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The Rob and Doug Ford Radio Recap: RoboFord

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.

Normally Rob and Doug Ford don’t do their radio show on long weekends, which is nice, because then there’s no recap to do. But this week the Ford brothers made an exception in order to do a subways, subways, subways victory lap. Presumably, they’ll talk about subways this show. Maybe robocalls too? Let’s find out!

1:08: Rob says “subways” four times in a row, because it’s a day that ends in “y.” Of course, this also doubles as his answer for anything related to Sandro Lisi.

1:10: Rob says he disagrees with the process used last week to appoint a new councillor to for Ward 3. He criticizes councillors Shelley Carroll (Ward 33, Don Valley East) and Paula Fletcher (Ward 30, Toronto-Danforth) for voting to appoint new councillor Peter Leon, and then praises Peter Leon. Peter Leon (Ward 3, Etobicoke Centre) is now on the show.

1:17: Leon speaks about his background, which includes a stint on the Etobicoke Library Board. “I had a great experience on the library, I believe it was seven or eight years, all told…Ladies and gentleman, the best bargain you have today in your community is your public library, believe me.”

1:25: Doug asks Leon how the traffic was along St. Clair Avenue coming into the studio, and he says it was bad: “The more subways the better.” Doug agrees, “We have lots of real estate underground, and we have to continue building subways, not spread the St. Clair disaster throughout the whole city.”

1:30: Leon signs off, and Rob, who didn’t vote for him during the appointment process, says he wishes that there were 42 other councillors just like him.

1:33: As Trooper’s “Raise a Little Hell” plays, the Fords back into the show from commercial, and Rob says, “Raise a little hell. We have to raise a lot of hell down there to save a billion dollars. It’s like taking milk from a baby. All they do is yell and scream, and holy smokes.” (As has been reported over and over again, Rob has not saved a billion dollars.) Rob then says that the city’s unemployment rate has gone from 11 per cent to 7 per cent on his watch. It’s true that unemployment has decreased during his mayoralty, but from 9.4 per cent to 7.1 per cent.

1:36: Rob criticizes councillor Janet Davis (Ward 31, Beaches East-York) for wanting to increase service levels for affordable housing, childcare, and shelter services, saying she wants to recklessly spend money the City doesn’t have. Doug chimes in: “Councillor Davis is known to pump up her union buddies.” He then goes on to say that the role of government is to make sure the necessities are taken care of and taxes are low.

Well, to someone who can’t afford childcare or housing, social services are probably necessities. What’s not a necessity is spending $910 million of City money on a subway that will require large operating subsidies for most of its useful life.

1:37: Rob: “LRT is exactly what we have on St. Clair.” It is not. Rob: “They’re going to rip up the middle of the roads.” The Scarborough LRT would not run on the road.

1:40: Speaking about his robocalls to Paul Ainslie’s (Ward 43, Scarborough East) ward after Ainslie supported LRT rather than subways, Rob says, “My responsibility is to inform people how councillors vote.”

“All I want to do is to make sure people stand up and say ‘I’m proud of how I voted.’ I wish someone would come out and advertise my voting record to the entire city. I can justify it, I can tell you why I voted on the issues the way I did.”

Rob Ford, your wish is granted.

Of the 60 council votes deemed significant by Metro‘s Matt Elliott, the mayor has lost 28 of them. For context, in seven years, David Miller lost one. So Rob Ford is not that good at winning votes. Here’s a small selection of votes worth informing people about:

The mayor has voted: against his own budget, against funding the student nutrition program with investment earnings, to cut funding to the Tenant Defence Fund, against a review to make the budget process more transparent, against taking the end of the school year into consideration when moving TCHC residents whose homes are being sold, to implement service reductions on 56 bus routes and 6 streetcar lines, to increase the crowding limit on buses, to charge charities and churches for waste collection, against community grants for youth outreach workers (after the vote, Ford ran from a reporter who asked him about it), against provincially funded public-health nurses, to reject provincial grants to help preschoolers who stutter, against allowing people with disabilities to speak to council committees by video conference, and to relieve himself of responsibility for reimbursing lobbyists who donated $3,150 to his football foundation, if you remember that one.

That’s a long robocall.

1:41: Sometimes Rob tells stories that make you question how accurate they are. Let’s put on our detective hat as he talks about the time Paul Ainslie resigned from the mayor’s executive committee:

“After [the vote], I was obviously upset. People in Scarborough were very upset, and said, ‘Rob, there’s something wrong with this picture. Why did Councillor Ainslie jump ship?’”

