Karen Stintz's time is almost up.
#ShitShow2014 rolled through East York on Monday evening, with the Fords smashing yet another debate to chaotic bits before it had even begun.
Having been advised by organizers at the Parkview Hills Community Association that, for capacity reasons, each candidate would be limited to one handler each, Rob Ford chose to ignore this and insisted that his brother and two staffers be allowed in as well.
When the residents group didn't immediately capitulate, the Fords accused its president of being in the tank for Tory.
PHCA head Justin Van Dette is indeed a Tory supporter who used to be friends with the Fords. But other members of the group pointed out that he was far from the sole organizer and, even then, what the hell did that have to do with the size of the basement at the Presteign-Woodbine United Church?
Even the general public couldn't attend, save for local residents who were asked to show ID. And so, absent their army of partisans, the Fords had to physically burst inside on their own.
As tends to happen, they ultimately got their way.
But, hey, the debate itself was actually pretty solid. Even the panel of media personalities who put questions to the candidates failed to embarrass themselves, with Sun columnist Sue-Ann Levy perhaps even redeeming herself a bit.
Here are the highlights of the during and after:
Best that's undoubtedly true, but what makes you think being mayor would be any easier?
John Tory, in response to a question from David Soknacki about his struggles as Ontario PC leader: Being in opposition is a difficult job. You're there to, on the one hand, question the government. If you're too negative, people say you're too negative. If you're not negative enough, they say that you're not negative enough. And the PC party, as we've seen, even since I left, is a difficult beast to manage, especially when you're in opposition.
Best knowing more about my life than I apparently do
Karen Stintz: We need to support small entrepreneurs, we need to make sure that they wanna stay here. Because, like you, I have kids as well.
Best effort to win back credibility by asking a question about winning back credibility
Levy: Rob, Mayor Ford, you have lost all the support of basically everyone on Council. Your supporters Doug Holyday, Mike Del Grande, anybody who really propped up your agenda and helped you get through the many things that you talked about - whether it was contracting out garbage or the budget - they're leaving or have left City Hall. How the heck do you expect to walk in there on October 28th and coalesce a Council and get your agenda through Council?
Ford: Sue-Ann, you know how things work. Unfortunately, Councillor Holyday - former MPP, sorry - and former Deputy Mayor Del Grande [sic], they're not in politics anymore. They were two phenomenal people. And we're gonna miss them in the city. But you know as well as I do: these people come and go like the wind. They will be on board, as you can see; you can see that our numbers are going up, these people are coming back. ... I've heard the exact same argument four years ago. Exactly the same. "You can't work with Council." I think you remember, Sue-Ann, that I was a lone wolf many times screaming about $50 million in grants and the expense accounts, their travel. And you know what, at the end of the day, we got 'em lowered down. I'll do the exact same thing I did, saved a billion dollars, and I'll do it all over again on October 28th. Thank you very much.
Levy: That sounds all well and good, but the people who helped you get your mandate through Council will not be there. And the fact of the matter is, Mayor Ford, that you have lost the support of most of the people who helped you get your mandate through. The question to you is: Would you be prepared to step out of the race if you felt that this city needed to have someone who would take what you've done - the good things you've done - and would you be prepare to pass the gauntlet on to somebody who would be able to coalesce Council and get your agenda through?
Ford: Well, with all due respect to you, Sue-Ann, we know the polls. Stanley Cup winners don't hand back the Stanley Cup. Okay? We're in first place, our team is on top. If anyone should step out of the race, it's these people on the left [gesturing to other candidates] - literally on the left, sorry. The only person that anyone can trust with their hard-earned tax dollars is Rob Ford. That's the bottom line. We're gonna get new councillors, obviously, people are retiring. And I would never put one of these people in charge.
Best Ford-level lack of self-awareness that didn't come from a Ford
Stintz: We need to stick to a transit plan. Every single mayor who gets elected goes back to revisit the transit plan. And we cannot do it anymore. People ask me why can't we get transit built. It's because we don't stick to a plan.
Best which one of y'all is the fiscal conservative again?
Olivia Chow: John, you flip-flopped on what you used to say was your top priority, and you dropped the subway relief line. So why not flip-flop again, why not drop Mr. Ford's Scarborough subway and join me in supporting the current above-ground plan and save citizens a billion dollars? And some of that money can go towards the subway relief line.
