Archive for June, 2011

Confirmed: Rob Ford WILL attend Pride parade

Posted on June 30th, 2011 3 Comments

That’s right, you read it here first … Rob Ford will be attending Pride after all! Here’s the official statement:

rob ford, puppet, marionette, toronto, city, life, blog

Gotta say I was starting to lose faith in our new(ish) mayor, but it looks like he’s gonna come through after all. And he’ll even be dressed for the occasion!

rob ford, puppet, marionette, toronto, city, life, blog

That’s the spirit! I dunno if I’d have the courage to strut around with assless chaps and a hand betwixt the pillows, but good on Rob, eh?

rob ford, puppet, marionette, toronto, city, life, blog

We owe a debt of gratitude to Paula Corbett of Bad Bunny Puppets for convincing Rob to be a part of the parade. She and our risqué mayor will be hanging out in front of St. Lawrence Market’s north hall for the next couple of days and, of course, you can drop by her site to pay your respects for all her hard work too.

Filed under: Dispatches, Patrick Bay, Pictures

Rob Ford on Jarvis Street bike lanes

Posted on June 28th, 2011 2 Comments

Almost a full year after they were added to Jarvis Street, the Rob Ford administration is looking to take out the Jarvis Street bike lanes to make room for — guess what — cars! Here’s a mass email that was received recently from his office on the topic:

Thank you for your email regarding the bike lanes on Jarvis Street. I appreciate hearing from you.

Toronto’s economy loses billions of dollars every year from gridlock and traffic congestion. We need to make the situation better – not worse. The Jarvis Street bike lanes experiment has been a failure. Ninety-four percent of commuters now face longer commutes on Jarvis Street. Over 15,000 commuters each day are suffering from longer travel times, for the sake of 600 additional cyclists.

The City should remove the bike lanes as soon as possible and improve travel times for thousands of daily commuters. City staff have been directed to develop a low-cost plan to do so. Bike lanes were never intended to be installed on Jarvis Street. The original Environmental Assessment recommended against installing bike lanes – but City Council amended the report to approve bike lanes anyway.

As promised during the mayoral election, I am dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city.

Thank you again for taking the time to share your thoughts. Please feel free to contact my office again at any time.

Yours truly,

Mayor Rob Ford
City of Toronto

Just in time for ye ole road toll debate to rage up again!

Filed under: Dispatches, Patrick Bay

Ford’s Pride snub, whassa big deal?!

Posted on June 24th, 2011 Be the first to comment

Okay, let’s be fair, Pride isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. The insinuation that it’s nothing more than public fornication comes from a place of ignorance but, to be sure, I’ve seen a few things over the past couple of years’ events that caused my eyebrows to migrate north, though public nakedness was hardly the cause, and fucking in public never. Not simulated, not actual.

At the same time, people are free not to be a part of this event. You don’t have to like gay people or the folks that come out to support them; that’s your right and I’m 100% behind you in support of that right. I’m certain that there are folks in the LGBT community that have equally close-minded opinions of the straights, or blacks, or women, etc. Whatever…we’re all a little prejudiced, racist, and otherwise bigoted, and while I don’t support those views, I support people’s rights to hold them and even express them.

If you’re not hurting, or advocating hurting anyone, or impinging on their rights or freedoms, I take no issue with you. In fact, I kinda wish there was a Straight Pride parade, and an International Men’s day, or a Caucasian Celebration Weekend, etc. None of these come from a place of hatred or jealousy as I’ve often heard implied, I’d just like to be celebrated for who I am instead of being reminded of some nebulous history that I’m associated with simply by my gender, sexual orientation, or colour of skin.

But Pride has never felt anything but welcoming to me, and I’ve never gotten the impression that it would be anything else to anyone else. And that includes our controversial mayor, Rob Ford.

Yeah, Rob doesn’t come across as someone who’d strut down Yonge in assless chaps, but as I’ve just finished explaining, there’s nothing wrong with that. Some might even say that’s a good thing. Even his comments lumping gay people with intravenous drug users and AIDS are, though dumb, mostly innocuous and somewhat representative of the 905 (that’s Toronto’s suburbs for those of you who don’t live here) — the people who voted him into office.