I have a feeling that “People in Scarborough” might mean “Norm Kelly and Michael Thompson,” or an equally small sample size.

“I said, ‘I can’t give you an answer.’ So I said, you know what, I have to dismiss him from my executive.”

Okay, that’s fair, you want your executive committee to represent your views. But didn’t fellow executive committee councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 34, Don Valley East) vote against the subway extension too?

“I could’ve done it on Wednesday, but I said ‘You know what, I won’t.’ I talked to Earl, my chief of staff, I said ‘Let’s just wait it out, I don’t want to embarrass him.’”

Right, you’re a nice guy and you want to be gracious in your victory. But wait, weren’t you the one who did the robocalls? Wasn’t the point of those to embarrass him for his vote?

“On Friday I was going to let him go. It was the right thing to do. The right thing to do was to get him to resign, so this wouldn’t belittle or embarrass him.”

Now I’m confused. Are you dismissing him, and that’s the right thing, or are you allowing him to resign on his own terms, because that’s classy-like?

“So he did that. He obviously caught wind of that he was getting dismissed at the end of council, so he resigned at the end of the afternoon. No problem.”

So then you belittled and embarrassed him with robocalls to his ward and insults on your weekly radio show. I’m starting to think this story isn’t consistent, and is being made up as we go along. Also, it doesn’t have enough pictures.

1:42: Rob admits the robocall was his. Can RoboFord be a Thing? He also says the robocall was not personal and he never said anything negative about Ainslie (you can listen to it here). However, when Ainslie spoke at council in support of the LRT, Rob’s first question was, “Councillor, do you plan to run in the next election?” So the mayor can frame this as “informing the public” rather than electioneering, but you be the judge.

1:45: Rob, on robocalls: “I didn’t do anything wrong, I just informed people how he voted.” Doug says the reason Ainslie is upset is because Rob didn’t pick him as budget chief. Of course, the Ward 43 councillor did go public about Rob’s alleged intoxication at the Garrison Ball for veterans, so there are motives for both parties here.

1:54: “When you hold people to account, when one of your key platforms was transparency and accountability, you ruffle feathers. You absolutely ruffle feathers, they don’t like the truth, they don’t like the facts.” -Noted fabulist Doug Ford discusses epistemology.

1:58: Rob says he paid for the robocall and that Ainslie can go running to the integrity commissioner, but it won’t be the last of these calls. Ford may be cleared of any wrongdoing with the integrity commissioner, but that doesn’t mean that what he did was right, and robocalls after close votes certainly shouldn’t be, as Doug says, “standard operating procedure.” A lot of politics is based on the assumption that politicians will possess a basic amount of decency and shame to prevent things like this from arising in the first place. But how do you teach an individual whose governing principle is pathological shamelessness?

2:03: Doug makes the argument that of Toronto’s 67 subway stations only three are in Scarborough, and that that’s unfair. Of course, the reason the downtown subway is so crowded anytime near rush hour is because all parts of the city commute to it for work, but no bother. This is Doug Ford’s subway socialism, where all areas of the city need equal subway representation regardless of any sensible transit or budget planning.

2:05: Rob says his priorities for subway expansion would go:

  1. Connect Don Mills to McCowan Road
  2. Put a subway along Finch Avenue
  3. Downtown Relief Line

His reason for the relief line being third? Downtown has enough subways. Okay, hope you like pictures like this, Toronto.

2:08: We have our first call of the day, Paul on line one! Let’s listen in.

Paul: “I just want to congratulate Councillor Ainslie on his vote on the subway. Doug Ford, just a few minutes ago you said LRT in Scarborough would be ripping up the road and blocking traffic. Is that correct? Did you say that? ”

Doug: 100 per cent it’s going to be ripping up the roads. You know Paul—

Paul: That’s a lie, Mr. Ford.

Doug: Oh okay, I’ll let you finish and I’ll respond.

Paul: Do you understand that the LRT plan was supposed to follow the Scarborough RT route and not be blocking any traffic whatsoever?

Doug: Let him finish.

Rob: Go ahead.

Paul: In a YouTube video search for Rob Ford and Josh Matlow and there’s a great video of Rob Ford not understanding what the LRT line is whatsoever and councillor Josh Matlow had to explain to him that the LRT line would be going through the SRT line in that area of Scarborough. So Rob Ford and Doug Ford are lying to the citizens of Toronto. (Rob and Doug chuckle in background.)

