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The Rob and Doug Ford Web Show Recap: The War on Trees

First there was radio, then a one-episode TV show. Now the mayor and his brother have taken their message to YouTube. We watch so you don't have to.

rob doug ford youtube web show

Another week, another YouTube show. Rob and Doug Ford are back for another adventure through the internet’s series of tubes, and who knows what this one will bring. Will Rob awkwardly look off screen? Will Doug stare intently into the camera, as if he were a furious cat? Okay, so we know the answer to these questions is yes, but let’s find out the details with this week’s recap.

Rob Ford’s Burn Book

1:00: Doug Ford explains that the reason he and Rob are doing this show for “The YouTube” is that “we have a biased media” that noted media critic Doug Ford claims is unprecedented. “The media will try to twist it, angle it, every which way they can to make sure they put their little spin on the story. But guess what. The people are too smart—they see right through your shenanigans.” The most disconcerting part of this whole message is that Doug delivers it with unblinking anime eyes that suggest he was sent on behalf of Team Rocket.

2:13: Taking his cues from either Letterman or Buzzfeed, Rob Ford announces he will read a list of the top 10 councillors he would like to see defeated: Gord Perks (Ward 14, Parkdale-High Park), Janet Davis (Ward 31, Beaches-East York), Adam Vaughan (Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina), Joe Mihevc (Ward 21, St. Paul’s), Sarah Doucette (Ward 13, Parkdale-High Park). Shelley Carroll (Ward 33, Don Valley East), Glenn De Baeremaeker (Ward 38, Scarborough Centre), Mike Layton (Ward 19, Trinity-Spadina), Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 27, Toronto Centre-Rosedale), and Paul Ainslie (Ward 43, Scarborough East).

But wait, there’s more! It appears the mayor bought the expansion pack for Cards Against Council, and he proceeds to list more people he doesn’t like: Josh Matlow (Ward 22, St. Paul’s), Mary-Margaret McMahon (Ward 32, Beaches-East York), Chin Lee (Ward 41, Scarborough-Rouge River), and Raymond Cho (Ward 42, Scarborough-Rouge River).

If you thought Rob was done with his mayoral burn book, you were wrong. He adds that there are others to look at, like Paula Fletcher (Ward 30, Toronto-Danforth), John Filion (Ward 23, Willowdale), Maria Augimeri (Ward 9, York Centre), and Gloria Lindsay Luby (Ward 4, Etobicoke Centre).

So that’s 18 councillors the mayor has singled out for defeat, and together they’re five votes away from a majority on council. If the mayor thinks this strategy will work for him politically, he might be in for a surprise. The mayor’s approval rating is slightly above 40 per cent, while council’s approval is about 15 points above that. And people approve of their individual councillors at a very strong 74 per cent rate, so with this tactic, Ford likely won’t win very many votes, either on the floor of council or at the ballot box.

3:58: Rob explains why he is calling these councillors out: “Enough is enough. They have gone out of their way to ruin Toronto, increase taxes, strip me of my powers, and it’s time to put up or shut up, and I’ve had enough of it. They wanted the war, they’re going to get the war.”

The Yahoos

0:34: After calling out Ainslie for supporting LRTs in Scarborough, Doug Ford calls streetcars “the most inefficient form of transportation anywhere in the world.”

1:25: Rob Ford attacks Soknacki for supporting the LRT plan for Scarborough, and Karen Stintz (Ward 16, Eglinton-Lawrence) for flip-flopping by shifting her support from the LRT plan to the subway plan. He then attacks John Tory for supporting fees to provide a revenue tool to fund transit, and encourages Olivia Chow to run against him, too. In short, Rob Ford attacks reality.

2:15: Doug Ford says coming up with a plan to fund subways “separates the business people from a bunch of yahoos,” before proceeding to call those non-business types a “a bunch of cowboys” as well. Doug’s answer? “You go out there, you get private sector funding, folks.” Rob and Doug Ford said this would pay for their coveted Sheppard subway line, have had three years to deliver on that promise, and have not done so. The private sector is not a genie’s lamp.

2:30: Doug Ford says you need to build subway station where there’s density, despite the fact that he supports subway lines along Sheppard and Finch, where there is nowhere near the level of density to justify a subway from a planning or budget perspective.

