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(Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)
(Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)

mark schatzker

Rob Ford, one-man press scrum Add to ...

“I know the questions you’re going to ask me… so I’ll answer your questions before you ask about what we talked about.”

– Mayor Rob Ford addressing the press after meeting with Premier Dalton McGuinty and requesting $650-million in transit funding.

Q. Was the Premier drinking gravy?

A. Great question. I didn’t see any gravy. But that doesn't mean there wasn't gravy there. In fact, just as I was walking in, Mr. McGuinty was wiping some kind of liquid from his mouth, like he was drinking something and I caught him by surprise. I presume this was gravy.

Q. Did he steal my hard-earned money and give it to his pinko union friends?

A. It’s not like he mugged me at knifepoint. But I swear there were four crisp twenty-dollar bills in my wallet when I walked in, and later on there were only two. I’m not saying, I’m just saying…

Q. Is Dalton McGuinty the same in person as he is on TV?

A. In real life he's taller, but his head seems smaller. But he definitely sounds the same. He keeps up the whole soft-voiced nerdy dad thing. Maybe he’s just like that with me, or maybe that’s how he is all the time. I don’t know.

Q. Is the Premier a football fan?

A. We didn’t talk about football, although I raised it several times.

I asked him if he thought the Argos 1-6 record was reflective of the team’s talent and it was like he didn’t hear the question. So then I asked him what he thought of using transit funding to tear down the ROM and build a huge stadium to attract an NFL football team to Toronto, and he just stared at me with his mouth open. I don’t think he’s a fan.

Q. Where does McGuinty stand on the war on the car?

A. Here’s a guy that gets driven around in a taxpayer-funded limo. So while his driver is dealing with righteous cyclists and waiting two hours for passengers to walk from the curb to the streetcar, McGuinty is back there living the high life. It’s safe to say he’s out of touch with what drivers are going through, and I think it shows.

Q. What’s Queen’s Park like?

A. There’s a lot of dark wood and carpeted hallways. Everyone is uptight. It reminded me of one of those schools people go to after high school with the know-it-all professors and left-wing students who’ve never worked a day in their life.

Q. Did you, Rob Ford, sic Ford Nation on him?

A. I’m still thinking about it. For instance, I have this one constituent who phones me every day to rail against having to pay five cents for plastic bags. The only thing he hates more is walking around with a bunch of reusable bags. So this guy is in agony every time he goes shopping. I’d like to put 20 guys like him in a room with Dalton McGuinty and see what happens. Then I’d get my $650-million.

Q. Would you, Rob Ford, consider running for premier?

A. This whole province has a serious gravy addiction. OPSEU makes Local 416 look like the Tea Party North. But Dalton took me into the legislature for a tour and the seats are extremely uncomfortable. At City Hall, the chairs are on wheels. You can push away from the desk and lean back. Sometimes you lean so far back you get this rush of adrenalin because you think you’re about to tip over and do a backwards somersault. The chairs at Queen’s Park are more like the ones in a church. And the legroom is pretty much non-existent. So at this point, the answer is no.

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