Doug: Let him go.

Paul: There will be no streetcars, LRT, anything blocking traffic in Scarborough. That LRT line was fully funded and you guys are wasting millions for everything that has gone on. An environmental assessment needs to be done on this now, and you’re going to be putting this City further into debt. And the Downtown Relief Line you’re talking about services the people from east, west, north.

Rob: Thank you, thank you very much. We appreciate that. Now, let’s hear the truth. Obviously, that’s not the truth.

Doug: Let me respond first. First of all, what I’d like to ask Paul is, “Do you believe in a two-tier transit system?” Do you believe that the people of downtown should have underground transit in the middle of winter and have the people of Scarborough stand on the side of the road like they do on St. Clair Avenue freezing their butts off, while everyone else is underground on Eglinton. Yes, it is ripping up roads along Eglinton, Paul, we’re ripping up a couple lanes of traffic.”

It is the most critical phone call to ever get through the Rob and Doug Ford bubble. For the record, Paul got all of his facts right except that some lanes for cars will be reduced in Scarborough for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, but not the Scarborough LRT. Still, Paul ruffled the Fords’ feathers good.

2:14: Rob says that the average household will pay $10 a year for three years for the subway. This is a misrepresentation of how much it will cost. A property tax increase will be phased in over three years, and it will cost the average household $38 annually for 30 years. This doesn’t include any operating or maintenance or cost overruns, all of which will be on top of that tax. We made a handy calculator that lets you see all this for yourself. Rob should check it out!

2:19: Rob says he’ll campaign on subways and looks forward to the debates. He claims he’ll do 150 debates if people want, which is curious because he recently said the opposite. But hey, more debates is good. Thanks Rob!

2:26: Diane Ford, the family matriarch, is now on the show, literally talking turkey. Rob says there’s never enough, and Diane is playfully offended. “You know what,” she says to Rob. “You’re not getting dessert.”

2:30: Doug Ford now goes after the Globe for targeting readers who earn more than $100,000. He says it’s evidence that they’re part of the condescending media elite that targets their rich elitist friends. But as the Globe‘s Steve Ladurantaye points out on Twitter, all newspapers do this.

2:32: Rob says he’s mad about Pan Am Games expenses, and won’t attend any Pan Am events until he’s satisfied. He says he was sucked in by the Pan Am officials and had the wool pulled over his eyes by them, which is “hard to do.”

2:36: Doug says Rob and he are the only ones with “the cajones” to stand up for the people, and that’s why people are out to “politically kill” them. Okay…

2:40: We’re now talking football with sports commentator Mike Toth. Toth asks the mayor whether he misses coaching, and Rob says he’s going through major withdrawal. He also asks what lessons can be applied from football to politics, and Rob says “being on time and punctual,” among other things. I honestly can’t remember seeing Rob Ford start a press availability on time.

2:45: Rob says the government has a spending problem, not a revenue problem, so he doesn’t buy it when they say they need all these new revenue tools or taxes. By the way, he raised property taxes 1.6 per cent on Tuesday for an unnecessary subway extension. Just sayin’.

3:00: And God bless Ford Nation!

It was another irony-free helping of the Rob and Doug extravaganza. They said lots of things about LRT, most of them untrue. They also said lots of things about robocalls, but does anyone actually like getting those? Aren’t they just phone spam? And they accused a caller of lying, which is not the best tactic. But it provided us with our longest recap ever, so there’s that.

5 out of 5 robocalls.

And God bless Raccoon Nation.


  • milanista1

    Incredible. Just incredible.
    I don’t know what else to say.

  • vampchick21

    Good on Paul!

  • OgtheDim

    Doug seems to think that the only people who take transit are people locally.

    While there is a certain amount of truth to that, its patently not true on the subway lines.

  • AndyZ

    Rob is suffering from “major withdrawal”? LOL

  • Steve Fleck

    Complete, and total incoherence. Nothing they say, makes any sense. They are wrong on so many issues, and after that they just make stuff or are completely dishonest.

    The Globe & Mail reference was interesting. Several weeks ago, both Fords were accusing the Globe of being, “An NDP paper”. Now, it’s for “rich people” only, who generally speaking are more conservative, and tend to vote that way. So, Doug/Rob, which is it?

