Rob Ford is Getting $660M for a Scarborough Subway. Who’s Laughing at Him Now?

Do you remember a few months ago there was a media feeding frenzy surrounding beleaguered Toronto Mayor Rob Ford?

The Toronto Star came out with a story about an alleged video of the Mayor doing drugs. The alleged video has still not surfaced.

The Globe and Mail, smelling blood in the political waters, conveniently published, after 18 months of investigative digging, a journalistically pathetic expose of the Mayor’s brother, Councilman Doug Ford. The piece has Doug allegedly selling hash in his family basement, over 30 years ago. But remarkably the expose had no named sources.

 The loony left, led by Josh Matlow of Toronto City Council, was calling for Rob Ford’s head, saying that his alleged drug use was giving the city of Toronto a black eye in the rest of the world.

Even Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne felt compelled to take cheap shots at Mayor Ford.

Recall Premier Wynne had the chutzpah to seriously consider intervening, working to somehow remove a still very popular Mayor who had been democratically elected by a significant portion of the Toronto voting population.

Recall every legitimate journalist from Toronto to Tokyo thought Ford deserved to be hung out to dry.

Except moi. A mild-mannered blogger for a thriving metropolitan online journal.

Against the flow, I wrote a series of articles in support of Ford.

Look who is laughing now. Despite all the craziness, our Mayor, the happy warrior kept repeating the simple message of “Subways, subways, subways.” And with the help of his “on-again, off-again, on-again” TTC frenemy, Karen Stintz, Ford’s push for the Scarborough subway gained traction.

Despite all the efforts of Ford’s leftist/liberal media detractors, such as NOW Magazine, the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail, Ford retained the support of his popular base in Scarborough, North York and Etobicoke. For a while, no politician of any stripe, would be caught dead or alive on camera with the Mayor. But much to the utter befuddlement of downtown Toronto pundits, Ford Nation stuck by its man.

Then there was Ford Fest — Scarborough, where thousands of Scarborough denizens, of all colors, races and creeds, sporting kippas, turbans and Muslim headgear came out to vocally and physically support Ford, their mayor, and Ford’s push for a Scarborough Subway. Gradually, most smart politicians saw the wisdom of backing a Scarborough subway.

On July 17, over two months ago, in my Huffington Post article, entitled, “Why Harper Should Help Fund the Proposed Toronto Subway”, I outlined seven reasons why the Scarborough Subway, was a ” no brainer” for Harper.

Then, there was the even more successful Ford Fest, Etobicoke style, where thousands of Toronto residents converged on a local park, to meet the ever popular Mayor. All of a sudden, highly visible politicians, Finance Minister Flaherty and PM Harper, wanted to be photographed with Ford.

And then, lo and behold, Prime Minister Harper just announced this week that he is coming up with $660 million to complete the financing of the extension of the Bloor-Danforth subway line from Kennedy Station, underground along to the Scarborough Town Centre.

This is a very smart urban transit/ public policy/socio-economic/ political move by Prime Minister Harper. Harper and Flaherty should be commended for seeing this opportunity and seizing this historic moment in the history of Toronto subway transit and Toronto’s development of the often-ignored Scarborough. And of course, bringing the city, the province and Ottawa onside, is a brilliant political victory by Mayor Ford.

As a result, Ford’s popularity is soaring.

His critics are temporarily sidelined. And Ford’s re-election prospects are suddenly much brighter. Ford and the Ford Nation are now just itching to take on the formidable Olivia “Holier Than” Chow in the next mayoral election.

Bring it on, Olivia!

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