Mitch Wolfe Recalls With Great Fondness Ford Fest 2014- And the True Face of Ford Nation

Ford Fest 2014 (Scarborough) Major Success- Ford is Back!!!

I attended last year’s 2013 Ford Fest in Scarborough and this one in the summer of 2014 was bigger, more boisterous and the crowd was stronger and more vocal and clearly loyal to their man, Rob Ford. Like last year, I was very impressed with the diversity of support that came out for Ford.

This time about 75% of the 10,000-15,000 in attendance were non white representing all the major communities in this great city of Toronto: the black, Asian, South Asian, Persian, Filippino, South American, Middle Eastern, European, Eastern European communities and many many more.

Young and old. Families, singletons, all ages, all nationalities and even some old stock white Torontonians made the trek to Scarborough, Thompson Park, to have a photo with Ford or just be part of Ford Nation.

In this photo I am with some very impressive hard-working Scarborough women who are fiercely loyal to Rob Ford. They love and respect this man. They told me that he relates to them. They trust him.

They will go to the wall for him. The lovely woman next to me, Georgette, thought so highly of Rob Ford that she named her little boy, the son she is holding, Rob Ford.

The tradition continues.
Fordy More Years!!!
Ford Nation forever!!!

Why the Unlikeable Radical Leftist Olivia Chow Lost The Toronto Mayoral Election

There are over two months left in this mayoral race. But Olivia Chow’s dream of finally stepping out of the shadow of her more politically talented husband, Jack Layton, has turned into a political and humiliating nightmare.

Several months ago, when Chow jumped into the race, the obsequious mainstream media,  that is, the journalistically suspect CBC, Toronto Star and Globe and Mail, declared her the frontrunner. And the candidate to beat. .

But according to a recent Forum Research poll, Chow has fallen precipitously from first place-( 35% )to third place- 25%, two points behind the unsinkable Mayor Rob Ford (27%), and 10 big points behind the surging John Tory (35%).

Two recent events have further killed her chances of election.

Councilor and former TTC Chairman Karen Stintz, one of Chow’s opponents on the right, has dropped out of the race. Stintz had been stuck at 5% for most of the campaign.

Stintz fiscally conservative supporters will avoid Chow like the Ebola plague. And instead will gravitate to Chow’s opponents,  John Tory and Rob Ford. Catapulting both of them further ahead of the nose-diving Chow.

The Prince of Darkness

But Chow’s most egregious error to date in this campaign, (and there have been a manure load of errors) was to publicly lie about the role of one of her key political advisers.

None other than The Prince of Darkness himself.

The director of her own war room operations.

A black political operator so cunning, tough, brutal and merciless.

Imagine the evil spawn of Tricky Dick Nixon and Dick Cheney- the incomparable Warren Kinsella.

In an over the top, tweet, that will certainly go down as one the nastiest public assaults, Kinsella accused John Tory of being a racist segregationist for Tory’s proposed transit scheme that purportedly excluded some Toronto black communities.

But, as in the classic Watergate, the attempted cover up by Chow was far worse than the crime.

Instead of publicly castigating Kinsella for his impolitic suggestion, Chow lied publicly and stated that Kinsella was just “one of thousands of volunteers”.  Even though Kinsella’s company was on the Chow payroll as a media consultant. And Kinsella was a critical director of her quick response war room operations.

Chow’s public statement was such a bald-faced lie, that even the craven Pravda-like CBC/Star/Globe, which to date Chow and Kinsella have intimidated with Putinian efficiency, could not ignore or cover up Chow’s immense public blunder.

Her grand public lie once again cast a harsh light on Chow’s entire flawed public character.

A public persona, characterized by a pattern of morally questionable behavior that Chow has exhibited throughout her whole public life.

In 30 years of public life, Chow has never once admitted to making a mistake. She has never apologized or taken responsibility for her many errors. And they are legion. For example.