    • inchoate

      The Fordian concept of “the left” is that it’s a bunch of affluent unionized/educated pointy head types, opposed to “the taxpayer” who is getting robbed to pay the left’s big union and professional salaries. In other words, “the rich” and “the left” ARE the same thing in the Fordian universe.

      In the Fords’ own estimation, they aren’t “rich people”: they’re common men who happen to have a lot of money, benevolent monarchs, Lord and Lord Bountiful raining down burgers and robocalls upon the grateful Nation.

      The fact that all this is grotesquely inaccurate makes it…pretty much the same as anything else the Fords insist is true.

      • Dinah Might

        I love the imagery of “raining down burgers and robocalls”.

        coming next summer–> Cloudy With A Chance of Robocalls

        • AllanG

          Next election – stormy with a certainty of robocalls.

      • vampchick21

        Hey wait, where’s my burger? I want a burger joint next to my subway station in my condo parking level.

        • inchoate

          Bzzt. You don’t eat burgers. You live exclusively on lattes and champagne.

          • vampchick21

            Maybe so, but I still want the burgers. They smell good. Why can’t I have a nice, aromatic neighbourhood?????? With subway stops. Every block.

  • Lloyd_Davis

    Don’t leave us in suspense: How did the Mega Powers respond to Peter Leon’s comment about liberries?

  • Lee Zamparo

    This Paul guy is my new hero.

  • Welshgrrl

    This is the sound of two very arrogant, entitled people who so far have gotten away with absolutely everything, and have the good fortune to be able to engage in a weekly mutual masturbation session for the idiots that voted for them.

  • Dinah Might

    Paul: “You said the Scarborough LRT will rip up Scarborough roads, but it won’t.”
    Doug: “Yes, the Eglinton Crosstown is totally ripping up Eglinton!”


    • wklis

      Of course they’ll ripping up Eglinton. For the stations. Would happen with HRT not just LRT.

      • vampchick21

        I think the point Dinah is making is that Scarborough LRT and Eglinton Crosstown are two different routes, and that the good councillor Ford doesn’t grasp that fact.

        • AllanG

          Why should he be forced to grasp the facts? Facts are just an elitist way to say, “I don’t have any shrill arguments and opinions.” Facts are for losers.

          • vampchick21

            Aw, you can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. Forty percent of all people know that.

          • glenn_storey

            92% of statistics are made up.

          • Dinah Might

            And the other 27% don’t even add up right.

        • Dinah Might

          That’s what I was going for.

  • bobloblawbloblawblah

    Doug says Rob and he are the only ones with “the cajones” to stand up for the people, and that’s why people are out to “politically kill” them. ”

    No, people oppose you because you’re lying, uninformed, self-aggrandizing, bully buffoons who think everyone should do as you say. Your hypocrisy is breathtaking: on the one hand you talk about keeping taxes low, on the other hand you increase taxes with your subway extension and saddle the city with more debt and higher operating costs for the TTC. It will be a happy day when your clown show leaves town.

  • Dinah Might

    Why can’t Rob/Doug at least say “look how badly a streetcar destroyed St. Clair, an LRT would do ten times as much damage, since it is a different, larger vehicle!”

    They’d still be wrong but at least I wouldn’t have to hear the streetcar=LRT lie over and over again.

  • Dinah Might

    “Why should those downtown elitists be all warm and cozy in their underground subway while the people of Peawanuk, Ontario, shiver outdoors in the cold?!??!!! SUBWAYS FOR PEAWANUK!!!”

    • Dave

      …Not to mention the fact that there will only be three more places where those poor Scarberians would finally be able to get out of the cold. Mind you, they’re probably still having to take buses to get there, so…Ah fuck it, never mind. It’s like arguing logic with a two-year-old.

      • dsmithhfx


  • vampchick21

    Ya know what? I’m writing to the Ford brothers, and cc’ing my councillor to point out that I, a downtown elitist, am forced to take *gasp* surface transit every day, shivering in the cold, even in July, as I wait for an overcrowded streetcar to take me to my overpaid Bay Street job and back again! Where the hell is my subway????

    • OgtheDim

      Doug would, with a straight face, suggest we could get far more buses that would pick you up quicker if we just got rid of those dog garned street cars.

      • Dinah Might

        And we could fit even more taxis on the streets if we got rid of those gosh darned buses!!

        • OgtheDim

          Twohey smiles whenever somebody says that.

