What the mayor was up to this past week.
Monday, May 14, all day. Committee Room 1, City Hall.
Chairs the Executive Committee as it deals with, among other items, the five-cent plastic bag fee and a potential Toronto casino. He moves a counterintuitive motion to recommend that City Council “declare the Plastic Bag Fee program a success and rescind the Plastic Bag Fee Bylaw effective July 1, 2012.”
Wednesday, May 16, 12:30 a.m. Steak Queen, Rexdale Boulevard, west of Martin Grove.
Spotted paying a late-night visit to the north Etobicoke diner.
Wednesday, May 16, 4 p.m. Richmond-Adelaide Centre, between Richmond and Adelaide, just east of York Street.
Tours 111 Richmond Street West, the 1950s-era office tower currently being redeveloped by Oxford Properties to serve as, among other things, the new Toronto headquarters for Google. “Saw the mayor in the lobby where I work,” tweets @jattfield. ”I stared at him derisively. Take THAT Ford *sigh at own impotence*”
Wednesday, May 16, 8:15 p.m. Rogers Centre.
Watches the Blue Jays wallop the New York Yankees, from a seat in the first row of the Field Level Infield section, not far from third base. The mayor, however, becomes an attraction unto himself—and, despite several Twitter reports of booing, he seems to have been more popular than not. “The crowd was interested. People were lining up to have their photo taken with him,” says a TV-news producer who attended the game. (She requested that her name not be used, due to her employer policy on offering on-record statements.) “They were going down to where he was sitting. He wasn’t there very long, he was there for, like, maybe an inning or two. And he stayed a very short period of time.” Julia Ianni, who was seated nearby, recalls that he wasn’t too distracted. “He answered one, two quick phone calls,” Ianni says. “He was paying attention and cheering when the Jays did well. He bought a Jays hat and wore it after. When he was walking down to his seat, people were greeting him and he was making jokes with them. During the breaks, some fans and children took pictures with him and he was signing his business cards.” Later, as the producer was leaving after the seventh inning, she saw Ford again: “He was up where the concession stands are and taking pictures with whoever wanted them.” She says that a confused Australian—after being informed that this man was the mayor —asked if he was “Mayor of Canada.” Ford is eventually seen leaving the Rogers Centre riding shotgun in a Diamond Taxicab.
Thursday, May 17, 12:30 p.m. Southeast corner of the Podium Green Roof, City Hall.
Stuns everyone by showing up to read the proclamation for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, after having already declined the invitation to attend the flag-raising event. Asked how it feels to be at the ceremony, held by the Toronto chapter of PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), he says, “great.” He leaves before the conclusion of speeches, with a large pack of reporters trailing him across the City Hall roof, trying in vain to obtain any further comment from him. His staff lead him up the stairs to the Council Chamber, where—because Council is not in session—the media is unable to follow.
Sunday, May 20, 2:30 p.m. Newstalk 1010 studios, Yonge and St. Clair.
Expresses disappointment that a judge has overturned the 2011 election of Conservative MP Ted Opitz in Etobicoke Centre due to voting irregularities, and compares it to Gus Cusinmano’s (unsuccessful) challenge of the ward 9 results in the 2010 municipal election. “You want to talk about irregularities—you’ve got to see a by-election municipally,” he grouses. “Not just one riding, not two ridings. You look up in, I think it was ward 9, Gus Cusimano ran against Councillor Maria Augimeri—and you know what, more irregularities than I’ve ever seen. But, you know what, he couldn’t win. I think he’s taking it to the next level.” (He does not elaborate on what the “next level” is.) After brother Doug points out that Opitz could still appeal the decision, the mayor says that he relishes the opportunity for a by-election: ”You know, I agree with what you’re saying, I don’t know if you’d waste your time or money appealing. I’d just, ‘Drop the gloves and let’s get at it.’”