The War on Trees

0:09: Rob Ford is now reading from a list of things that councillors receive for free, like complimentary Metropasses and free admission to the Toronto Zoo. He says such freebies are an outrage, and he is totally furious. At the end of his two-minute rant, you half expect him to say “The system doesn’t work!” and shake his fist in a fit of impotent fury. Or it’s just election-year posturing—hard to tell.

3:55: Rob Ford, on trees: “I do not support planting 97,000 trees at a cost of $7 million. Would you rather have your road paved–more than one, for $7 million–or plant 97,000 new trees? We can’t even take care, as you saw during the storm, of our existing canopy.”

First of all, 97,000 trees—even though that’s only one per cent of the city’s total number—sounds pretty great, because trees reduce energy use, decrease pressure on our stormwater and sewage system, clean pollutants from the air, and provide oxygen for things like breathing.

Second of all, let’s look at the logic of not investing in new trees because some are struggling. That was the same logic used in the 2010 campaign when Ford said the city shouldn’t accept any more immigrants until everyone here was taken care of—and it’s just nonsensical when applied to our arboreal friends. Should we not allow any more old people in Toronto because some are sick? Perhaps we should halt the maternity wards until the morgues are closed for business?

Or maybe, just maybe, we can do our best to manage both at the same time and be better off for it.

Rob Ford Reads From a List

0:00: This video should be called “Rob Ford reads things.” In this video, Rob Ford speaks about how scheming councillors use their office budgets to pay for their work cellphones. He also rattles off some other numbers: council, for example, voted to not publish two city magazines this year in order to save money. In the time it took to watch this video, I could have watched a YouTube lesson on how to play the ukulele, or learned a special trick about how to fold t-shirts.

Pride Flag

0:26: This is the portion of the show during which Mayor Strong Bad reads an email from the audience. This week’s email: “I’m wondering if you want to be re-elected. Why should someone vote for you if you don’t support all citizens? Your reasoning for not attending Gay Pride and then the Pride flag you want down shows me you’re homophobic. My son is gay, and as a mom that hurts me deeply. Thank you. Mary from Scarborough.”

0:52: Rob responds, “Well, Mary…this is about the Olympics, this is about supporting athletes, this is not about your sexual preference. I support our athletes, I support the people who train for years to go to Russia, and there’s no reason I see to put up the Pride flag during the Olympics. This is about being patriotic. I am not homophobic…I take offence when people say that to me.”

Good news everybody, the mayor says he’s not homophobic, so we can all go home now. The Olympics are about more than cheering for a team—despite all the jingoism and corporatism, they’re also supposed to be about a set of values, and if you’re unable to see why those are important and matter deeply to millions of people, then that’s why people are offended, and the Pride flag should be a useful reminder to think about what those values are.

1:52: Doug pulls out the “some of my best friends are…” card, saying, “Do you know how many gay friends that we have, that have worked on our campaign?” Doug pivots, and positions himself as the victim: “You may want to try to bully us into things. That’s how I feel sometimes, Rob. I fell like I’ve been bullied into something.”


0:00 Now we’re on the sports segment of the show, during which Rob talks about Denver Broncos player Orlando Franklin, who is from Scarborough. Ford doesn’t mention that he invited Franklin to be the third wheel on his Valentine’s Day date with his wife at Harbour Sixty. Rob Ford, dreamboat.

So Rob Ford attacked all of his perceived opponents—Soknacki, Stintz, Tory, Chow, the media, and Pride flag —and then his brother Doug said they’re feeling bullied. He also declared war on half of council and explained why he doesn’t like spending money on trees. It was absurd and nonsensical, and at the same time utterly predictable. In other words, it was perfectly Fordian.

One out of five trees.

Thanks for reading, and God bless you, Raccoon Nation.


  • Some times I just thinks

    David, thank you for performing this public service. Only another 9 months to go ( you poor bastard )!

    • Steven Eaton

      It really is a great public service to follow these two clowns and make them accountable for what they say. Too often their lies are accepted as truth by Ford nation followers. I really think its a great shame that lying is not an impeachable offense. It’s time we hold public officials to a standard that prevents them from lying! It should be in the code of conduct if you ask me. If you are caught lying you should be automatically removed from office. If you can’t trust public officials to tell the truth, if you cant trust them…what good are they? Do we condone lying or not?

