Toronto Mayor Under Fire for Skipping Pride Parade for Weekend at His Cottage

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has come under fire for being the first mayor to snub the Gay Pride parade there, the Toronto Sun reports:

Ford Ford told reporters Wednesday he won’t march in this year’s parade, attended by an estimated million people, despite the fact every mayor of the mega-city has taken part in the annual event.

“I’m going up north,” Ford said. “I’ll be up at the cottage.”

Asked if he is expecting any backlash for missing the parade, Ford said he’s just upholding a family tradition.

“We’ve been in Huntsville for the past 30 (years), as long as I can remember, since I’ve been a little boy,” he said. “I’m carrying on a tradition my father had, last year I was there during the campaign, we’re there every year.”

Condemnation on Twitter and in other major papers may be having an effect, the HuffPost Canada reports:

The Toronto Star reports that Ford’s brother and chief advisor, Doug Ford, suggested the two could make the Pride parade after all.

"We have 20-odd people going up to our cottage for Canada Day, but if I can make it back I will, and we'll see if I can bring Rob," he said late Wednesday.


  1. says

    This is not a news for Torontonians. Ford is notoriously anti-gay, and only won the election by catering to the out-of-city suburban voters. No votes in the “city” part of the city were past for him. It was rather shocking. This is a man who went to each demographic group in each suburb and told them contradictory messages that they nonetheless wanted to hear. It was a really ugly moment in Toronto politics.

    He also snubbed the International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia, which my mother spoke at, seen here:

    Rob Ford is a lousy mayor, a lousy politician, and pretty useless excuse for a man. He’s already become one of the most criticized politicians in Toronto history, after only a few short months. He’s bailed on interviews to attend football practices. He’s shirked responsibilities for his “good old boy” hobbies. He’s embarrassed the city.

    I doubt people will miss his presence at Toronto Pride. We always knew he’d never attend – the man is a legit and certified homophobe.

    Toronto has a long history of being on the forefront of LGBT Equality. It’s a shame that, as with our current Prime Minister, we have a leader that does not reflect the values, beliefs, and empowering inclusivity of the majority of our citizens.

  2. MammaBear says

    Unfortunately, he’s likely to be our mayor for a long time.

    This move does not alienate a single person that voted for him.

    We need to, and have for the most part, accept that we are stuck with him, and start working to unseat him in 2013. The relentless focus on what an idiot he is, however true, doesn’t help our cause – we need to get behind an alternative candidate that can win back some of the Ford voters.

  3. Ron R says

    He’s a throw-back to the Mike Harris days, a Republican wannabe. This is what happens when some gays decide not to vote. Hopefully he’ll be a one-term wonder, then emigrate to North Carolina. He should feel RIGHT at home there!

  4. raphinou says

    let the man go up to his cottage. frankly, i would rather that he not march in the parade.

  5. OMNOMNOM says

    I know nothing of this man’s politics. Regardless, he has no obligation to attend Pride (even if he were gay). This story is stupid and definitely not newsworthy.

  6. Michael in Toronto says

    Sigh: an embarrassment to us Torontonians. But don’t fret: the pendulum will swing again.

  7. says

    weird, because here in chicago, our mayor for the past couple decades, even though he was pro-gay, did not attend the parade. but then he didn’t take part in any public events at all on sundays, because that was his ‘family day.’ i guess the toronto mayor isn’t as well-liked as mayor daley was.

  8. CR says

    OMNOMNOM Toronto has one of the largest gay communities in the world and it is a mayoral tradition to attend pride. Torontos gay pride is not only one of the biggest prides in the world, it is the biggest event in the city yearly and the most important event for the city’s economy. It is news worthy in that in this country where we are lucky enough to be able to marry and in a city afforded freedoms to be out and proud that our bigot mayor would rather go to the cottage than keep tradition and support a huge portion of the population he is supposed to represent. I hope he does show up and get egged!

  9. says

    “This is what happens when some gays decide not to vote”

    To be fair, that’s actually not the case. The breakdown of voting was this: nobody in the CITY of Toronto voted for him. He didn’t get a single win in the actual city. His votes came entirely from the suburban areas that are more than 45 minutes from ‘the city’. It wasn’t that the gays didn’t vote, it’s that the city’s new voting-regions and municipalities have been merged. It’s like asking Upstate New York to vote on what happens in Manhattan.

    The issue of the story is this: it’s the first time that the mayor of our city is not taking part in the parade. and the specifics are that this is a man notorious for his anti-gay comments, misogyny, criminal record….ugh, i could go on…

    He was absent at City Hall’s anti-homophobia day ceremony. It’s ugly that a man who harps on “the economy” so much chooses to ignore an event that brings MILLIONS into our local economy each year. But it was expected.

    And I doubt he’ll be missed. All the same, it’s great when a “leader” of sorts shows solidarity with the people of his city. This is not a proud moment for him

  10. says

    “Not everything has to revolve around gays.”

    For Rob Ford, nothing revolves around us or includes us. Unless he wants to be anti-gay in which case everything suddenly revolves around us.

    Torontonians know what I’m talking about.

  11. Craig says

    Well, it’s not like he’s the first mayor ever to refuse to take part in the parade — but he’s the first since June Rowlands way back in the early 1990s.

    Even Mel Lastman wasn’t always the greatest friend in the world to Toronto’s gay community (although in his case it was more benign neglect than active homophobia), but after a bit of initial discomfort with the idea when he was first invited, he came and had a blast and set off a really positive shift in Pride’s relationship with the city. But then again, he was always the kind of mayor who was better at the visibility gestures — the salesmanship, the photo-ops — than he was at actually running things, whereas Ford has yet to demonstrate any particular skill at *either* aspect of the job.

  12. Chris says

    This is the same Rob Ford who sent a hot-air balloon down Toronto’s streets during last year’s Pride in a pathetic attempt to gain some votes. He didn’t actually show up himself though all the other prime candidates did. He knows he’d get booed off the float if he did show up – better that he stays away.

  13. Smokey says

    This article [with video!] gives you a better sense of his homophobic position around Pride, especially his belief that the City should not be funding “sexuality.”

    This mayor has also:(1) said that only gay people and drug addicts get HIV, hence justifying his position to not fund HIV/AIDS programs; (2) voted against a motion to accept FREE MONEY from the province to fund an HIV screening program; and (3) has been hard at work trying to defund the Pride festival. Need I say more?

    And yet, he still claims he’s not a homophobe:

    Am I missing something?

  14. MammaBear says

    Little K, he actually did win 3 of 17 wards in the old city of Toronto, and got over 30% of the vote there too. He did poorly in the downtown downtown though, and only one gay person voted for him, and that was George Smitherman’s ex (inside Toronto/Ontario/Canada joke).

    His campaign guys kicked our candidate’s butt black and blue. By the time anybody took him seriously, his team had staked out all the high ground. It was ugly.

    Better luck to us next time.