Image credit BlogTO
Don Cherry has a penchant for fancy suits and is a commentator on the Canadian Broadcasting Company's biggest show, Hockey Night In Canada. For some reason Toronto's new mayor thought it appropriate that Cherry should place the chain of office around his neck, even though Cherry a) doesn't live in Toronto, and b) is a millionaire who says "people are sick of elites and artsy people running the show." and thinks Ford likes "lunch pail blue collar people". But to top it all off, in Toronto City Hall in front of everyone he says "I'm Wearing Pink For All The Pinkos Out There Riding Bicycles."
Rob Ford Screenshot, 2:50 PM today
As John Doyle points out in the Globe and Mail, The War on the Car that Rob Ford just won, where he plans to cancel light rail projects and bike lanes across town, is not a war on elites and artsy people; it is a war on "lunch-pail, blue-collar people," the students, the elderly, the poor working people who overwhelmingly take transit. All of those cancelled routes were going into underserved suburbs where lunch pail types predominantly lived.
The war on the car was won by fatcat millionaires who don't want anyone on a bike or on transit in front of them or taking away their lanes, whether they are artsy types or blue collar people; they just don't care. And they have the nerve to gloat about it in front of everyone.
UPDATE: Full transcript of Cherry's ridiculous speech here in Torontoist.
UPDATE 2: Dave Meslin responds with an open letter to Cherry in Facebook that calls him rude and an asshole but makes some very good points about cycling in cities:
Usually, I wouldn't waste my time writing a letter to an asshole. But you specifically singled out cyclists in your speech. And that's a really important issue to me, and I just wanted to share a few thoughts.
1) Many thousands of people ride bikes in Toronto. They ride them in the downtown area, and in the suburbs. They ride bikes in parks, on side streets, in ravines and oin arterial streets.
2) People of all ages ride bikes. Families ride bikes. Business owners, lawyers and doctors ride bikes. Hockey players ride bikes. We have bike stores in all corners of our city to serve the growing number of people who enjoy riding.
3) As someone who comes from a sports background, I would have thought that you'd encourage cycling. You may have heard that there is a severe lack of exercise amongst our youngest generation and a growing obesity problem.
4) Cycling in Toronto right now is dangerous. Hundreds of people get injured every year, simply because we haven't created enough safe spaces to ride in the City.
5) Hundreds of miles of bike lanes have been painted in the last few years, in Manhattan. Painted by a conservative right-wing mayor who believes in safety for families. Safety isn't a left-wing or right-wing issue. It's common sense. Only a fool cannot see this.
6) Mayor Ford himself has proposed over 100km of new bike lanes across the City. Good for him. This is exactly what Toronto needs and cyclists are eager to start working with his policy team to make this happen.
More in Facebook.
More on Rob Ford:
Anti-Bike, Anti-Transit, Anti-Green Rob Ford Elected Mayor Of Toronto
Bikes and Streetcars Under Threat As The Suburban Car Loving Politicians Fight Back
Bike Sharing: A Tale of Two Cities