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The Rob Ford Radio Recap: Doug Comes Alive!

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.

Gather around the porch, have a beer, and turn on the radio, because it’s time for another installment of the Rob and Doug Ford radio extravaganza. This time, they’ll hate on streetcars, the provincial Liberals, and a whole lot of city councillors. So, it’s a normal week. Read on for the full recap.

1:07: Rob introduces the show. “It is hot, hot, hot out there. It’s a cooker.” I’m totally with Rob on this. The humidity is ridiculous.

1:09: Rob wants to talk about “the most ridiculous thing,” which is apparently not the warm weather. Instead, it’s TTC CEO Andy Byford’s proposal to run a pilot project during the 2015 Pan Am Games to see if closing a section of King Street to car traffic during peak hours improves transit flow. Rob says he likes Byford, but there are problems at the transit agency—to which Doug says the problem is TTC Chair Karen Stintz. But never fear, Raccoon Nation, because Rob has a solution, and it’s to phase out streetcars in favour of express buses, which he claims are faster.

It turns out—get ready for the twist—Rob Ford is wrong. Streetcar lines are, on average, faster than bus routes. They also carry more people. In fact, if you were to replace the King streetcar with buses, you’d need to run 50 of them an hour at peak periods.

As writer and activist Jude MacDonald pointed out on Twitter, Rob made his initial streetcar-eradication promise during his 2010 mayoral campaign, and he hasn’t even tried to follow up. Why should anyone put stock in what he says at this point?

1:11: Doug suggests Byford only proposed the King Street pilot project at the insistence of Stintz and TTC vice-chair Glenn de Baeremaeker (Ward 38, Scarborough Centre), who he says is an anti-car person. “It’s just a crazy idea. I tell ya, if I was chair we would be building subways from point A to point B. We’d be making sure we didn’t have the streetcars,” he says, channeling his inner Don Cherry.

1:14: Rob implores listeners to contact Stintz and Byford to tell them this idea is silly. He seems to have forgotten that Byford is supposed to be an independent, non-political expert. Could Slurpy have subbed in for Rob during the debate over former TTC CEO Gary Webster’s firing, where this was explained?

1:15: Doug shares that he, Byford, Adam Vaughan (Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina), and Anthony Perruzza (Ward 8, York West) joined forces to play cricket over the weekend, in what sounds like the perfect summer buddy comedy. My cast: Doug played by a slicked-back Andy Richter, Byford played by Stanley Tucci, Vaughan played by Steve Martin, and Perruzza played by Michael Imperioli.

1:16: Continuing on the sports theme, Rob chats about the Argos preseason. He attended a game on June 20, which resulted in this fantastic photo. Rob adds that he believes Toronto needs a football-specific stadium of about 20,000 to 25,000 to house the Argos, whose Rogers Centre lease soon expires.

1:25: Rob reminds listeners to head out to Ford Fest at Thomson Memorial Park on July 5. Any Torontoist recap readers who like free food, drinks, and need a Rob Ford fridge magnet should go, too.

1:28: Rob and Doug are now discussing their most significant accomplishment in the past year: repealing the five-cent plastic bag fee (which they insist is six cents with HST). Rob says he refuses to pay when stores try to charge him for bags, which proves he’s willing to take his nickel crusade straight to the front lines: minimum-wage cashiers across the city. What a hero.

1:30: With the City’s director of policy and planning for waste services on the show, Rob gripes about $400,000 being spent on recycling education initiatives, something he supported just last week. The mayor seems to think the campaign is just to tell people they can recycle plastic bags, but it’s for all kinds of recyclable materials, and even Doug takes him to task for his small-mindedness. After a few minutes digging in his heels in debate, Rob asks to change the subject.

1:55: Rob lists a series of Toronto festivals happening from now until early July. Notably absent is any mention of a Pride Week event. Earlier today (that is, Monday) Ford surprised us by attending his first Pride event: a flag raising at City Hall. Two things. One, going to Pride events is fun and totally not scary. Two, this doesn’t erase the mayor’s mishandling of LGBTQ issues over a long period of time. It’s good for him to go to events like the Pride flag raising, and hopefully it leads to more. But leadership, when it comes to things like these, isn’t just about events here and there; it’s about an overall attitude and sensibility that tells people they can feel included. For Rob, building that kind of trust is going to take a lot more work. Hopefully he recognizes that.

