If Toronto politics were not enough fodder for late night television, Mayor Rob Ford is in the hospital with a tumor in his abdomen, has withdrawn from the race for re-election and his brother, Doug the Thug Ford, has stepped in to take his place. it has gone from comedy to tragedy to soap opera. Doug has been in TreeHugger for his attempt to bring a giant mall, ferris wheel and monorail to our waterfront. He is also notorious in these pages for his attack on the Chief Medical Officer of Toronto, who called for a reduction in speed limits:
Ford quickly dismissed the idea as “nuts, nuts, nuts,” and then, last Sunday on the radio show, took aim at McKeown himself, calling the official’s $290,000 salary “embarrassing” and promising to “look into it.” Councillor Doug Ford, calling in from Florida, asked: “Why does he still have a job?”
Doug Ford had to apologize for his attack on a public servant. But things may now be changing in Toronto, notwithstanding Dougie's campaign to replace his younger brother. The city may have reached a tipping point on the issue of speed.
In July, the seven year old daughter of a prominent Toronto mover and shaker was killed at an intersection in an upscale residential area. The war on the car types immediately blamed traffic conditions caused by building an LRT line under the nearby main artery, but in fact the driver has been charged with careless driving and failing to stop at a stoplight.
Now, just about wherever you drive, you see these signs, either the originals with colour profile or the knockoffs in black and white. It was started by a local resident, Roger Cattell, and now is a movement, Kids at Play.
It will be fascinating to see how Doug Ford deals with questions of speed limits and safety now that he is running for mayor, and now that there are a whole lot more "kids at play" signs on the streets than there are election signs. Ford Nation has kids too.