If I were the Mayor of Toronto (frightening thought) and had a cosy cottage up in the Muskokas, what would I be doing this July 1 weekend, the first long weekend of the summer? Chances are I'd be there with my family.
Yes, I would have that invite to take part in the big Gay Pride Parade, but I might need a break, a little down time, and the annual family get together would be just the ticket.
I wouldn't be dodging the parade because I'm 'homophobic,' as I'm sure some would claim, as I have gay friends, support gay rights, including gay marriage. No, on that particular weekend it would simply be a case of putting family first.
I suppose I would be shirking my 'duty' to some extent, but come on, would the world end if I didn't show!
The lads in chaps and Dykes on Bikes wouldn't give my absence a second thought... and the parade, as always, would be a huge success!
My critics, I'm sure, would play a little politics with my choice, try a little arm twisting and name calling, hoping to bully me, but it's doubtful I'd change my mind. I'd sooner anger them than disappoint the family.
It's highly unlikely, that on my death bed, I'd have regrets about missing one parade... but I might regret missing that weekend.
Fortunately, for the city of Toronto, I'm not the mayor and it's not a call I have to make... but Rob Ford does.
While he has chosen the cottage, he may be forced to rethink his decision in the face of mounting protests.
I sincerely hope that come that July weekend, he's enjoying the call of the Huntsville Loons... and ignoring those in T.O.
Well I hope you are wrong, and Paul what you do doesn't matter to the city of Toronto. Rob Ford so far is sticking to his decision, albeit a bad one, not to participate in any Gay Pride celebrations. I can hear it now if does reconsider: "He bowed to political correctness," "They forced him to do it," rather than he had a change of heart and decided that an event like this that brings in thousands of people and enormous revenue to the city was worthy of an appearance by the mayor.
The Gay Pride parade takes place on the Canada Day long weekend this year. I'd think that the mayor would want to make an appearance at that one too. Take his family, and his children will learn how proud he is to be the leader of such a diverse city as the ceremony takes place.
He's the mayor. It is what he signed up for. You pitch your city, you take part in very large events you welcome people, and pray they spend money so with more revenue you can take a greater burden off the taxpayers. Isn't that what Ford is all about? It doesn't mean that you personally endorse every event but you're the mayor.
There is an upside (which clearly he knows because he ran for that office) and a downside to being mayor. Part of the downside is the demands on your time are huge and they may conflict with some of your families traditions but he knew that, and his family knew too!
I don't believe that Mayor Rob Ford is a homophobe. He has said things in the past that some haven't liked but that doesn't make him someone who fears or hates gays.
Okay and the chaps? A complaint over the years at the parade has been the exhibitionism displayed by a small group that for god knows what reason is allowed to walk around in chaps with nothing underneath. I wear chaps too. I'm an equestrian but we always wear something underneath. Too much chafing!
Rob Ford has lost an opportunity here to show that he is the mayor of all the people. He had said on the night of his election, "To the people that didn't vote for me I will work hard to earn your trust and I will deliver the change you can be proud of." I hope he changes his mind.
If I were a member of his family I would certainly understand if he were to beg off the "family weekend" because he had some pressing city functions to attend and try to find another during the summer when the schedule wasn't so demanding because after all he is the mayor.
The debate continues.
Paul and Carol Mott can be heard discussing the issues weekdays from 11a.m. until noon streamed through their website themotts.ca. Joining them Tuesday, former Sportsnet host Damian Goddard, who was the focus of a previous blog on his firing. For a podcast of the show, click here.