Magic turns to malice now that Doug Ford has become the star attraction
Ford Fest 2018 took place at the Veneto Centre at Highway 7 and Kipling in Vaughan on Saturday, September 22. The event was free, but for those who rely on public transit, the trip required taking two different systems and cost $14.50.
Past Ford Fests included antique merry-go-rounds, live bands, dance parties and cotton candy. They had an undeniable magic when the late Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s performative rhetoric railed against a mythical Gravy Train ridden by the elites.
In 2018, aside from the long line for hamburgers, there was only a bouncy castle and one inflatable tube man with flailing arms for entertainment. And the magic replaced by malice now that Premier Doug Ford has replaced his brother as the star attraction.
Ford told the crowd that his predecessor, Kathleen Wynne, deceived them and left the province with a $15 billion deficit, warning, “You don’t just get to walk away,” hinting at a plan to set up a committee to investigate Liberal spending.
To which many in the crowd, several sporting variations of “Make America Great Again” hats made famous at Donald Trump rallies stateside, chanted, “Lock her up,” as if Ford were Trump himself. (Last week on a trip to Washington, D.C., Ford dined at the Trump hotel.)
In addition to those wearing Ford Nation T-shirts, dozens of festival-goers sported “Faith for Toronto” buttons and T-shirts in support of alt-right Toronto mayoral candidate Faith Goldy, who Ford later posed with for a photograph. One man wore a T-shirt with a picture of Che Guevara and the words “Socialism is for F*gs.”
The hamburgers may have been free but the harmful policies already enacted by the Ford government, including blocking minimum wage increases and worker protections among other moves, will make sure that the “people” of Ontario will pay in one way and many others.
Where’s Ford Nation headed? It’s sad to think about.
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