Toronto City Hall saw a boost of colour on Monday after a group of councillors wore pink to celebrate their last council session before the election – and to protest against Rob Ford’s performance as mayor.
At least nine councillors dressed in pink – a reference to a speech given by Don Cherry at Mr. Ford’s inauguration four years ago when he ranted about “left-wing pinkos” and “kooks.”
“Wearing pink to commemorate the end of #RobFord as Toronto’s worst mayor ever,” tweeted Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, who organized the protest Monday.
The councillor, who wore a pink shirt and a fuchsia scarf, called it a “playful way” of showing discontent with the mayor, and later added that she also chose it because “pink is the colour of anti-bullying.”
“When we first came to city council, the very first city council meeting, I think there was a tone of divisional politics that was set,” she said. “You were either with us or against us was the mayor’s comments out there, and clearly I have not been with Mayor Ford. I think that he is an ineffective mayor.”
Councillor Janet Davis spoke of “intimidation” on council, and said she chose her pink blazer “to say that I continue to speak up in defence of the things that I believed in in my community, and would not be intimidated by those kinds of tactics.”
Councillor Ana Bailao described her choice of a pink sweater as “a statement that we want a council that works better, that is more respectful of each others’ ideas, that we agree to disagree, but we’re going to work together for the betterment of the city.”
Meanwhile, Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, a former ally of the mayor who was wearing a shirt and tie with pink in them, said his wardrobe choice was a coincidence.
“You know there are some people that don’t like Rob Ford and they’d like to wear pink,” he said.
“We are going to get into an election and talk about the issues. Instead of that type of drama and novelty, I think we have a lot more on this council agenda that we should be talking about.”
Asked if he thinks this week will mark the mayor’s last council meeting, he responded, “That’s up to voters to decide.”
As for the mayor himself, he said he’s confident this won’t be his last council session. “Might be yours,” Mr. Ford said to reporters Monday. “Won’t be mine.”