2:05: Argos linebacker Jason Pottinger is on the show, and the mayor is as giddy as he gets. When Pottinger confirms he’s won two Grey Cups, the mayor says, “Oh, I’d like to see those [championship] rings!” If you’ve never imagined the mayor as Gollum, now’s your chance.

2:10: An out-of-context Doug Ford quote, about himself: “The dragon is coming alive, folks.” Oh boy, is Doug the new Khaleesi?

2:15: Rob bemoans the provincial government’s decision to cut $150 million in funding to the city over four years. He makes some good points, like Toronto’s unique circumstances and needs as Canada’s largest city, but they’re undermined by the slogans he’s sold the electorate for years. After all, when you keep saying there’s only one taxpayer, that Toronto has a spending problem and not a revenue problem, and that there’s lots more waste to be found, then you shouldn’t be surprised when funding problems get dumped on you.

In fact, rather than focusing his efforts on talking about how he’ll beat the Liberals in the next election, maybe he could make an effort to work with the premier?

Oh, Doug has something to say about the Liberals? What is it, Doug? “[The Liberals are] the most irresponsible provincial government I’ve seen in my entire life. Scandal after scandal, wasting billions of dollars—not millions, billions…It’s time for people to speak up against this Liberal government.” Okay. While there’s plenty to criticize when it comes to the provincial government, this may not be the best way to get the premier to relent on a budget cut. But whatever, I’m not a pro.

2:20: Rob is really excited to talk about which councillors would retain their jobs if the number of seats on council were reduced by half, although it’s unclear whether his picks are who he would want to win, or who he thinks would win (the former seems more likely). Doug advises Rob against ticking off half of council, but even he can’t resist the siren song of this combination of fantasy sports. Here are his matchups, with his fantasy winner in bold:

Crisanti v. Ford (Ford does not plan to run)

Holyday v. Lindsay Luby

Milczyn v. Grimes (Either one)

Layton v. Vaughan (Chris Bolton)

Mihevc v. Matlow

Filion v. Shiner

McMahon v. Davis (Justin Van Dette)

Carroll v. Minnan-Wong

Crawford v. Berardinetti

Thompson v. de Baeremaeker

2:35: Doug Ford announces that Councillor Vincent Crisanti (Ward 1, Etobicoke North) will be launching an anti-postering campaign Wednesday morning, which should anger Jane Jacobs fans everywhere.

2:40: Daniel on line one doesn’t like streetcars, and thinks they’re a real traffic problem. “There’s your problem right there. Streetcars.” Rob agrees. He says he thinks it’s common sense to just have buses.

2:42: Cloris calls in. We learn she’s a member of Ford Nation when she weighs in on transit. “I agree,” she says. “These streetcars are outdated. They’re a pain in the neck.” My mom taught me to respect seniors, so no snark here.

2:43: For the first time, Rob says he wants phasing out streetcars to be an election issue. I suppose that’s a better ballot-box question for him than, say, “Crack?”

2:46: Caller Nick says he’s very happy with the job Rob is doing, and he supports reducing the Land Transfer Tax and the size of council.

2:51: John thinks the mayor is doing a great job, but he thinks King Street needs more transit. Rob seems somewhat surprised.

2:53: Sergei calls in, and he says he has a more sophisticated program for the water fountain in front of City Hall, but City Hall didn’t respond to his unsolicited proposal. Doug Ford then suggests that Toronto should have a mini-Bellagio fountain. “Go big or go home,” he says, channeling his inner Donald Trump.

3:00: Yada yada, God bless Ford Nation.

And God bless YOU, Raccoon Nation. This was a very uneventful show. Rob gave some hints at future policy initiatives, but that was about it. Once again, there were no city councillors on as guests, a streak that stretches back to when the crack scandal began. One out of five streetcars.


  • Duane

    Good show overall.

