Rob Ford leaves Canada Day parade early amid heckles
WATCH : Topless jogger confronts Rob Ford, has shouting match with Doug Ford
Note: This story was updated July 02 to include comment from Doug Ford. Changes in italics.
Mayor Rob Ford entered his SUV and exited the East York Canada Day parade before making it to the finish line.
It happened at a time when several onlookers began to heckle the mayor.
Doug Ford noted Wednesday he and his brother didn’t leave the parade early because of the hecklers but instead because they were late for their next event.
Throughout the parade route, hundreds of people took the opportunity to speak to Ford, some congratulating him on his return, others calling for answers.
“Answer the people’s questions,” shouted Joe Killoran, a Toronto high school teacher who said he was going for a jog when he noticed the mayor. “He won’t answer any questions, he won’t answer journalists’ questions, he won’t answer reporters and he won’t even have reporters at his press conference.”
“It’s one thing to be sick, that is fine, but he has questions to answer for the people of Toronto,” said Killoran, who has written a number of opinion pieces for the Toronto Star on religion, social justice and education.
Doug Ford was quick to come to his brother’s defence. “He needs a little anger management,” said Doug Ford, referring to Killoran. “I don’t go chasing socialists running and screaming behind them. You’re going to see nine to one of support (for the mayor).”
The Mayor’s brother also promised every media outlet will have the opportunity to sit down with Rob and ask him the questions he has so far refused to answer.
The East York resident was one of several people looking to have their voices heard by the mayor. Many were opposed to Ford’s presence at the Canada Day festivities.
“I’m a little disappointed because I don’t think this community supports him,” said Susan, a local resident. “I cannot imagine what his motivation is for being here today.”
While there was a lot of negativity, supporters for the incumbent were also out in full force. “I’d like to see him be the mayor,” said Jim Christen. “He’s a good man, he does what he says he is going to do.”
Beverly Le Blanc was also among several people to promise she will be voting for the mayor “no matter what.”
On the other hand, some people believe that Canada Day should stand separate from politics, calling for all of the candidates to stay at home. “Not just Ford, but all of them really- It just seems like they’re canvassing. This year, being a campaign year, I just don’t see the sincerity,” said Paul Bush, a parade-goer.
John Tory and Olivia Chow walked the parade route as well, both taking the time to address Ford’s presence.
WATCH: The campaigning doesn’t stop on Canada Day, Mark Carcasole reports
“I’m prepared to give him a pass for today, it’s Canada Day, but he’s got these questions to answer,” said Tory. “He has to tell people how he plans to get anything done for this city when he’s burned every bridge he’s got and massively disgraced (Toronto.) ”
Chow said she is happy Ford went to rehab but questions why he refuses to answer reporters.
“I think everybody should be up front if you have nothing to hide. I think there are still quite a few questions that he has to answer… but he’s the mayor and that’s why we need change,” said Chow.
As far as the Mayor’s response, Ford remained tight-lipped keeping all conversation on Canada Day festivities.
“I’m just going to talk about Canada Day today. It’s all about Canada Day I just want to meet the people, I’ll be happy to talk to you guys later,” said Ford.
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