  • PabloYYZ

    “This video should be called “Rob Ford reads things.” Next week, Robbie should read the following:

    1. The list of people he’s called on his various cell phones.

    2. His times of arrival and departure from City Hall in the past month.
    3. A detailed description of the activities on his official calendar for the past month.

    • Steven Eaton

      He’s more interested in talking football, meeting with magicians, and complaining about irrelevant things while trying to deflect attention away from the questions he should be answering…

      1. How do you think your drinking and driving, drug use and insults of the police chief effect our frontline police officers and their families? How can you expect the police to risk their lives to try to prevent the very activity you engage in on a regular basis?

      2. Considering their are 9 Canadian flags flying around city hall why are you really against the pride flag being flown? You and your brother claim to have lots of gay friends…I’d like you to name one that supports you and your flag stance?

      3. Will you ever understand that being mayor is about much more than just trying to slash budgets? Responsible informed decisions must be made on financial matters but the most important job is to represent the city and foster a positive environment for its citizens. Don’t you realize you are creating an atmosphere of hate. Your hit list on councillors, homophobic, racist, sexist comments…its all horrible.

      You and your brother are a disgrace to the city, the country and the human race! Get professional help for your substance abuse problems and read some books on karma, kindness and compassion. Happiness should be our pursuit and you are creating misery everywhere you go.

  • whatafoolbelieves

    Rob Ford reads from a List….R Ford should come clean on the “General Office Expense Ledger”…he was the one who led the charge on using it….he was the one that originally charged telephone usage to it…he was the one who had a complaint registered to the Integrity Commissioner a year before the rest of Council was given the go ahead to use it…he was the one who sent D Holyday to negotiate with the rest of Council on its usage….In the end what I’m saying it is R Ford’s own monster, he created the circumstance the rest of Council used it to their advantage….

  • VictorianShuter

    Where’s the figure of 74% approval rating for individual councillors coming from? Is that from a recent Forum Research poll?

  • Frostmoth

    When will this utter dreck & drivel END???

  • OgtheDim

    “He also rattles off some other numbers: council, for example, voted to
    not publish two city magazines this year in order to save money.”

    Umm…that was his idea. Was he rambling off things he’s done?

  • Jillian

    Thank you so much for summarizing the videos so I don’t have to sit through that drivel, even the sound of the two idiot brother’s voices is enough to piss me off..

  • Jacob

    “Doug delivers it with unblinking anime eyes that suggest he was sent on behalf of Team Rocket.”

    One could only wish.

    “Look’s like Ford Nation’s blasting off againnnnnnnn….” (*Rob and Doug get catapulted into the wild, blue yonder.)

  • DaveWilliamscheemissManana

    I will be sending all councillors an email tomorrow with some very choice words for the fords in it. i will also let them know I’m available to knock on doors for ANY of the Ford targeted councillors, as well as David Soknacki. I encourage others to do the same.

    • Punned_It

      I’m so proud. My Councillor made the top ten!

      • dogface

        Sadly I was only part of the expansion set. :( I’ll send an e-mail tomorrow with instructions to be more hostile to the buffoon brothers!

        • blearghhh

          I was quite upset that my councellor Pam McConnell was left off.

          Perhaps he felt that after he flattened her in council it was punishment enough?

      • Welshgrrl

        Mine too! It is indeed a badge of honour.

    • PabloYYZ

      Wait until you see who the Fords provide as “approved” candidates before you bother.

      • AllanG

        I hope there are some KKKers who join the Ford Party slate. That voice has been silenced by the politically-correct Ford haters.

        • OgtheDim

          Are you suggesting that the KKK is a a good thing?

          • AllanG

            No. I was being sarcastic. I’m suggesting that the Ford Party will attract a lot of whacko types and it sounds like no vetting is required other than to share the Fords hatred of Council and the city in general.

          • PabloYYZ

            You forgot to add unquestioning loyalty to the Cosi Fordstra.

          • AllanG

            “You cannot buy loyalty.”
            Doug Ford

          • OpportKnocks

            Correction, he said: “You cannot teach loyalty.” The Fords have been buying loyalty at least since high school.