  • OgtheDim

    “if I was chair we would be building subways…”

    And you very well could have Doug, if you and your brother knew how to actually work council through consensus.

    The left was in disarray and would have been easy to keep isolated.

    You probably could have gotten your stubway between two malls.

    BUT, you listened to Kouvalis and Twohey, who have never had to actually get anything done in this city, and decided to play hardball with the councillors from the day after the election.

    And, you made the mistake of not getting council to approve the death of Transit City, when you had the votes.

    Its not council’s fault that you didn’t get what you wanted. You didn’t work with them.

    And now, well, we await the crack video evidence showing up in pretrials….

    • Steve Fleck

      This is the massive disconnect with the Ford Nation. Outside of the general incompetence of Mayor Ford and the thin, almost non-existent policy, the Mayor has none of the skills required to get anything of significance done at City Hall! The way, that council is physically and politically set up, the Mayor needs to be able to communicate effectively. He needs to be compassionate. He needs to be able to build consensus. He needs to be able to negotiate and mediate. He needs to be able to see the other side of an issue. Rob Ford has NONE of those skills. So if you like talk, bluster, misleading information, and even lying, then vote again for Rob Ford. Point is, if you want some form of “right wing agenda” advanced, you have the wrong guy! But Rob, saved you a few dollars of taxes, so whoo-whoo!

      • bobloblawbloblawblah

        That Ford has few skills that a one vote Mayor needs is of little consequence to Ford Nation. Ford is there to “stick it” to imagined “elites” and what the nation regards as a certain “lefty agenda of social engineering”. He gives voice to their anger. Even if Ford accomplishes little of what he wants, to the Ford Fans having him as Mayor and standing in the way of what the “elites” want is much preferable to any progressive Mayor with brains. It’s a very strange thing: Ford is politically isolated and can really only jam up the works now, not actually get anything done but that suits his followers just fine.

  • Scrimbro

    “My cast: Doug played by a slicked-back Andy Richter, Byford played by
    Stanley Tucci, Vaughan played by Steve Martin, and Perruzza played by
    Michael Imperioli.” I like where you’re going with that. I would also suggest Tina Fey for Stintz, Lily Tomlin for Nunziata, a caffeinated Joe Pesci for Mammoliti, and Philip Seymour Hoffman for Rob. Because Hoffman is a darn fine actor, that’s why, and not because, as recently noted in the press, he’s had to deal with a substance-abuse problem (although that would cut down on his character research time considerably…).

    • bobloblawbloblawblah

      John Goodman for Rob.

      • Lloyd_Davis

        The ghost of Jackie Gleason, playing a combination of Ralph Kramden and Sheriff Buford T. Justice.

        • Punned_It

          Nailed it!

    • Lloyd_Davis

      Whenever I see Stintz, I see Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope on “Parks and Recreation.”

  • HotDang

    If Ford plans to reduce the number of seats to get a more regressive council, he would have to gerrymander pretty hard. A lot of these choices come off as wishful thinking.

    He thinks a supporter is going to get elected in wards 18, 19 and 20? Fat chance. Conservatives typically come in third in those wards / ridings, not far ahead of the green party.

    • OgtheDim

      Yeah, and the fiscal disconnect again is not there.

      Anybody who talks to John Filion knows how difficult it is for a councillor to deal with 120K people in a ward. Ford wants to see upwards of 200K in each ward. If he thinks councillors are too busy to help people now, he’d be having a bird at the inability of people to access their councillor.

      Which would, of course, mean more staff, in each department handling issues.

      Which would, like it or not, actually cost more then the savings.

      Rob doesn’t really get CBA.

    • bobloblawbloblawblah

      First he’d have to get the thumbs up from Council. Then the province would have to get involved. None of this will happen. Much of what is said on their gong show is fantasy, all of it thrown out there for the good listeners in Ford Nation.

    • John Duncan

      The fact that the Mayor doesn’t understand that local government is supposed to be local is one of my biggest concerns, only mitigated by the fact that he doesn’t have the votes to get this particular scheme passed.

