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politics

The Rob Ford Radio Recap: A Working Class Hero (Burger)

Every Sunday, Mayor Rob Ford and his brother, Doug, host The City, a two-hour talk show on Newstalk 1010. We listen so you don't have to.

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Rob and Doug Ford in the studio. Photo courtesy of Newstalk 1010.

Last week, Rob made a vomiting sound that launched a thousand animated GIFs, endured a news report that claims he regularly works four-hour days at the office, and called getting city council to agree to allow a hamburger joint to open in Nathan Phillips Square “a good victory.” Where will our Fordian entropy propel us today? Find out next!

1:07: Rob says he’ll start with what’s closest to his heart (after his family, he quickly adds): sports. We get a recap of the week’s Sports Ball news. Already, the show is addressing Toronto’s most pressing concerns.

1:09: Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37, Scarborough Centre) joins the show, and Rob refers to him as “the big dog.” It’s the closest Rob ever gets to being Sean Connery.

1:10: Doug says it was just a fantastic week in Toronto, and Rob enthusiastically agrees. They point to the mayor’s Clean Toronto Together launch (which occurred at the same time Metrolinx was announcing its shortlist of revenue tools for transit expansion), and they say they think council’s latest meeting was really awesome.

1:11: Rob says he feels the biggest issue at council was the Hero Burger debate. Also discussed at that same meeting: the decade-long work on Toronto’s harmonized zoning bylaws, TCHC recapitalization, and increasing homeless shelter support to meet demand. Motherfucking Hero Burger.

1:16: Fill in the blanks for this Rob Ford quote: “Low taxes, _________, low taxes, and more jobs, __________, and even more jobs.”

Can you do it? You did? Torontoist readers are the best.

1:18: Rob and Doug talk about the new Coke offices atop the Toronto Sun building on King Street East, and how great it is that business is booming. They don’t mention that these offices aren’t new business: they moved from Leaside.

1:37: Rob chants: “Go Leafs go! Go Leafs go!”

1:43: Rob encourages the public to come down to City Hall and check out committee meetings. The last time he suggested this he ended up staying up all night chugging Red Bull and watching puppet show deputations.

2:01: Councillor Mark Grimes (Ward 6, Etobicoke-Lakeshore), whom the Fords refer to as the “Midnight Mayor” for unimaginable reasons, calls in to address a caller’s concern over opening a casino at Exhibition Place. He says there’s no plan to do so, although the MGM website would suggest otherwise.

2:09: Bill Haley’s “Rock Around the Clock” plays the brothers back from commercial. Of course, on Friday, the CBC presented evidence that the mayor doesn’t quite do that at City Hall.

2:10: A caller wants the public to raise money to pay for Rob’s terrible legal bills, which just aren’t fair. If anyone needs an Indiegogo campaign (IndieFoBro?), it’s obviously Rob Ford.

2:30: We run through some community events. Among those mentioned: A road construction press conference, a cricket tournament trophy celebration, and Rob going to a Leafs game. Toronto is just hopping, folks.

2:36: “Play That Funky Music White Boy” plays the Fords back into the show. And former budget chief Mike Del Grande (Ward 39, Scarborough-Agincourt) is here.

2:38: Del Grande on Scarborough: “The people of Scarborough are a very polite people. When it comes to transit, when it comes to hospitals, we don’t throw chairs, we don’t yell and scream at people.” This would be more convincing to me if I wasn’t at a transit meeting in Scarborough last year where an attendee said the only thing keeping him from throwing chairs at Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker (Ward 38, Scarborough Centre) was that they were nailed down. Mike Del Grande might remember it, as he was there too.

2:39: Doug says Rob and Mike are just too nice, and that’s why they aren’t getting results with the province. Clearly what politics needs is more meanies, and Doug Ford is just the man for the job.

2:40: Doug says Mike found 10 per cent efficiencies in his first budget and five per cent in his second budget. It is true that these were arbitrary goals that the City set, but it is also true that neither of them were reached. In fact, the city’s budget has increased. I’m starting to think Doug isn’t the numbers man he purports to be.

2:41: Doug criticizes the province, saying it’s asleep at the switch when it comes to issues like transit and hospitals, and Toronto needs its help. Presumably this is Doug’s political version of “negging.” Bro’s got game.

2:45: Doug proposes that he and Mike run provincially and Del Grande’s son John, a Catholic school trustee, take over his seat on council. Rob, the voice of reason, adds some nuance: “Come on, the Liberals have done some bad things, but they’ve done some good things too.” Doug, the self-styled Axel Foley of this group, calls him a softie.

2:46: A guy named John calls in, and he has a “pet beef” [sic]: congestion. He hates how long construction takes and how many cars are in his way.

2:47: Rob thinks what we should do to solve congestion is keep the Gardiner and add more lanes to existing roads, presumably because the idea of induced demand was invented by pinko traffic engineers. He adds that he hates Metrolinx’s revenue tools, which are intended to pay for transit improvements. After all, implementing things like road tolls would be “taxing the taxpayer,” and in the tautological world of City Hall, that’s not the desired effect, is it folks?

2:47: “Folks, they’re not revenue tools, they’re taxes. And until we get rid of all the waste and fat at City Hall and the provincial government—you look at some of the figures these people are getting paid, it’s astronomical—I’m not supporting none of this nonsense. That’s all it is.” Okay then.

2:52: Rob Ford, the city’s most expensive 311 employee, promises to visit a caller’s friend who needs help with a permit.

2:54: A caller really dislikes litter, because it’s gross and it’s everywhere. Rob agrees, and says the bylaw officers will catch the litterers, but the priority right now is cleaning up graffiti. It’s only radio, but I’m pretty sure Rob is shaking his fist at SPUD right now.

3:00: Do you know how Doug ended this show, folks? That’s right: “God bless Ford Nation.”

Raccoon Nation, we have survived our weekly Sunday burden and lived to tell about it. For that, you get five out of five sugarcubes, but the show only gets two out of five Hero Burgers.

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