Ford Fest attracted hundreds to Scarborough's Thomson Memorial Park on Friday night — and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford took the opportunity to announce a new deputy mayor.
The annual barbecue is usually held in Etobicoke, at the Ford family home, but this year the mayor and his brother Coun. Doug Ford decided to shift it to the east end.
The mayor took the opportunity to name veteran Scarborough politician Norm Kelly as his new deputy mayor. Kelly replaces Etobicoke's Doug Holyday who is running for a seat in the provincial parliament in an Aug. 1 byelection.
"Let’s go out and get Doug Holyday in and get Norm Kelly as deputy mayor," he told the cheering crowd.
It was also a chance for the embattled mayor's supporters to have their say.
"I thanked him for looking after my tax dollars, and keep up the fight, and don't let them get him beat," said Rob Larmour who waited at least an hour to grab a photo with Ford.
There was a great deal of symbolism in holding the barbecue in Scarborough. Ford has promised to build subways to replace the aging Scarborough Rapid Transit line — something that is shaping up to be an important issue for municipal and provincial politicians.
Jen Boyko said she was at the event for one reason. She wanted to hear "that he's going to get that subway. I don't want no LRT."
The mayor delivered.
"There's one thing I promise — and I'm going to get — and those are subways. Mark my words, these subways are coming."