  • dsmithhfx

    “scheming councillors use their office budgets to pay for their work cellphones. ” Funny he should bring that up, as the police have subpoenaed his cell phone records, for reasons we may only smirk at.

    • vampchick21

      I personally fail to see what the evil is about using an office budget to pay for work cellphones. Or using an office budget to pay for anything related to said office and said work. That’s the whole point of an office budget.

      • AllanG

        From the Fords perspective, you’re supposed to dip into your personal millions to pay for office expenses (or let your family business pick up the tab and then write it off your biz taxes). Using a publicly-funded office budget is a sin and a crime according to the Fords.
        In other words, only multi-millionaires need apply to be councillor. Will the Fords get a pledge from their Ford Party slate that if elected, none of his lapdog new councillors will use their office budgets?

        • vampchick21

          I’m thinking either a) Rob and Doug have NO concept of business and government (do they expect Deco employees to buy office supplies out of pocket too?) or b) they are seriously hoping that they can rally up voters who have no concept of anything at all.

          Seriously, every company and every government has a set budget for everything. This money is meant to pay for all the things required to do the work. If people out there really don’t grasp this very basic concept, then I weep for humanity.

          • Konstantine

            “I don’t even go into my office and waste valuable city supplies of oxygen and toilet paper, the nerve of these other councilors” – Rob Ford

  • istoronto

    Any youtube video of dog licking its behind has more followers than Ford Nation. Were is this 40% that still support him? They certainly aren’t very interested in hearing from the Fords.

    • Steven Eaton

      I think the 30% (and falling) that support the Fords dont read and dont know how to use the internet. Either that or they are too baked from boozing and drug use to bother.

  • iSkyscraper

    Simply an insult to intelligence.

  • dogface

    I am still convinced this is the greatest gig in journalism. Once you get through the hateful half hour of actually having to watch the videos, the remaining ‘writing an article and pointing out what fools they are / ripping them’ must be great. I get the sense from his writing style he is having a whole load of fun banging out these articles!

  • Eccles

    I love this public service you’re providing! Could I also ask that you please mention the number of hits the video has at the time of writing? That would allow me to not have to expend the energy of clicking on the link (an unworthy use of joules).

    • Conservative Astroturf Brigade

      As of right now (3:30 on Wednesday)

      Football – 2,429
      Pride Flag- 8,514
      saving taxpayers money – 1,920
      Let them eat cake – 3761
      The yahoos – 3408

      So, yeah, not a lot.

      Last weeks’ range from 10,900 for “Rob Ford’s a Liberal” to about 35,500 for “Ford Nation begins”.

      • Eccles

        Thanks, mate!

      • OgtheDim

        I suspect the Pride one draws the homophobes, just like the word Gay draws them all in on the newspaper comment boards.

  • Konstantine

    Stand up to those gay trees Robbie!

    What a complete dimwit! These two literally are the worst.

  • Konstantine

    Rob Ford pretending to read, how very precious.

  • torontothegreat

    Watching Rob read the letter from the concerned mother and Doug reading along with his own copy – holy crap that was pure jokes – Rob seems “barely” literate.

  • X_Mayor

    Not a positive comment for the Fords. Even the Ford Nation of imbeciles not polluting this forum. Only too bad Blob and Thug can’t read the writing on the wall. Nine months is plenty of time for Blob to enrich us with more criminal activity. His condemnation of his fellow councilors is an endorsement. Get this pig out of city hall.

  • Steve Fleck

    Complete and total incoherence . . nothing new here.

    “Doug’s answer? “You go out there, you get private sector funding, folks.” Rob and Doug Ford said this would pay for their coveted Sheppard subway line, have had three years to deliver on that promise, and have not done so. The private sector is not a genie’s lamp.”

    This proves it ounce again. The Fords have no idea what they are doing. This is going back over old ground. The Mayor claimed some time ago that he had “Businesses lined up at his door to meet”, with him to have meetings about private sector funding of transit. Where is that list of companies? Where is that list of meetings? Pro-Tip: There is no line up of companies. There is no list. There has been no meetings. It’s all made up. It’s more bluster, blunder and lies from Rob and Doug Ford.