What makes Rob Ford smile? Wildly unrealistic fantasy transit maps, with routes reaching every part of the city, it seems.
Getting a flattering shot of Mayor Rob Ford in a good mood has been especially hard for the media in recent months. The mayor’s string of setbacks (most notably the Karen Stintz–led transit pushback) has made moments of levity extra rare for the mayor and his allies. But last Wednesday, a chance to snap a photo of a gleeful Ford arose—and reporters jumped all over it.
City council was about to begin debating the OneCity transit plan put forth by Stintz—the mayor’s nemesis on the transit file—when councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong walked to the press gallery with a piece of paper in his hand and a grin on his face. “Look,” he told reporters. “One galaxy.”
The image he held up had made the rounds online months earlier: a wildly unrealistic fantasy transit map with routes reaching every part of the city. His point was clear: Stintz had gone too far, and her plan was bound to fail (indeed, because it lacked votes, it wasn’t even tabled).
A staunch Ford ally, Minnan-Wong is also the mayor’s Loki: a clever mischief-maker capable of influencing others. Returning to the council floor, Minnan-Wong showed the fantasy map to the mayor as well—who allowed a little smirk. Realizing their opportunity, the press gallery shouted across the room to photographers, “Take the shot! Take the shot!”
But they missed it, so the press corps turned their attention to Minnan-Wong: “Denzil, show him again!” they cried in a chorus. Understanding why, he complied, recreating the moment.
It was one of few smiles for Ford, who lost almost every other major vote before council signed off for summer break.