HOW SMART IS TORONTO MAYOR ROB FORD?
"I will be spending the weekend at the cottage with my family".
Toronto's Pride Festival
If he is to be judged by his actions, then Rob Ford, is not a very smart politician.
Rob Ford is deliberately absent at Pride events this year and it is the first time that a Toronto Mayor, has openly snub the events, in recent times. The Pride parade and other events, that has been put on by the LGBT community, to celebrate its diversity, was also totally ignored by the Mayor and this has many people talking. People are talking about his apparent lack of interest in the city and that he has ignored his duty as the Mayor and especially in promoting equality among the many different groups, including the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgendered community.
It doesn't seem as if he wants to be re-elected either, because that is what is also going to happen, if he continues to ignore the LGBT community and do not show up at any of the Pride events, this year. I personally thinks that he has acted foolishly.
So in my eyes Rob Ford is stupid. He could have chosen another way of saying that he does not support the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgendered community and that he
is really homophobic, because that is what his message is also saying. Chosing to
go to the cottage for the holiday weekend, rather than to attend the Pride events, was a tactical error on his part, which will also, I believed, hurt his political career and which has also resonated, rather negatively, with the LGBT community.
And that community should also not be underestimated either.
Many of the most powerful members of the LGBT community, are also in the media and they have so far supported Rob Ford, but I also see a shift in their loyalty, to the former marijuana smoking, now turned mayor, Rob Ford. I couldn't care less personally, if Rob Ford shows up at this year's Pride events. What I do care about, is in regards to some of the other actions, by the Pride executive committee, to totally ban the group, Queers Against Israel Apartheid, from participating in this year's Pride Parade.
Last year I wrote on my blog about that issue and I had thought that the organization would really change its mind and include that group. I must have also been naive. With the pro Israeli supporters, many of whom are also members of the LGBT community and the Pride organization, also putting pressure on the others, to prevent this from happening, they also finally succeeded, in excluding this group, Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, permanently, from the Pride events and with none other than Toronto's Mayor, Rob Ford, also giving his approval on the matter. As the evidence will also show, he was also most likely pessured into it, as well, by the pro Israeli lobbyists, at City Hall. An email has since surfaced, detailing this very fact. The email was also written by the Toronto Sun columist, Sue Ann Levy, after her discussion, with Earl Provost, Director of Stakeholder Relations, in the Mayor's office and who also, along with Sue Ann Levy, had shared the same views about the group, Queers Against Israeli Aopartheid, participating in this year's Pride parade.
In the letter, that was sent on March 29, 2011, the Toronto Sun columist, Sue Ann Levy requested from the Jewish organizations involved, to also put pressure on the Mayor, to defund Pride, because of the group, Queers Against Israeli Apartheid. I am appalled at the open racism and the sectarinism, displayed by Sue Ann Levy and other members of the Jewish community, in using their influence, to go after those that they dislike. No wonder they are also reluctant to publish anything in those newspapers, that also has anything to do with the often objectable conduct of members of that community. I have also recently viewed Sue Ann Levy, on the Sun Televison, promoting her cause and she was also asked, if she was now going to
celebrate this momentous event, with her other pro Israeli supporter, who had also succeeded, in bannig the group, Queer Against Israeli Apartheid, or QuAIA, from the Pride Festivities. She also answered in the affirmative.
I also had a discussion some time ago with one of the organizers of the group, QuAIA, Aruna Boodram and she was also quick to point out, about how powerful the pro Israeli lobbyists were, in her eyes anyway, in getting their agenda, with Toronto city officials. I could see that the group was also not going to survived, because
of the united front, that presented, by those lobbyists, which also included some of the pro Israeli journalists, from the local Toronto newspapers, most notably, the Toronto Sun Newspaper. And the most notorious of all of them, is the Toronto Sun columist, Sue Ann Levy, who also took it upon herself, to contact other memebrs of the Jewish community and also jewish organizations, telling them, to also not support Toronto's Mayor Rob Ford, unless he also helped to banned the group, Queer Against Israeli Apartheid, from the Pride events. Sue Ann Levy also sent out the infamous email, to all of those Jewish organizations, with this request and she was also specific, in mentioning that those Jewish lobbyists, also put pressure on the Mayor Rob Ford,to exclude this group, QuAIA, from Pride.
