Doug Ford attended his first debate and he came out swinging.
The debate was held at York Memorial school. You must have been a resident of Ward 11 or 12. But I know how to sneak in, and I did.
The crowd grew, many Ford supporters were in attendance while Tory’s supporters weren’t as large. Chow had supporters too, but not as many as Tory or Ford.
While waiting in line, I met this lady. She said she used to go to this high school with Gail Kim (The former WWE Ladies Champion). The lady had a poster of two tiny Toms, one a little bigger than the other and the hashtag “#Ugh” on the side. She said that the city’s finance isn’t used well.
However, later on when she was seated, a man walked up to her and took the sign out of her hands and crumpled it then walked away. Yells rang out “Get that man!”. He returned and gave back the crumpled sign. But the drama doesn’t end there.
The room was filled, standing room only. As the candidates walked on stage they were received with cheers and boos. Including chant battles. Such as “Ford More Years”, “We Want Tory”, and “O-C”.
I’ll admit, I was a bit excited to see Doug Ford walk on stage. First time to see Doug and he looked a bit nervous but we all knew he will be throwing haymakers.
The debate was tough to listen to. Heckling coming from the crowd ever thirty seconds. Until one attendee couldn’t control her emotions. She started to heckle about Ford Nation doing what is best for the city and other Ford Nation beliefs. Eventually her heckling got too out of control, Olivia Chow decided to stop talking until the situation was handled. Police Officers came and escorted the female Ford Nation member out of the building.
The debate continued. Chow and Tory were hammering on John Tory. Rarely Ford attacked Chow.
When the transit debate came up, Chow pulled out her map on a hardboard. Following Chow was Ford. Doug brought out a much bigger sign of his map and said “You want a transit plan, here is one”. The crowd went crazy. Tory didn’t bring a prop.
More fireworks erupted. A crowd question created echos of “Ohhhhh”s and “Ouuuu”s. That question? “As Mayor, will you march in the Pride Parade?”. Why was it a big deal? Doug Ford was opposed of “Buck Naked Men” walking down the parade. Also his brother Rob never attended. Doug circled around the question saying he supports everyone whether they are gay, bi, pink or purple. But didn’t answer if he will march. The crowd was yelling “Yes or no?” (Me included). One man heckled back at me and said “He answered the question already”. No he did not. Eventually he said he will attend and support the parade. But didn’t say he will march.
After one comment Ford said about cutting useless spending, the man behind me told me they should cut ALL libraries. I asked him why, and he said “cause I don’t use it and books are useless to me. I care about seniors”. Which prompt me to reply with “Don’t seniors read books too?”. With no reply he continued to tell me not to yell out and cheer. I (as a man who doesn’t back down to a shouting war) said “How about you use the books you don’t use to cover your ears?”. One thing I don’t like is someone telling another to be quiet without a “please” and instead saying “shut up”. Another man infront of me pulled a man infront of him down because he was standing to take a picture. Politics can get dirty.
Some more punches were thrown. Ford decided to attack John Tory the most. Saying that Tory is “used to receiving everything on a silver platter”. Also asked Tory which committee was incharge of purchasing to prove that he has no experience at City Hall. Tory had no answer. Then Ford attacked both Tory and Chow saying that they both live downtown and they have easy access to a subway.
By the end of the debate half of the room had left. Tory and Chow scrummed yet Doug rushed out. I asked Tory about Ford ducking the Pride question and Tory said “I think his failure to answer the pride parade question is telling … It speaks to the attitude you have to have”
By a long range, Doug Ford won the debate. Besides the Pride answer he answered all questions fully. Chow came in a far second and out of the pack running out of air was John Tory. He was hammered and left speechless by Chow and Ford’s attacks.
Expect 5 more weeks of these fireworks and the campaign will get filthy and dirty as October 27th comes near.
We will just have to wait and see.