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Don Cherry insults Cyclists as Rob Ford Sworn in as Mayor

Today marks the end of Rob Ford’s first week in office (only 3 years, 51 weeks to go) and it was a doozy.

For some reason, Ford had Don Cherry of Hockey Night in Canada put the Chain of Office around his neck today at City Council (something usually done by the City Clerk), and then for some reason, Cherry was allowed to speak at the Council meeting:

This afternoon, at Rob Ford’s investiture, and wearing a bright pink suit for the occasion, special guest Don Cherry hung the chain of office around Ford’s neck. He then delivered a brief speech before city council, family and friends of city council members, and the media. This is that speech.

Actually I’m wearing pink for all the pinkos out there that ride bicycles and everything. I thought I’d get it in. What’d ya expect, Ron MacLean, here? To come here?

You know, I am befuddled, because I thought I was just doing a good thing, coming down with Ron—Rob—and I was gonna do this here, and it was gonna be nice and the whole deal.

I’ve been bein’ ripped to shreds by the left-wing pinko newspapers out there. It’s unbelievable. One guy called me a pink…a jerk in a pink suit, so I thought I’d wear that for him too, today.

How did this guy get past City Council security?  Oh, they were probably cut by Ford.

What do you think, Toronto Bike-Lovers?  Should we hold a big pink-wearing, communist placard-waving gathering at City Hall? :)

An absolutely fantastic response has been posted by Dave Meslin, founder of the Bike Union.  He posted it on facebook, if you’re a member, and the Urban Country has reprinted it as well:

I think it’s unfortunate that you used the opportunity to be divisive and fan the flames of partisan politics at City Hall.  What our city needs, and wants, is a collaborative approach to decision making that attempts to take into account different perspectives and opinions.

Today’s meeting was not just the first meeting for our new Mayor, but also the first meeting for our new City Council – all 44 members who represent the City just as much as Mayor Ford.  Those 44 Councillors represent a wide variety of opinions, reflecting the political diversity of Toronto.  Your comments, at their meeting, with their friends and families present in the room, was incredibly rude.  Or, since you you like to talk like a “straight shooter”, let me just say that you behaved like an asshole.

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. [read more at the Urban Country]

[Photo by Christopher Drost/Torontoist]

  • BTW I saw Cherry in a T-shirt once and his head kept flopping over…

  • Tom

    Looking at Ford’s face all the time in the media I’d say he’s a pink-o

  • Marvin

    I must admit that I am quite astonished to read Cherry’s comments. Perhaps he should take note that the Tour de France is a famous athletic event which involves a lot of people on bikes, not all of whom I’m sure are pinkos. Perhaps he missed because the cyclists don’t wear skates while riding.

    At a time when we are trying to get our kids to be more active, shouldn’t we be encouraging cycling and other outdoor activities and healthy lifestyle choices, rather than slamming those who engage in this very activity? Has Cherry become to senile to understand that cycling is something you can do when you can’t play hockey?

    What kind of idiotic mandate does the Mayor have if he accepts such small minded foolishness as Cherry spouts in a public forum? Sanity and common sense seem to have gone well and truly out the window if such comments are allowed to stand as any kind of endorsement of the Ford administration or it’s policies.

    Shame on Ford and Cherry for embracing attitudes that belong to a less enlightened time.