we do love the return of the late 1960s to Toronto’s politics. Perhaps with the recent comeback of classic rock like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, Canadian politics can start using metaphors exclusively from the that era. We’d suggest the coming budget catastrophe in this city is starting to look a lot like Altamont.