So what, exactly, is wrong with Rob choosing to go to his Huntsville cottage instead of attending Pride? Isn’t it his right, as mayor, to opt out of such events if he so chooses? And what about his family’s 30-year tradition of heading up north for the Canada Day weekend … why should he be expected to give that up for an event he clearly doesn’t support? Why, in fact, should he be supporting a “special-interest” group lest he be labelled a homophobe?

Okay, let me start with that last statement and explain, categorically, why he not only should be attending, but also why it’s hypocritical of him not to. Hopefully I’ll correct a few other fallacies while I’m at it.

First off, that homophobic label isn’t being assigned by the so-called “special-interest” groups that, apparently, have taken such vitriolic offense to the mayor’s snub of Pride. At least, not anything I’ve read or heard.

In fact, the only place I’ve heard the term being used is by people like Barbara Kay of the National Post who support his decision by implying that that’s what Pride supporters are saying about Ford. In other words, she’s claiming that the LGBT community is calling Ford a homophobe because he’s choosing not to attend, yet she’s the only one I’ve read actually using or even implying that term. Ford’s supporters are coming out and calling the Pride people intolerant, citing such unsubstantiated statements as fact, and then basing their arguments on these baseless and, I suspect untrue, statements.

See, when I make such broad proclamations about what a whole group of people think, I try to link to such statements … you know, back up my claims. So far, and as far as I can tell, the only people who have called Rob a homophobe are those supporting his decision not to go to Pride, and those same people are then using such statements to springboard all manner of baseless commentary. And I’ve seen Kay link to other statements, even in the article to which I refer, so I know she’s capable of it if she wants to. It’s Fox News style “reporting” which serves only to expose the bias of the author and her audience, not of the people to whom she refers.

Still, Rob has every right to avoid Pride. He also has every right to miss Caribana (erm, I mean, the Scotiabank Caribbean Festival), or The Taste of the Danforth, or for that matter any of the other nine or so major events that happen around the city every year. Yup, that’s all within his purview … he can choose to ignore all of these festivals, and it doesn’t even have to ideologically based as, I’m sure, is the case with Pride. In fact, Rob can just sit in his office, do the absolute bare-bones minimum expected of him as a mayor, and I’m sure the 905 crowd who voted him into office would be a-okay with that.

Thing is, these events are big money makers. Pride draws around a million people, and growing, every year. In 2014 and under Ford’s watch, Toronto will be hosting World Pride which promises to be even bigger, and in my estimation, the current event is nothing to sneeze at. The bottom line is the bottom line, and for a mayor who’s major platform during the election was money, money, money, you’d think he’d embrace this cash influx as something positive. He doesn’t need to walk down the street emblazoned with glitter and soaking sweaty bodies with squirt guns, but a show of support – even a simple written statement saying “enjoy the parade” – would demonstrate that he’s standing behind his own campaign pledges. Yeah, apparently this thing isn’t even worth a simple note that could be read in absentia saying “welcome to Toronto, have a fun time”.

Instead, he’s mulling ineffectual ideas like corporate sponsorship (and renaming) of our subway stations or cutting the City Hall snack budget, all the while nullifying these financial drops in the bucket with concessions to the suburbs, still clinging to 1950s notions that the car is king, highways and big houses are the bee’s knees, and the suburbs are where it’s at. His solutions exacerbate the city’s myriad problems, and the few solutions that could offer some relief, at least financially, are being rejected because Ford’s cottage takes precedence over his duties as mayor.

Yeah, but what about that family tradition? Why shouldn’t he get to spend time with his family and relax a bit?

Yeah … why shouldn’t he? Pride is 10 days long, not just one weekend (that’s the parade). Rob could easily attend something or other and still spend the whole Canada Day weekend guzzling beer and fishing. The trip back from Huntsville, which I’ve made numerous times, takes a few hours but is definitely do-able. He could even just say that he’ll come back to town and then miss the event because of “traffic” … totally believable and shows at least a modicum of effort. Or, failing that, offer the written message I’d mentioned, delivered by a representative who’ll be sticking around for the celebrations.

Even Rob’s brother, Doug, concedes that this isn’t the brightest move and said that he’d try to “twist” Rob’s arm to get him to attend, that’s how deep their family’s 30-year tradition runs. Regardless, as mayor of a city the size of Toronto, sometimes you have to break with tradition. Not that he’d have to.

