Quite the few days for Toronto. Rob Ford is working to drive a stake in the heart of Transit City. To stop this gravy train he’ll blow over $130 million already spent on the project, be on the hook for whatever coin it’s going to cost to cancel contracts, and bid adieu to five years worth of planning in a city that’s a quarter-century behind in public transit. What loco motives drive this man?

Ontario’s Ombudsman declared that the regulation that gave G20 fuzz jackbooted power was illegal and “likely unconstitutional”. Andre Marin went on to say: “The effect of the regulation … was to infringe on the freedom of expression in ways that do not seem justifiable in a free and democratic society.”

Gee, I guess those protestors of whom Mayor Rob Ford said he had “very little sympathy“, may have been subject to laws that were “almost certainly beyond the authority of the government to enact.”

Then Mark Dailey, the voice of Toronto, the man whose quips and “CityTV. Everywhere” are part of my fond childhood memories, died of cancer.

Could a week that’s only two days old get any worse? Of course it can!

Enter Don Cherry. For a few days the blogosphere and media have been jumping with news that Mississaugan Don Cherry, he of the xenophobic and bigoted remarks, the captain of the Julian Fantino fanclub, the man who relishes fight club hockey, would be speaking as Mayor Ford’s special guest to open council.

Before Grapes could stand and deliver, he got his game face on by noting that he was happy to see the ass-end of the artsy elites and it was time for some lunch-pail, blue collar workers to run Toronto.

Cherry and Ford are millionaires. Hardly blue-collar but every inch the elite.

In today’s speech to City Council (go to the 38 minute mark to see Cherry), Cherry actually outdid himself. He wore one of his garish suits. This one resembling satin sheets from a 19th century bordello. Fitting.

He used the word “pinko”, a term as outdated as Cherry, four times. He said he was wearing “pinko” for “all the pinkos out there that ride bicycles and everything.” Then he referred to left-wing pinko newspapers and left-wing pinkos who oppose Ford (unlike Ford, at least he didn’t call anyone a “right-wing communist bastard“).

Cherry finished his crazed, incomprehensible diatribe with the classy: “put that in your pipe you left-wing kooks.”

This will be news for a few days as Torontonians and Toronto media attempt to figure out what happened to this city. One day we had a man who was Harvard-educated and well-spoken, now we have a Mayor who struggled with polysyllabic words during his swearing-in and thought Cherry a wise choice to deliver an address to the opening of council.

But I’m pleased, in a schadenfreude way, that Cherry got to shine in all his troglodytic glory. He has set the tone of the Ford years. Where all who disagree with Ford’s misstep du jour will be labeled a kook and any time the media scrutinizes a Ford decision, they will be derided as pinko left-wing newspapers (never mind the MSM is not remotely left-wing and never has been).

In a meandering three-minute stand-up routine, Cherry neatly expressed the rigid ideology of Ford and his cronies. The loathing they feel toward anyone who questions or protests or criticizes.

Toronto, we are the nerds and city council is run by the football team and for four years they’re going to punch us in the gut, steal our lunch money, and stuff us in a locker.

Eric Mang

Eric Mang

Eric Mang served as a political aide in the Harris government in Ontario and the Campbell government in British Columbia. His politics have since shifted left. He works full-time in health policy, part-time...