      Yeah, Toronto only has 22 MPs/MPPs (for now), but the legislatures they’re part of only have one Prime Minister/Premier too. By Ford’s logic, we should cut the number of mayors to one for the whole country/province too!

      Honestly, the devolution of power from Toronto City Council with its full-time politicians to more local councils with many more part-time politicians would make for a more responsive government, and probably wouldn’t cost all that much.

  • wklis

    To Rob & Doug Ford, transit users are second class people, not even citizens. If this
    was Moscow, they’ll both drive themselves around with migalki or blue lights on
    their roofs. They would prefer NOT see people using public transit, out of sight is better for them.

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      Hence their push for subways where surface transit makes sense: get those hoi polloi and lumpen proles off the streets and out of sight of their betters.

    • Lloyd_Davis

      And if this were Moscow, Robbo would’ve pocketed the Grey Cup rings.

  • PabloYYZ

    Thanks again for your blistering commentary on Der Fordist Kanal. Der Humber-valley-of-the-clueless will be incensed!

  • ACMEsalesrep

    “It’s common sense to just have buses.”

    Streetcars carry more passengers, more quickly, at lower cost per passenger. So-called “conservatives” like Ford really don’t know what “common sense” means, do they?

    The TTC should try this some time, even for just one rush hour, to prove the point: Replace all of the streetcars on, say, King Street with the roughly twice as many buses you’d need to have the same passenger capacity, and watch the mayhem that ensues.

    • wklis

      TTC CEO wants to order another 60 low-floor streetcars in addition to the current 206 streetcar order. Rob Ford might get a little upset.

      • dsmithhfx


        • treptower

          Those hi-tech wooden telegraph poles are still there!

  • Sean_Marshall

    I’m surprised that Rob Ford didn’t take a stab at York Centre. Augimeri vs. Pasternak? Or his good buddy Gus Cusimano? What about York West? Is Ford on speaking terms with Mammo? Or would he prefer Perruzza?

    I won’t even touch Toronto Centre or Toronto-Danforth.

    • vampchick21

      Notice he didn’t even touch Parkdale-High Park.

      • whatafoolbelieves

        I’ve done this before over at the Sun site…here’s a look at what council would look like with 22 members (did a little bit of math voodoo and percentage to get there
        D Ford beats Crisanti (no contest)
        Holyday beats L-L (suprising no contest)
        Grimes beats Milczyn (suprising no contest)
        Mammolitti beats Peruzza (meh)
        Augimeri beats Pasternak (as expected no contest)
        Nunzaiata beats DiGiorgio (walk away)
        Perks beats Doucette (very close)
        Stintz beats Colle (no contest)
        Bailao beats Palacio (suprising close winner)
        Vaughan beats Layton (no contest)
        Mihevic beats Matlow (close)
        Filion beats Shiner (close)
        Robinson beats Parker (suprising walk away)
        McConnell beats Wong-Tam (walk way)
        Fletcher beats Fragedakis (close)
        McMahon beats Davis (suprisingly convincing)
        Carroll beats Minnan-Wong (close)
        Berardinetti beats Crawford (no contest)
        Thompson beat G DeB (walk away)
        Kelly beats DelGrande (convincing)
        Lee beats Cho (convincing)
        Ainslie beats Moeser (convincing)

        Decimates R Ford’s Executive doesn’t it? Just Ainslie, Kelly, Thompson and Holyday left

        • selonmoi

          If you’re basing these predictions on 2010 results, then I wouldn’t put much stock in any match-up between a new councillor and a pre-2010 incumbent. Those new Councillors will have had years to build their brand.

          • whatafoolbelieves

            Sorry, I should have explained further…that is what today’s Council (not a future council) would look like based on 2010 election night tabulations and my calculations

  • Robert Mic Freeman

    Subways are more expensive to build AND maintain. They’re business killers (just ask any business owner along the dead stretches of the Danforth. Unless something changes, passengers don’t have access to wireless networks which they could use to access information on local businesses while shopping. Streetcars are the most efficient, non-polluting and cost-friendly way to transport people around a major city. The Fords don’t care about business along major streets in Toronto. They don’t care about passengers who opt for transit over driving and what that means to reducing congestion. They, in their myopic vision of what a city should look like, only care about their fellow mouth-breathers and their penis-compensating land yachts being able to get in and out of the city core with as little resistance as possible.

