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Scene: Protesting Rob Ford’s Views on Immigration


Photos by Harry Choi/Torontoist.

WHERE: Nathan Phillips Square.
WHEN: Wednesday, 2:14 p.m. (top) and 2:20 p.m. (bottom).
WHAT: Last night, Rob Ford said some controversial things about immigrants, and how much room we may or may not have for them in Toronto. Today, Rocco Rossi and Sarah Thomson spoke out against those comments. After greeting the assembled crowd, (well, a bank of cameras and reporters, at least) in about a dozen languages, Rossi said that: “All throughout the history of Canada and this tremendous city there have been voices that have been raised from time to time to say ‘Enough is enough. No more immigrants. We can’t deal with them. They’re a problem…’ Sadly, last night and again [today] one of the voices that was added to this chorus was the voice of Rob Ford.” Not pulling his punches, Rossi continued: “The enormity of the ignorance demonstrated by this is mind-blowing.” Thomson reiterated this sentiment, rhetorically asking “how many times are we going to let him show his intolerance and true prejudice?” Rob Ford’s response to the controversy is here.


  • http://undefined Global Urbanist

    Immigration policy has nothing to do with being mayor. Canada’s mayor’s are powerless to encourage or discourage immigration as well as migration to their cities outside of making them attractive places to live.
    On the other hand… opposing growth… that’s intolerable and leads to the slippery slope of Detroit decadence.

  • CanadianSkeezix

    Immigration policy has a lot to with mayor. Mayors might not set immigration levels, but that completely misses the point. Large cities are the level of government that end up providing most of the services to new arrivals. Immigration is transforming Toronto, and it’s the City government that plays the largest role in trying to manage that transformation. Moreover, the mayors of our large cities could be very effective advocates for higher or lower levels of immigration – a Mayor Ford could turn immigration into a hot-button (or hotter-button) issue for the Feds.
    Agree with you about opposing growth, though.

  • http://undefined rich1299

    I get the impression that Ford is opposed to Toronto’s growth because he doesn’t have the ability to come up with an effective plan to manage it. There is no simple solution to managing growth in Toronto and Ford is all about simple solutions. Btw it appears the Ford campaign hasn’t targeted Torontoist like it has the Star, there the pro-Ford comments are extensive to say the least, agreeing with every word that escapes Ford’s lips.

  • http://undefined DJ

    Okay, who exactly is supporting Rob Ford? Where is he polling well? I’ve been following this only from a distance but the guy appears to be the political embodiment of intolerance and ignorance.

  • http://undefined Vincent Clement

    Yes, because pro-Ford comments can only come from the Ford campaign. It’s not like people can speak for themselves. What an elitist point-of-view.

  • http://undefined CanadianSkeezix

    Lots of people barely follow municipal politics, have only a vague sense of who the candidates are and what the issues are, but nonetheless are aware that Rob Ford is allegedly careful with taxpayers money, so tell pollsters that they support Rob Ford.

  • Patrick Metzger

    If Rob Ford didn’t spew his daily idiocies, we’d miss out on the other candidates’ self-rightwous grandstanding. The system works!

  • http://undefined spacejack

    At this rate, it looks as if Ford’s opponents are going to have to form a coalition-mayor to defeat him. But is medical science up to the task yet?

  • http://undefined Margaret

    I’ve said it before here. We need Boris Johnson for mayor. He’s relatively green, cares about business, is a comedic genius (or upper class twit – up for debate) and chases down muggers on his bicycle… why can’t we have a world class mayor?

  • http://undefined rich1299

    When most online sites have a reasonable balance of opinions on the candidates but one site, the Star, has a huge imbalance favouring Ford and parroting the official Ford campaign almost word for word you can be assured that the Ford campaign is at work. Yes people speak for themselves but when they do there’s almost always a variety of opinions and almost never parroting of the official campaign talking points word for word. If it walks like a duck and sounds like a duck it probably isn’t a goose.

  • http://undefined snailspace

    Sadly, electing Ford for mayor would once and for all demonstrate that Toronto is nowhere near close to a world-class city, but rather an immature, myopic, and apathetic mess.

  • http://undefined aliengoo

    Taking Ford’s comments out of context. Yes,he has”foot in the mouth”challenges at times. Yet,Mr.Ford’s accountable enough to state on record what he wants for our city. To look after its residents first before taking on more commitments. The mayoral candidates would know Canada has an application for citizenship,and work visas. By not questioning anyone who circumvents Canada’s process isn’t pro growth.During economic downturn,the parameter for new citizens needs to be enforced. Never mind preventing human smuggling! Without fiscal order,Torontonians are living with impromptu taxe increases,transit woes,infrastructure challenges,social assistance increases,and the list can go on…Mr.Ford for Mayor!

  • http://undefined JB Globe

    You know, I’ve been thinking that most of the pro-Ford comments in the Star seem to be coming from absolute zealots. Even when I bring up legit points like: “Ford doesn’t really have a platform, he’s proposing about $ 1 billion in tax cuts, and $50 million in new spending, and only cutting about a $12 million from the budget, where’s he going to find the money?” no one responds to my point and instead I get called a Miller-loving-commie, plus there’s a guaranteed 20 “dislikes” on my comment.
    Frankly I can’t stand it when campaigns get operatives to pose as “ordinary Joes” not only is it deceitful, but it stifles discussion because all you end up talking about are the campaign talking points.

  • http://undefined JB Globe

    1 – Immigration is a federal issue, the mayor of Toronto has no sway on the matter.
    2 – What the hell is Ford’s platform?
    So far:
    - he’s pledged to cut a few million from city hall expenditures (with moves like cutting the amount of city councillors in half, which would require councillors to vote yes on a bill that may cost them their job, translation, notgonnahappen)
    - He’s hiring 50 police officers, which costs a few million (salary, plus benefits, plus training, plus equipment) effectively negating his cuts from city hall’s budget.
    - He’s going to eliminate the land transfer & vehicle registration taxes, which make the city $1 billion a year . . . And he has absolutely no plan on how to make up for that lost revenue.
    That’s all there is on his website, why do folks like you love this guy so much? I honestly have no idea why – he has no plan, he’s just good at rhetoric.
    I know the field of candidates is pathetic, but really? This guy?

  • http://undefined mark.

    Well, one aspect of Right-wingers is that they have the answers to nearly everything. It’s pretty easy for someone who’s already made up his or her mind on many issues to fire off a comment. Centrist people tend to see the complexities of issues, aren’t 100% sure in their convictions and are willing to see things from a different perspective and be open to other people. It’s not likely that someone would post a comment that says something like, “Well this is a complex issue and I don’t fully understand it or have a set opinion on it.” To be fair, truly Left-wingers are just as sure of themselves as the Right-wingers, but there isn’t really a Left anymore. Very few people call themselves a Marxist or a Communist and instead we have the euphemism “progressive” which is usually fairly centrist and favours capitalism (capitalism-with-a-human-face).
    Also, I’ve noticed that when the Star or Globe has a simple poll on their home page, the results are very different that the general sentiment in the relating story’s comment thread. For example, a poll asks if the city does enough for cyclists and the results are about 50-50. Read the accompanying story and the comments and agrees are overwhelmingly opposed to cycling.