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Composite image of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (L) and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. (Fernando Morales/John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail/Fernando Morales/John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail)
Composite image of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (L) and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. (Fernando Morales/John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail/Fernando Morales/John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail)

Stephen Quinn

Pride, bikes and riots: When the mayors of Toronto and Vancouver talk Add to ...

To: The Canadian Media Fund

From: Stephen Quinn

Thank you for considering my grant application for the development of a new television series. As you know from previous correspondence, the working title of the project is "Rob & Robertson." You may also recall the premise: that Mayor Rob Ford and Mayor Gregor Robertson respectively, are the mayors of Gravytown and Flakesburg, twin cities divided by a bridge over a narrow river.

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As requested, here is some sample dialogue:

INT: MAYOR ROBERTSON'S OFFICE - DAY

GREGOR ROBERTSON IS AT HIS DESK, STEAMING MILK FOR A SOY CHAI LATTE

SECRETARY: (OFF CAMERA) Your worship, Gravytown Mayor Rob Ford for you on line one.

ROBERTSON: Thanks Sky. (POURS SOY MILK INTO AN ARTISAN CERAMIC MUG WITH A FLOURISH. PUNCHES A BUTTON ON HIS PHONE)

SPLIT SCREEN REVEALS:

INT: FORD'S OFFICE - DAY

ROB FORD IS WEARING A GLOWING BLUETOOTH HEADSET. HE PUTS DOWN HIS PUTTER AND STOPS PRACTICING HIS SHORT GAME TO ANSWER THE PHONE. HE PAUSES TO LIGHT A CIGAR WITH A FLAMING PARKING TICKET.

FORD: (ALREADY SOUNDING EXASPERATED) Hello, Gregor.

ROBERTSON: Hey Rob! How's it going? A few things I wanted to talk to you about.

FORD: What now?

ROBERTSON: First off, it's about the bike lanes.

FORD: What about them?

ROBERTSON: Well word's out that you guys are about to tear them out on your side of the Twincity Bridge. What gives bro?

FORD: Gregor, you've heard me say it before. What I compare bike lanes to is swimming with the sharks. Sooner or later you're going to get bitten. Every year we have dozens of cyclists who get hit by cars and buses and trucks. My heart bleeds, but it's no wonder. Roads are built for cars and buses and trucks.

ROBERTSON: Uh, yeah, right, but that's why we built the bike lanes in the first place - to keep the cyclists safe.

FORD: Ya, well I campaigned on getting rid of them, so that's what I'm doing. I can't support bike lanes. How many people are riding outside today? We don't live in Florida.

ROBERTSON: Right, but a cohesive and connected network of bike lanes serving all communities is important and if we want to get more people -

FORD: (CUTS HIM OFF) What else? I'm busy here.

ROBERTSON: Aw jeez, you know, this riot thing. What a mess! I'm thinking that it's starting to stick to me, politically I mean.

FORD: If you didn't want to be down there, then you shouldn't have been down there.

ROBERSTON: Huh?

FORD: I have very little sympathy for the people who were down there and I support our police. Look at how we handled the G20. Let stuff burn on day one, then crack heads on day two. I mean, I wasn't the mayor yet so I don't have to own it. Stick your chief out front on this one. Bill Blair's taking all the heat here. You should hear him, it's beautiful. Who's your guy? Chu? Stick him out front.

ROBERTSON: He's not talking to me anymore. He won't even tell me how many police officers were on the street. You guys, like, arrested and detained hundreds of people for no reason and this isn't touching you. I mean the public there almost seems to be siding with you.

FORD: They elected me, didn't they? (REACHES FOR HIS PUTTER AGAIN) Is that it?

ROBERTSON: Hey no, sorry, just one more thing. Are you sure you won't reconsider walking in the Twin City Pride Parade this year?

FORD: My family comes first.

ROBERTSON: Dude, it was serious fun last year. I was wearing a rainbow-colored feather boa and a tank top and dancing like a freak. Check it out on YouTube. I felt like George Michael up there.

FORD: I have a long-standing tradition of getting the hell out of town for the long weekend. My family comes first.

ROBERTSON: I know, but this could help you shake the public perception that you've got something against gay people.

FORD: My family comes first.

ROBERTSON: Why don't you bring your family then?

FORD: We're done. (HANGS UP PHONE)

Stephen Quinn is the host of On the Coast on CBC Radio One, 690 AM and 88.1 FM in Vancouver. He is currently working in Toronto, just across the bridge.

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