How did Chow in 1985 secure a below market subsidized Hazelburn co-op unit, within one year ( according to her own autobiography) when the wait list for such affordable housing was many years and over 30,000 needy families were ahead of her in line?

What about her untruthful and unbelievable public defense of her husband’s cure for a bad back, when he was caught naked in a police raid at an illegal massage parlor around the corner from their home @ThisAintTheElmwoodSpa?

Why did Chow as MP rack up one of the highest personal and office expenses than any Ontario federal MP including federal Tory Cabinet ministers?

Obviously, as in Hazelburn fiasco, Chow as a public figure, believes that she is entitled to her public entitlements.

And that as a leftist political activist, she is above moral reproach.

Well, the chickens have come home to roost for Olivia Chow.

Her campaign is in disarray as she falls further behind John Tory and Rob Ford.

Her moral failings,  her arrogance, her weak character, and her confused policy platform have finally done her in.

History will not be kind to Olivia Chow, widow of Jack Layton.

In running for mayor of Toronto, Chow believed that she would be Hillary to Jack’s Bill Clinton.

Instead her imploding political campaign has demonstrated that she is more like Yoko Ono who was nothing without her John.

Socialist Chow’s Past Subsidized Co-Op Continues to Cast Cloud on her T.O. Mayoral Campaign

The city of Toronto is currently experiencing a long, drawn out, almost year-long mayoral campaign.

The current Mayor Ford, returning from a self-imposed two-month rehab, is battling Olivia Chow, a former federal member of Parliament for the New Democratic Party (NDP- Canada’s mainstream democratic socialist party), and John Tory, former leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party.Chow has been leading in the polls since she first announced early in 2014.

But Chow has been dogged by allegations that, notwithstanding her humble immigrant roots, early in her political career she used her Toronto NDP socialist connections to score herself cheap affordable housing ahead of thousands of more deserving Toronto families in need.

Within hours of Olivia Chow announcing that she would be running for Toronto mayor,  another mayoral candidate, Karen Stintz, issued a statement reminding Toronto voters that Chow lived in a taxpayer-supported subsidized Toronto co-operative apartment from 1985-1990, and especially from 1988-1990, when Chow’s family income was approximately $120,000.

Stintz’s statement referring to Chow: “She (Chow) has a history of being a double dipper. First, when it comes to housing and taxpayer salaries, and now, when it comes to securing her full Ottawa pension after just 6 years of MP service and then seeking the mayor’s salary. “One of Chow’s major campaign planks is that in contrast to her wealthy opponents, Ford and Tory, she comes from amore humble immigrant background, which is accurate.

The inference is that, due to her humble background, she cannot be accurately accused of representing the downtown elites or being an elitist herself.

With the greatest respect to Ms. Chow, I believe the facts point to a different conclusion. I maintain that in 1985 Chow joined the ranks of Toronto’s political elite to which she has been a member for nearly 30 years and coincided with Chow securing a much sought after, below Toronto market rent unit in the federally subsidized Hazelburn Co-Op Apartments.

To accurately assess the full measure Chow as a mayoral candidate, it is critical that the facts of Chow’s residency in the Hazelburn Co-Op Apartments, from 1985-1990, be fully disclosed.

Let me take you down memory lane to Chow’s Hazelburn Co-op Apartment issue of 1990, to ascertain why Chow’s past questionable conduct raises questions today about her character and her suitability as Toronto mayor.