To say that Rob isn’t doing this for ideological reasons is bullshit. Of course it is! But clearly Rob’s distaste for the gay community outweighs his ideology of gravy cutting and revenue making for the city. Yes, Rob Ford can dislike gay people and that doesn’t make him a homophobe — that’s his right. What people seem to be missing is that he also has a duty, as mayor, to support the city, not just when he likes it or when it doesn’t conflict with his leisure time, but for his entire term in office.

Filed under: Patrick Bay, Why I'm Right

Oy vey, not ‘the Gays’…

Posted on June 22nd, 2011 Be the first to comment

Now, I am usually not public with my dislike for out new MAYOR (Robert Ford, ick!) but this one I MUST be vocal about. Now, I keep my personal issues with this chubby guy between Ollie and I but Ford’s latest elitist stunt has PISSED ME RIGHT OFF.

Now, he could have said a multitude of things such as “my wife is sick” or “I have a headache” but this one takes the cake.

A lame, elitest excuse such as a weekend to the cottage is no reason to skip out on this city’s MAJOR LGBT event, one that rakes in MILLIONS OF $$$, dollars he is bound to spend elsewhere, such as the refurbishment of his office, y’know, making it BIG ENOUGH to fit his large rear into.

If you ever find out just how the PRIDE dollars get spent, please let me know. I am already choosing my words for my letter the Mister Mayor’s office.


Filed under: Contributed, Dispatches, Pictures, SarahD

Parkergate: The tweet heard around the world!

Posted on June 22nd, 2011 Be the first to comment

You remember Senator Anthony Wiener, right? Sure you do! He’s the guy that tweeted pictures of his junk to a few women, presumably in the hope that he’d be able to hook up with them, and ended up being front page fodder as a result. If you’ll recall, the revelations surrounding his conduct made more than a few headlines and it was really only yesterday that he finally decided to resign, putting that tidbit on most newspapers’ back burners.

Well, if you they thought that was explosive, wait’ll they get a load of Parkergate!

That’s right … Parkergate; just like Wienergate but this time involving a local Toronto politician, John Parker. Well, just like Wienergate, except there was no (visibly) erect penis involved, just the tweet that Parker was surrounded by “hot chicks” while attending a recent plaque unveiling ceremony. Here’s the disgustingly full transcript (you might want to have your kids to leave the room now):

Delighted and honoured to help unveil eight new Toronto heritage plaques and meet hot chicks in the bargain. I love my job.

Can you believe that shit? “Hot chicks”?! What the fuckety fuck?!

The outrage was immediate and palpable. Here’s just a small sampling of the ensuing backlash:

The tweet was erased despite his initial refusal to apologize. Parker, known for his light-hearted tweets, blamed the media for making city hall a place where fun won’t be tolerated.

The insolence!

Although the event went off without a hitch, the councillor made waves later in the day when he expressed his view of the overall event on the popular social networking tool Twitter.

The gall!

Pulled out of a meeting at his City Hall office, Parker said the focus should be on the eight plaques unveiled Monday to honour Torontonians, not something he posted on Twitter.–hot-chicks


Heritage Toronto communications director Rebecca Carson said, with a laugh, that she believed she was one of the “hot chicks” in question. She said Heritage executive director Karen Carter might have been another.–heritage-employee-surprised-by-councillor-s-hot-chicks-tweet


Parker (Ward 26, Don Valley West) said the constituents who have contacted him about the flap have been supportive.–parker-apologizes-for-offending-with-hot-chicks-tweet

Go back to Nazi Germany!

The Don Valley West councillor noted the number of people following his Twitter account has gone up in the wake of the story.

Scum-sucking troglodyte!

When does a Tweet cross the line? When it involves “hot chicks” and a city councillor.

Arrrrrggggh!!!!! *running out of the room screaming*

Well, thankfully our mayor stood up and took offense right away, calling on Parker to apologize. I couldn’t actually find anyone else that was publicly offended but that’s probably because of the extreme trauma that’s been inflicted on them. I also couldn’t find a reference to who the “hot chicks” were, but obviously…

…ahhh, I can’t do this anymore. It’s soooooooo stupid! The reason I couldn’t find the offended parties is because, for all intents and purposes, they don’t exist. The various women interviewed for articles expressed, at most, surprise, but not much else. Seriously, even if they took offense, who among them would step forward to positively identify themselves as the “hot chicks” in that tweet? Only Rob Ford, it seems. And since he wasn’t there, I can only assume he took exception to not being included in that group. Well, sorry, Rob … maybe if you manicured your bikini line now and again.

