The annual Leacock Club Debate, a charitable event in memory of the great Canadian humorist, took place in Toronto this week. Its scenario: Stephen Harper (played by interim Liberal leader Bob Rae), Don Cherry, Celine Dion and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford are all on a crashing plane – which one gets the single parachute? The winning case was made by writer Shawn Micallef, playing Mr. Ford. Here is the full version of his remarks.
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. As you can plainly see, I am your mayor, Rob Ford.
Like city council meetings, this debate is irrelevant. I was riding the subway last night and the people said they want me to have the parachute.
I don’t know who this Stephen Leacock is – I wouldn't recognize him if he walked down the street – but my brother Dougie says he thinks Leacock played for the Argos in the late nineties.
The taxpayers gave me the mandate to have the parachute because that’s what they want. This is the people’s mandate. We must follow the people’s mandate.
Is Margaret Atwood here? Dougie said you guys would be into her so I went to the Indigo library and got The Edible Woman to see what the fuss was about. I didn’t get it – it isn’t like the other edible women I’ve downloaded.
Ladies and gentlemen, or, if I may, “Ford Nation,” it’s people like you who are my base. You’re clearly the ones I meet in Tim Hortons all the time. You’re the ones who tell me to “stay the course.” I’ve never sailed, but everybody in Tim Hortons is saying, “stay the course,” so I am going to stay the course. They tell me to stay the course at Arby’s. They tell me to stay the course at Swiss Chalet. They tell me to stay the course at Coffee Time. They tell me to stay the course at the 7-Eleven. They tell me to stay the course on the subways. They tell me to stay the course at Dollarama. They tell me to stay the course at Linens and Things, and sometimes at Bed, Bath and Beyond.
Ford Nation, I was elected because this city is on a gravy train, but let me tell you right now, we’re on a gravy plane and there’s only one person who should get the parachute – me, because there’s a lot of work to do, friends, and nobody is going to clean up the waste in this town like me. Waste. Waste. Waste. Waste. Waste. Subways. Waste. Touchdowns. Waste. Subways.
The taxpayers voted for me to have the parachute. I have the mandate to have the parachute.
I need the parachute because there are subways to build. I'm going to build a subway to Scarborough and, don’t worry Ford Nation, to Forest Hill, Lawrence Park and the Annex for you. You’re taxpayers too. You’ve got families, like me, and you’ve got compounds to get home to, like me. Family means a lot to me, but so do subways. Subways, families and Ferris wheels for families. Subways to Ferris wheels. And monorails. For the children.
I'm listening to you, Ford Nation, so I'll build a subway to Branksome Hall for you. I'll build you a subway to UCC. I'll build you a subway to Pusateri’s. The good Pusateri’s! I'll build you a subway to Scaramouche.
I'll build you a subway from Sporting Life to Scaramouche to Pusateri’s: I'll call it the Scarateri line.
Ladies and gentlemen, tonight if you all look under your seat, you'll find a subway! A subway for you! A subway for you! Now, give me the parachute.
Ford Nation is about you and me, the little guys. I'm sick of these downtown bike-riding elites, flying their Porter airlines, telling us how to live. Why can't they take Air Canada Jazz like everybody else?
I get a little teary-eyed looking out at you, Ford Nation. You're beautiful but you've been a long time coming. Almost 20 years ago my father, Doug Ford, was elected MPP as part of a revolution, a Common Sense revolution that took this province back from the pinko socialists who had the taxpayers over a barrel. No more, the taxpayers said. We don't even know what happened to the head pinko Uncle Mike and Dad demolished back in '95 – I hear he's up in Ottawa maybe, doing temp work.