Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Rob Ford sits during World Pride standing ovation
Ford was the lone member of council present in the chamber who did not stand up to applaud city staff and volunteers that worked on World Pride Toronto.
“Rob Ford once again stands alone in a corner pouting by himself and that’s where he belongs, that’s where he should stay,” Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam said after the snub.
The 10-day World Pride festival ended a day before Ford returned to the city from his stint in rehab.
At council Wednesday, Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly made the presentation to World Pride on the council floor rather than Ford. Although Ford did clap briefly, he didn’t stand and applaud along with other councillors as they saluted World Pride officials and it quickly stirred up negative reaction on social media.
“You guys have been asking this question for 14 years ... I’m not homophobic,” Ford told reporters.
He ignored questions asking why he didn’t stand up.
The mayor’s brother and campaign manager, Coucillor Doug Ford was absent at the time of the presentation.
Mayor Ford has had a rocky relationship with the city’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) community since being swept into office — he has repeatedly refused to march in the city’s Pride parade.
When he returned from rehab, Ford blamed homophobic, racist and sexist comments he made before taking a two month leave on his alcoholism.
Wong-Tam — the only openly gay member of council — said Ford has “shown repeatedly he just doesn’t care for this community.”
“It’s really quite unfortunate that Mayor Ford again is just not decent in his approach, he just couldn’t even bother to stand up, he couldn’t even fake it,” Wong-Tam said.
“I think he has just been very consistent from trying to rip down the rainbow flag, from not attending the Pride marches, he has done everything he can to destroy his relationships with the LGBT community.”
“He couldn’t even stand up to say thank-you,” she added.
After the World Pride presentation, Wong-Tam asked Ford “in the spirit of World Pride” to release his hold on a report requesting city staff to look at the feasibility of allocating 25% of shelter beds in an existing youth shelter to LGBT youth.
“The mayor is not ready to release that,” Speaker Frances Nunziata told Wong-Tam, prompting several councillors to groan.
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