John sums this up best: “I think I’ll be aware of the hazards of slow news days.”


Filed under: Dispatches, Patrick Bay, Why I'm Right

A cycling shocker

Posted on June 22nd, 2011 Be the first to comment

The Toronto Star reports today that in their hour-long “Red light test” (at what appears to be somewhere around the intersection of York and Queen’s Quay), the majority of cyclists broke the law and ran the light.

Unbelievable! I mean, who would’ve been able to guess that something like this could happen in a city like Toronto?!

There were probably even more laws broken but the numbers shown in the video are enough in and of themselves.

Filed under: Dispatches, Patrick Bay, Videos

Paying with plastic

Posted on June 20th, 2011 Be the first to comment

No longer relegated to credit or bank cards, a new bank note being released by The Bank of Canada this November (more to follow in 2012) promises to seem just as flimsy and worthless as the mag stripes you destroy in your back pocket today. Progress!


Filed under: Dispatches, Patrick Bay, Videos


Posted on June 20th, 2011 Be the first to comment
Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and Canadian Blood Services is
partnering up to host Ontario’s biggest single blood donor clinic. The goal:
to collect 500 units of blood in one day. That means we need donations from
500 people. It’s happening at the ACC on Monday, June 20, from 10am-7pm.

Why? Because we need to raise awareness and educate. Despite the fact that
50% of the Canadian population can donate, only 3.7% do. In Toronto, only
1.8% donate. Toronto needs to import 50,000 units of blood a year to meet
the needs of patients in this region. So we need Torontonians to step up,
rally together and donate. Because let’s face it – the status of one’s
health can be unpredictable and you never know when you or someone you love
will need it.

Call 1-888-2-DONATE to book an appointment at The Big Save.

Here’s the link and our Facebook page:
Filed under: Dispatches, SarahD

ONE of my dream jobs…

Posted on June 20th, 2011 2 Comments


All of my life I wanted to write, be a journalist, and eventually work/make an impact on the lives of children around the world. Thus far, I have gotten the chance to dip my toe into a world that helps families in several countries in Africa thanks to my efforts with Engineers Without Borders Canada (, went to school (till I got too ill) at my DREAM university (UofT), and kept writing whenever I could. Mostly I wrote little love stories and/or wishes (?) but here I find myself being Active Editor of this wicked site about where I am from. Pretty freakin’ COOL!!!

Now, after healing up some,  I am making a fresh start right here thanks to my best friend and boyfriend Patrick, the owner of TCL and so far… So far I have had an interesting time on the job! Met some neat people too…

Also, I have made a best friend in his kitty cat Oliver, my ‘other’ boyfriend… : D They both have reminded me that just because things get tough that doesn’t mean it’s ‘over’. Thank goodness for my two favourite boys!

This job has allowed me to put forth ideas and just talk about what matters most to me and so many people I know. I intended to go off and become a human rights worker IN THE TRENCHES but my time is not up — maybe there will come a CURE FOR MS and you will find me in the middle of a conflict zone one day! You never know, right????? Damn right, lol. A girl can dream after all…

Anyhow, I just want to say ‘THANK YOU’ to all of the new+old readers and please keep on reading and participating. We have more to come! With more ways to reach out, to participate, post new pics, rant about whatever floats your boat, and just have a laugh or a smile, things should get MORE interesting!

Challenge us, message us, and we just might be wherever you are. : D


Peace out,

Love, SarahD

Filed under: B Sides, SarahD

This just in….:

Posted on June 17th, 2011 Be the first to comment
Katie Roy June 17
British actor, Twilight star and all around “cute guy” Robert Pattinson sent hipster hearts aflutter on the Ossington strip last night. Dressed in his best nondescript Forrest Gump gear (white T and a blue ball cap), Pattinson held court at the Crooked Star with a few other folks, trying his best to be a super normal guy. He was relatively successful, as he merely received appraising side-way glances from all the ladies, and no shirt-ripping, screaming, or self-mutilation in the name of Edward occurred. As he’s in town filming David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis, this intrepid reporter predicts more sightings, but it’s best not to look for the sparkle.
love, Katie!
Filed under: Contributed, Dispatches, SarahD