    • OgtheDim

      The TTC is putting in wireless. Just don’t expect anybody but a big 3 phone to work down there.

  • Crowie

    “Rob says he refuses to pay when stores try to charge him for bags”

    So the mayor is advocating shoplifting now? Nice.

  • Steve Fleck

    Nice. And now we learn that Rob Ford has been gaming the 1010 Show! What a surprise![sarcasm]

    As I have said repeatedly, Rob Ford supporters, Ford Nation etc . . must really like being played for fools, because that’s what’s going on.

    • WoRPt

      Besides the antics, I find following the Ford brothers and their policies difficult, at best. If you’re going to be publicly speaking at every given chance, then you should at least have your act together. They’re constantly contradicting themselves. As I stated before, Doug was for keeping King St streetcars and removing the rest of them a week ago. Now he’s saying abolish all of them. He says he wants to run the TTC but previously supported privatizing them. I have family in London, England, and have seen what a disaster privatization was. At the last city council, Doug protested attacks on his brother with “the left is always attacking us! You don’t see us doing that!” Then Rob spent the next 30 minutes name calling, finger pointing, and making allegations towards opposing Councillors.

      The list goes on and on… and yet, his supporters find him to be of “sound mind”.

  • wklis

    Not that surprising, the CBC reports that the “Dave” calls to the radio show are friends or associates of Ford. See for more information.

  • Scrimbro

    And now we learn that Rob and Doug are surrounded by people who show their love
    and loyalty by lying to them, calling in to their show as fake callers
    from various parts of the city and making them believe their support and
    listenership might be larger than it actually is.

    And the Ford
    brothers would have us believe they apparently had so much trouble
    recognizing a *lifelong friend’s* voice on the phone, they didn’t clue
    in that it was him until someone pointed it out.

    And right after
    they told him to knock it off with the VERY SAME FAKE PHONE-INS that
    Bussin was (rightly) castigated for doing back in the day, they punished
    him for making them look like fawned-over fools on radio by… giving
    him a cushy and vaguely defined job in their office that may or may not
    have involved procuring certain items.

    How do actual Ford supporters get through the day, knowing they’re constantly being played for chumps by these two guys?

    • dsmithhfx

      Populism’s appeal: I’m a victim, hurt me s’more!

  • torontothegreat

    Sense of humou… Never mind, it would probably just go over your head anyways…

    • Jos Louis

      Try me.

      • torontothegreat

        You either don’t understand what that means or you proved my point of being dense. Either way works for me!

        • Jos Louis

          Tell you what, how about offering some proof, aside from an 80 year old photo, that streetcars are more dangerous than either buses or subways. Some stats would be really nice….

  • dsmithhfx

    Another casualty in the War on the Car!

  • wip1968

    We should all call the next shows and ask Rob and Doug why they can’t take the $1 Billion they’ve saved and apply it towards the various needs of Toronto like housing, etc. After all, the saved $1 Billion is Toronto’s money already.

  • James Hussein

    Rob for prime minister of canada.

    rob ford is not a loser in civil court case. he did not file for bankruptcy. he is the man. i hope he can make a million man gathering this summer.

    • WoRPt

      Somehow, I can’t really see that happening. However, looking at all the up-votes you’ve gotten, I could be wrong.

  • WoRPt

    Just 7 days prior to this (if I’m not mistaken) Doug Ford was advocating the removal of street cars EXCEPT for King Street. And, to be honest with you, 7 days ago, I agreed with him.

    Streetcars do congest traffic. Anyone who’s so much as taken a taxi downtown has probably experienced this. However, I do feel there is a certain historical value and uniqueness to them. Yes, they can be faster than buses… if there are no obstacles, which, in my experience, is rare (especially at rush hour).

    I doubt there will be change in this, though, as it’s a downtown issue, which doesn’t usually count for much, especially during campaign time.