Remember when Doug Ford tried to scrap Waterfront Toronto’s carefully drafted plan for Toronto’s port lands so he could fill the area with shopping malls and ferris wheels instead? The move was an unmitigated disaster for the Fords. The proposal caused widespread uproar and led to one of the mayor’s first major failures at city council.
Once someone touches a political third rail he generally doesn’t go back for more, but in the newly released third batch of “Ford Nation” YouTube videos (yes, the Ford brothers are now releasing weekly salvos of campaign-style YouTube videos), Doug is practically hugging the thing, begging for another jolt.
After insinuating that Waterfront Toronto’s management has improperly spent millions of taxpayer dollars on kickbacks for personal friends (“They spend tens or hundreds of millions of dollars on their consultant buddies!”), Doug reminds viewers about his own plan for the port lands, which he presents as the only viable idea ever proposed for the district. “The most valuable property in Canada on the waterfront, and they want to leave it as a garbage site?” he asks, rhetorically. (Doug’s rant starts at the 1:20 mark in the video below.)
In fact, Waterfront Toronto has spent more than a decade developing a detailed plan for the port lands through consultations with planners, land owners and the public. The site is a former industrial area in need of hundreds of millions of dollars of remediation and flood protection. It can’t be developed in its present state. The notion that officials are stalling just so they can line the pockets of consultants has no basis in fact.
There are two more Ford Nation videos in this week’s batch. In one of them, the Fords refer to their council colleagues as “poverty pimps,” and in the other Rob Ford suggests that he might be going on a U.S. late-night talk show in the near future, though he doesn’t specify which one. (Come on, Daily Show.)