On June 14, 1990, Star reporter Tom Kerr revealed that Olivia Chow and Jack Layton had been living separately in the taxpayer-supported, federally subsidized Hazelburn Co-op in downtown Toronto (Dundas/Jarvis area) since 1985. And in 1988, after their marriage, they had moved into a three bedroom apartment there and were paying $800 per month in allegedly market rent, notwithstanding that their combined family income was approximately $120,000. At that time, Chow was an elected public school trustee and Layton was an elected Toronto city councilor. (Source here and here)

In a subsequent June 21, 1990 Star article, Kerr confirmed that this 72-unit Hazelburn Co-op was subsidized by Canadian taxpayers through the federal Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, which provided the Co-op with a 2% mortgage which cost the Canadian taxpayers about $405,000 per year.  The assumption being that actual market interest rates were considerably higher and hence annual interest payments would have been $405,000 higher, which would have translated into higher monthly rents per unit to cover the higher interest payments. (Source)

According to the June 14 Star article, commencing March 1990, Chow and Layton voluntarily paid an additional $325 per month to offset their share of the co-op’s Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation subsidy, the only members of the co-op to do so.

According to the same article, Chow and Layton, subsequent to the June Star articles, left the Co-op in June and bought a house in Toronto’s Chinatown.

Chow and her supporters have tried to bury this story for years under spin and half-truths.

The popular rationale, then as now,  is that Chow was paying market rent. Her unit was not subsidized by the taxpayers.

But corpses and skeletons—poorly buried—have a tendency to resurface with a vengeance.

And the stench can be overpowering, as potentially in this case.

Chow acknowledged through her own conduct that she paid a monthly amount of $325 as her portion of the CMHC subsidy, in addition to the monthly rent of $800.00.

But this CMHC subsidy issue raises further questions.

It is agreed that Chow had been a resident of Hazelburn Co-op from 1985 to June 1990. So Chow has been the beneficiary of her portion of the $405,000 annual CMHC subsidy from 1985 to March 1990.

Assume her portion of the subsidy was 1/72 of $405,000=$5,625 per year for 5 years. So that Chow had been subsidized by taxpayer money for approximately $28,125.

Furthermore, based upon my own experience of downtown apartment living in Toronto in the 1980s, actual market rent for a 3 bedroom apartment, even in the Dundas/Jarvis area, was considerably higher than $800 per month, and perhaps closer to $1,000-1200 per month.

I believe that Chow’s claim that she was paying actual Toronto apartment market rent at $800 per month is questionable and subject to further scrutiny and investigation.

I also do not believe in coincidences.

The public exposure of Chow’s living arrangement in a tax-subsidized co-operative apartment was clearly embarrassing to her as evidenced by her departure from Hazelburn Co-op within a month of the Toronto Star expose.

This matter was also embarrassing for Chow because Chow had always held herself out as being sympathetic to the marginalized and homeless in Toronto and those Toronto residents desperately seeking and needing affordable housing.

In the 1980s, as today, there was a lack of affordable housing and there were long waiting lists for such housing.

Olivia Chow, with her combined family income of $120,000, had many more housing options than those Toronto residents below or just above the poverty line ($20,000 per year) or even middle income residents ($40,000-60,000).

No matter how many ways Chow tried to spin it, the Hazelburn Co-op was not intended to subsidize $120,000 income earning families.

In effect, public opinion, then, as now, holds Chow—the defender of the poor and the downtrodden—of taking allegedly through her political and personal connections a subsidized unit that should have gone to Toronto residents more deserving than Chow.

The writer of the blog referring to the latter Star article made a similar point:

“Until everyone can enjoy a housing subsidy, they must go to those who need them more. A problem with any form of government spending on housing is that people with connections tend to grab them rather than for those they were intended or who need them more.

It does not look just curious, it looks bad. But I think the Laytons eventually got the message and moved to private housing. “

This housing scandal strikes right at the core of Chow’s character and suitability for mayor.

Chow has publicly lectured Mayor Ford to face up to the truth and take responsibility for his actions. Ms. Chow should practice what she preaches.

To date, Chow has never apologized for allegedly jumping the queue and allegedly using her connections to secure a 3-bedroom apartment in the Hazelburn co-op, notwithstanding the huge waiting list for such housing by more deserving Toronto families.

Furthermore, to date, she has never explained or apologized for taking advantage of taxpayer-funded CMHC loan subsidy, notwithstanding her family’s income of $120,000.

