He's the shirtless hero Toronto needs right now.
On Tuesday, a jogger in East York became something of a legend (at least online) after he stopped to shout at Rob Ford as the mayor took part in a Canada Day parade.
Ford has just returned from rehab but the sweaty man, later revealed to be Toronto teacher Joe Killoran, wasn’t confronting the mayor about drugs or alcohol. Instead, he was yelling for Ford to answer questions about racist and homophobic remarks he has made in the past and his controversial business dealings.
“Answer the questions. People have a million questions about your lying, your corruption. You’re a corrupt, lying, racist homophobe. Answer the people’s questions!” Killoran yelled.
Councillor Doug Ford accused Killoran of being from a rival campaign and apparently told him he needs anger management.
“I’m out for a jog, buddy, do I look like I’m with a campaign?” Killoran asked.
Killoran told reporters following Ford that he wasn’t going after the mayor’s substance abuse issues.
“It’s one thing to be sick, that’s fine. But he has questions to answer to the people of Toronto and he simply won’t do it. He’s racist, he’s homophobic, it looks like he’s corrupt – he won’t answer questions about Apollo Beauty,” he said.
According to an investigation from The Globe and Mail, Ford and his brother helped Apollo Health and Beauty Care, a company that does business with the Ford family’s Deco label company, to obtain a tax break. The Ford brothers also reportedly intervened with city staff without disclosing the commercial relationship, the Globe reports.
Watchdog group Democracy Watch has filed a complaint over the issue with the city’s integrity commissioner, alleging Ford and his brother violated the city’s code of conduct.
Killoran, a 35-year-old who teaches history, law and politics at Malvern Collegiate Institute, told the National Post he never intended to confront the mayor when he went out for a run.
“He’s going to come to East York, he’s going to come to my neighbourhood and try to prop up his campaign or get some photo ops,” Killoran said.
“I didn’t think that was right when there are all these outstanding questions about him being a racist, a homophobe, feeding corruption that he hasn’t even addressed. He just shows his contempt for everybody all the time.”
The teacher told The Post he isn’t involved in any campaigns and isn’t sure who will get his vote.
“You don’t have to be some partisan maniac to be angry with this mayor,” he said.
But that didn't stop Doug Ford from calling Killoran a "left-wing lunatic" when asked about the incident on Wednesday. Doug Ford told reporters at City Hall he wouldn't let Killoran teach his dog and suggested he is indoctrinating his students to hate the mayor.
The story was picked up by news outlets around the world and it didn’t take long for the hashtag #shirtlessjogger to trend on Twitter.
Let’s just say Killoran has won himself some fans.
Like "goodbye Charlie Brown" moment, #shirtlessjogger speaks for the people.
— Bob Rae (@BobRae48) July 2, 2014
Future generations may persist in referring to today as Canada Day, but for me it will forevermore be known as #ShirtlessJogger Day.
— Marc Coward (@YYZMarc) July 2, 2014
I need to start jogging shirtless with some talking points ready. #shirtlessjogger
— Richard Matern (@RichardMatern) July 2, 2014
Dang. Does anyone have #shirtlessjogger's number?
— colleen h (@Poutine_Colleen) July 2, 2014
— Christina (@throwitinmyhat) July 1, 2014
Check out the gallery below for more reactions.
Toronto voters head to the poll on October 27.