Even though Sue Ann Levy and other pro Israeli journalists, are also a part of the LGBT community, they are also not representative of it. The Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgendered community, is also made up of other groups of people, who has also
been shut out of its decision making process, due to the influence of the pro Israeli
supporters, among its members. Those other members of the LGBT community, also has raised their voices is protest, against the actions of this group, within the LGBT community, to also influence the decisions, that are also made, on behalf of the LGBT community. Common sense will also dictate that if the pro Israeli factors, within the LGBT commnunity can be allowed to voice their opionions and to also take part in the Pride activities, then it is also fair that those who also protest againt the Israaeli government's actions, groups like the Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, should also be able to participate in Pride events as well. This only
shows also, which of those groups, within the LGBT community, has really influenced the decisions, of the Pride organization, which also does not represents, generally, the opinions of all of the members, of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgendered community. For this reason, also, many of the other members of the LGBT community, has also not participated in most of the events of the Pride festivities. They have
complained of being left out, deliberately, by the pro Israeli factor, of the organization, Pride, whose agenda also coincide, with the agenda of this one group,
also, in regards to in the Pride organization itself. We also now know, that the actions of the Mayor, Rob Ford, may not have been influenced by this group, as well.
The actions of the Toronto Sun columist Sue Ann Levy, to request that the Pride organization be dismantled, if she and the other pro Israeli factors, also do not get their wish, was extreme, but also not surprising either. That is what she and her group, has been up to all along. To influence the decisions of the politicians, to also fit their agenda. The question is what the rest of the public, has to also say about it? Clearly, it is this reprehensible faction, of the Pride organization, which should really be banned and not the other. It is a group, that, clearly does not think, about the organization, as a whole, or even respect the differences, of the others who are also involved. I do not think that the group, Queer Against israeli Apartheid, has also ever suggested, that this group, also be banned from the Pride events. And if the Pride oganization, can have the pro Israeli supporters, within that organization, why not those who also protest the Istraeli government's
policies as well? Since they are also decidedly against human right standards.
Below is the copy of the letter, that was emailed, by Toronto Sun columist, Sue Ann Levy, to the other jewish organizations, requesting their intervention in the
matter, to influence the Mayor, in his decision about the Pride organization and particularly, about the group, Queers Against Israeli Apartheid.
... email from Toronto Sun columnist Sue-Ann Levy addressed to several leaders in the Jewish Community encouraging them to lobby Toronto city councillors to defund Pride Toronto. Read the text below
From: Sue-Ann Levy
Sent: Tue 29/03/2011 3:21 PM
To: email@example.com@fswc.ca mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org
email@example.com ; LRudner@on.cjc.caLRudner@on.cjc.ca mailto:LRudner@on.cjc.ca
LRudner@on.cjc.ca ; BFarber@on.cjc.caBFarber@on.cjc.ca mailto:BFarber@on.cjc.ca
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org@gladstonelaw.ca mailto:email@example.com
Subject: City funding of Pride
Good afternoon Gentlemen:
I had an interesting discussion this morning with Earl Provost, Director of Stakeholder Relations in Mayor Rob Ford's office. He is very concerned that unless the Toronto Jewish community gets on board and starts sending mass e-mails to ALL 44 councillors, the vote to defund Pride this year because of QuAIA's involvement will fail.
He told me that while the mayor is very supportive of keeping QuAIA and hate speech out of the parade, he is ONLY ONE VOTE on council. There's no doubt in my mind that the supporters of QuAIA -- including Xtra and QuAIA's new friend Rev. Brent Hawkes-- are working behind the scenes to ensure there's enough votes to overturn the motion.
This is the time for the Jewish community to speak loudly and clearly. If we sit on our hands with a mayor in power who supports us, we will pay the price of missing an opportunity to put an end to hate speech.
Make no mistake.
The Rev. Brent Hawkes tour of Jewish media and basically whomever will listen to him is only about one thing: Saving face, keeping bums in the seats of his church and promoting the image of himself, Rev. Hawkes, as the self-appointed leader of Toronto's gay community.
Rev. Hawkes does not speak for me. He does not speak for Martin or for any of our Jewish gay friends. I highly doubt he speaks for most of the gay community, many of whom have written to me saying that he and his panel should have banned QuAIA outright.
He speaks for a fringe group only.
Despite all of his talk about there being a process in place to ensure hate speech is not in the parade, you have to ask yourself one thing.
Will QuAIA march this year?
The answer is an unequivocal yes.
Please take Earl's concerns to heart and I urge you to get the e-mails going.
City Hall Columnist