This is not an isolated incident., but I believe part of a pattern of behavior throughout Chow’s political career of double dipping and living large on the backs of the Canadian taxpayers. (Source here and here)

The CBC Blew Jack Layton’s Biopic, Big Time

After watching “Jack,” the biopic of Jack Layton broadcast on Sunday night on the CBC, I realize once again why CBC is such a mediocre television network. It should stick to what it does best: news, current events, Evan Solomon, Rick Mercer and broadcasting “Hockey Night in Canada.”

Every time this made-for-TV movie got rolling, picked up a bit of steam, had a bit of momentum, CBC would interrupt the flow and the story with annoying ads for Rogers wireless products or AXE deodorant.

This was supposedly CBC’s version of “must see TV”.

This was a film about a good politician who, for a brief time, caught political lightning in a bottle. And transformed a third-place loser into the Official Opposition. It is a great story of politics and political smarts and courage.

CBC, the least you could have done, was have the show sponsored by a few corporate heavyweights and limited ads to the beginning, middle and end of the show. This was not some third-rate American TV sitcom. You could have broadcast this smarter.

But I digress. (Sorry about the anti-CBC rant. I have to get back on my pro-Canuck happy pills.)

As to the TV film itself: “Jack” focused on NDP Leader Jack Layton’s amazing 2011 federal election campaign, in which against all odds and the pundits’ predictions, Layton — played by Rick Roberts — led the “Orange Crush” NDP to a thrilling historic political breakthrough in Quebec and a second place finish, ahead of the Liberals.

The film also depicted Layton’s very warm and close relationship with his spouse and political and life partner, Olivia Chow, and his heroic battle with cancer during this penultimate campaign.

There were a few nice touches. I thought Sook-Yin Lee was excellent as Olivia Chow. She came across as a smart, funny, witty, politically astute, very devoted to her mother and, of course, to Jack.

In real life, Jack and Olivia supposedly had a very loving relationship. In the TV film, there was a very brief scene of Jack and Olivia in bed, which seemed very natural.

But the film ultimately failed because of a few glaring defects.

Rick Roberts was terribly miscast as Jack Layton. Physically, Roberts is too tall, and too baby-faced. He made the tough, street fighting Jack Layton, look like a tall, gangly, always sweet and slightly goofy Disney comic character. Roberts reminded me of Sheldon on “The Big Bang Theory.” The Jack Layton role called for a more macho, mustached, shorter Tom Cruise-like character. Part fighter. Part salesman.

Jack Layton in real life had rough edges and flaws. Those made him an interesting person and a compelling politician. As a city council man, he was arrogant, full of himself, and, to some voters, extremely unlikable. At times he came across as a smarmy used car salesman. That was one of Layton’s major problems. To many Toronto voters, he appeared untrustworthy. Recall Layton lost by a huge margin to June Rowlands in the 1991 Toronto mayoral race. And June Rowlands was one of the most mediocre Toronto politicians and mayors in the city’s history.

This film should have shown Jack Layton in his early political career, warts and all. It should have exposed his flaws — even his alleged arrest in a Toronto massage parlour in the 90s. Then his incredible, though brief, transformation into the most successful federal NDP politician in history would have been more dramatic, thrilling and real. And authentic.

The film sanitized Jack Layton. He was sweetness and light and Mr. Positive at the beginning. He was canonized at the end. As a result, the film lacked conflict. It lacked resolution. It lacked honesty. It failed to show Layton struggling and fighting to overcome obstacles, and his own personality defects, thus making his ultimate success, that much sweeter. Even the portrayal of the thrilling 2011 election campaign lacked tension and drama when in reality, the actual campaign was a wild and exciting ride.

In short, by sanitizing and canonizing Jack Layton, the TV film did a disservice to the man. And it was mediocre TV.

Sadly a missed opportunity for CBC.