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Newsstand: July 3, 2014

So, you want to know what’s in the news today? This is what’s in the news today: Rob Ford sits down for an awkward chat with CBC News before cancelling interviews with a bunch of other media outlets, Doug Ford redefines racism, and Jim Wilson is the interim leader of the Progressive Conservatives.

matt newsstand newspaperlies

Did anyone manage to watch the entire 17-minute “candid” interview between Dwight Drummond of CBC News and Mayor Rob Ford about his drug and alcohol abuse without thinking they were watching a spoof on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart? Although his performance was equal parts a stilted rehash of speaking points from the speech he made upon his return to City Hall and an awkward avoidance of answering pointed questions directly, the mayor did admit during the interview that his drug use began before he became mayor. As usual, Mayor Ford directed any questions pertaining to his co-operation with police investigations into some of his past affiliations to his lawyer, Dennis Morris. The mayor also attempted to defer questions about the May arrest of Lee Anne McRobb for impaired driving while behind the wheel of his SUV to operators of the GreeneStone rehab facility, citing confidentiality issues. Eventually though, when pressed, Mayor Ford did admit that he gave McRobb the keys and was not aware that she was impaired. When asked repeatedly by Drummond whether he would consider resigning if he were discovered to be drinking or using drugs again, Mayor Ford consistently repeated the mantra, “I know I didn’t drink yesterday, and I haven’t drank today.” The mayor has reportedly cancelled several other interviews that were scheduled to take place later this week. Both City News, and Global News have confirmed that planned interviews with the mayor had been nixed, and 680 News is also reporting that interviews with both CTV and Sun News Network may have been cancelled.

It took approximately zero seconds for Mayor Ford’s governance to become an internet meme again, thanks to a shirtless jogger named Joe Killoran, who was caught on camera confronting the mayor while Ford participated in the East York Canada Day parade on July 1. Now, Councillor Doug Ford (Ward 2, Etobicoke North) has hit back at 35-year-old high school teacher Killoran, who in his impromptu verbal lashing characterized the mayor as racist and homophobic. Councillor Ford originally criticized Killoran for using “racial slurs” against the mayor, although he later clarified that his definition of race includes also people with substance abuse issues, saying, “You can be racist against people who have a drinking problem.” Well then, that is clearly settled. Somebody should phone Merriam-Webster and provide them with a revised definition of “racism” to avoid any future confusion.

As usual, there is still other stuff happening around us. For example, the Ontario legislature got back to the grind at Queen’s Park yesterday, with the provincial Progressive Conservative caucus wasting no time to elect Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson as interim party leader. Meanwhile, Liberal MPP Dave Levac (Brant) was re-elected as Speaker, becoming the first person in nearly 30 years to be dragged up to the chair for two terms.

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