Tory: And I will tell you why I won't do that. ... I will not go down to the City Hall, as you will, and reopen that debate and do what we do so often in this city, which is to sort of have debates over and over again and undo decisions we already did. I want to get on with it. And by the way, folks, it'll be a good, long-term decision. If you were designing that subway today and saying, "Let's take it out to the Scarborough Town Centre," would you stop it at Kennedy and have people get off and get on a different kind of train to go out to Scarborough Town Centre? Of course we wouldn't. We should have been adding a stop every year for the last 10 or 15 or 20 or 25 years, and heaven knows by now we might have it all the way out to Pickering. I think a lot of people, Olivia, are fed up with short-term decision-making and with people going down and undoing all the previous decisions, and that's exactly what you'd do, and how's that gonna speak to the question of your ability to get along with [the provincial and federal] governments if the first thing you do when you get there is rip up an agreement they had with the City of Toronto, approved by the City Council of this very city.
Chow: John, you're wrong because the Master Agreement is the LRT agreement. It's not the subway. And every expert, every transit expert, has said above-ground is the way to go. And remember, if you tear up the Master Agreement, you're wasting $100 million of money already spent on study. You have to tear up the contract with Bombardier, which is costly. And you have to extend the life of the RT that is running now, which [would] also cost millions of dollars. You're asking the taxpayers to spend billions of dollars that they don't need to spend.
Best faster, pussycat! kill! kill!
Ford, on how to improve traffic: Folks, the unwarranted stop signs, speed humps, and traffic lights have to go.
Best so what do you think this is then?
(Every candidate in the debate had been offered an opportunity to ask a question to another candidate of their choice. Ford declined his.)
Newstalk 1010's Amanda Cupido, in the media availability afterward: Why didn't you choose to ask a question to another candidate?
Ford, taken aback at the suggestion that he'd ever have considered it: Really? There's no debate. There's no debate here.
Cupido: There's no debate with the other candidates?
Goldsbie: At the debate?
Cupido: You had two minutes to talk about any topic or anything.
Ford: Why am I gonna sit here and ask a question when I know their stance? You maybe can figure it out. I don't know what revenue tools they're gonna implement. I know they talk about doin' 'em. I know they're going to do 'em. How much are they gonna do? Who knows? You look at Olivia Chow: she says she didn't live in government housing. When she did. [Editor's note: she didn't.] John Tory, you can't get a straight answer out of that guy if your life depended on it. And the other two flip-flop on everything. David Soknacki saying the Miller government was better than the Ford administration? Please. Karen Stintz, she flip-flops on transit all the time. I'm the only straight-shooter on that stage. So it's not even, like, why am I gonna say it's like a debate? There's really no debate.
Metroland Media's David Nickle, in the availability: Mayor Ford, when he was speaking, essentially suggested that none of you were worth asking a question to, that none of you had anything other than predictable answers. He spoke of flip-flopping with you. Could you comment on that stance?
Soknacki: The unexamined life is very simple. And if you recognize that you have nothing but truth, and everybody is wrong, then life becomes very easy. It's not so. You might have seen me keep shaking my head. He's not building subways. He had a strike. He didn't save the billion dollars. He got no more in efficiencies than I had as budget chief. And those are only the items that I measure off the top of my head. He had a strike, the librarians went on strike. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. And so for him to say that nobody is worth listening to - well, you know, perhaps he ought to listen to himself.
Demetra Samaras, Parkview Hills Community Association treasurer and debate co-organizer: The rule was - and [the Ford campaign] had agreed to it earlier, in many emails ago - one staffer each. That's it. And I guess later this afternoon, they said they were gonna bring four. We said, "One." And they said, "Well, you'll see when we show up." And they did. And it was of course a media frenzy. We were trying to keep them out. He was accusing Justin [Van Dette] of running a Tory campaign stop-over, which it's not. I mean, how about asking the rest of us who we support? I'm not telling you. We're 15 members. ... So they were shoving, they were pushing, physically pushing to get in, and we're saying, "No. Rob Ford can go in with one of his handlers and that's fine." That's it. What's so difficult to understand? It's not like he was on stage with him. I don't know what the problem was. They used their bullying tactics, and I'm sorry, I mean, just by saying, "Well, if you don't let us in, we're not coming." Well, that would've been fine.
Best politician shoving a woman at the entrance to a church
Samaras: Now, I'm this height [pretty short] and Doug Ford is about that big [pretty tall], and he's accusing me of shoving him. I said, "By all means."
Peter Naccarato, her son and an event volunteer: It's on tape. It's on camera.
Samaras: I said, "It's on tape. You pushed me."
Effie Panagiotopoulo, another organizer: Just 'cause you say it doesn't make it true!
Naccarato: That's the hallmark of the Fords, right? Just because you say it doesn't make it true.
Samaras: I pushed him back, yes, I agree, but he was shoving me first.