      • vampchick21

        Which would totally demonstrate how he’s lying about us elitists having subways.

      • AllanG

        I was on the DVP yesterday. It was wall to wall traffic. Clearly the streetcars and bicycles have to go and congestion on the highways will be fixed.

    • milanista1

      Send it my way, I’ll sign it.
      I’m in the same boat (well, the same streetcar)
      It is pathetic that those who have already committed to using transit on a daily basis are the ones who get the shaft in order to fruitlessly try to lure people out of their cars, which they drive on 6 lane wide streets, in some parts of Scarborough, with billion dollar subway extensions.

    • AllanG

      You already have enough subways according to the millionaire mayor.

      • vampchick21

        No!!!!! We downtown elitists need more!!!! Magic subway stations in our condo parking garages that take us directly to wherever we want to go!

        • AllanG

          I want a subway to get to my subway. I’m tired standing outside waiting for a bus in the cold. To be fair, every Torontonian should have a subway within 3 feet of their homes.

          • vampchick21

            That’s a lot of subway stations. The Fords need to stock up on their magical farting unicorns.

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    Rob Ford needs to take the TTC to work (at City Hall that is, not coaching football or putting in an appearance at the family company) every day for a month, arriving and leaving during rush hours only, before he’ll come close to understanding why transit downtown needs to be a priority.

    • inchoate

      I agree 100%, but he’ll never do it, nor would his supporters ever ask him to.

    • AllanG

      Why? Someone who never takes public transit and cruises around in a Cadillac Escalade knows a lot more than transit riders because they are more objective. Subway riders see crammed platforms and think “this is crazy”. Cadillac drivers are much more objective.

      • Shane Saiyan

        You are a poor, poor troll.

        • AllanG

          Thanks for adding your brilliant insights to the discussion.

    • playtheguitar

      Rob Ford only takes the subway late at night after he’s had a few pops and lost a vote about something. And can get a camera crew from the Sun to go with.

    • wklis

      When Rob DRIVES to city hall, it is AFTER the morning rush. He leaves city hall either BEFORE the evening rush, or sometimes because council meeting drag on, after the evening rush.

      • tyrannosaurus_rek

        That’s why I specified he’d have to go during rush hours.

  • AllanG

    “the average household will pay $10 a year for three years for the subway…. A property tax increase will be phased in over three years, and it will cost the average household $38 annually for 30 years”
    Sure. Once again the Ford haters are using FACTS because their opinions are not nearly shrill enough. In any case, it’s just squabbling over pennies. Three years. Thirty years. Compared to a million years, they’re pretty much the same thing. $10. $38. Compared to a million bucks, it’s no big difference. Haters will do whatever they can to sink the mayor’s agenda to save money for the taxpayers. In fact, this new fee will be saving taxpayers $1140. Just like getting rid of the vehicle transfer tax is saving the city hundreds of millions of the billion Ford has saved us.

  • vampchick21

    I’m really starting to think that the Ford bros’ learned everything they need to know about mass transit from Lyle Lanley.

  • JN

    So much stupid I had to stop reading halfway.

    • bobloblawbloblawblah

      Yes. I think the bruddahs out-stupided themselves this week.

  • Duly Noticed

    Don’t forget that one of the first things Rob Ford did was to end funding for the Santa Claus Fund. This is the organization that provides a seasonal present for the city’s poorest kids when they have very little else. This fund has existed frugally by a relatively small amount of money by city hall since the 1950′s and this is the first Mayor to insist that funding is stopped.

    • dsmithhfx

      Have we heard a peep out of either Ford, or Ford Nation about “the kids” since, well, you know?

  • user xyyyz

    the “Rub ‘n Tug Ford Show” where it’s all about self gratification.

    Someone please run these clowns out of Toronto.

    BTW I no longer listen to CFRB or knowingly use any service provided by BCE such as phones, internet, CTV et al

  • user xyyyz

    Direct quote from above: “2:26: Diane Ford, the family matriarch, is now on the
    show, literally talking turkey. Rob says there’s never enough, and Diane
    is playfully offended. “You know what,” she says to Rob. “You’re not
    getting dessert.”

    Maybe he’s not getting dessert because he gets all the gravy. Look at their photo and you know it’s true.

  • playtheguitar

    The Rob + Doug show – a tidal wave of dumb.

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    All they have to tell their zombie horde are four words: Left Wing Media Conspiracy.