An open letter to my fellow Kitchenerites about Rob Ford messing with your politics

Dear fellow Kitchenerites (really, don’t we have a better name for ourselves?),

I live in Toronto now, but grew up in Kitchener. My parents live in Kitchener, I’ve got friends and strong ties to the city. There are many of us like this, who grew up in KW and then went away. So, others like me may have opinions too. But, I feel that we’re in a unique position to weigh in on this issue.

rob fordRob Ford, Toronto’s mayor, said recently that “he’ll campaign against the Liberal candidate in Kitchener-Waterloo” by-election (Elizabeth Witmer’s vacated seat).

I apologize in advance for the stereotypical “we’re from Toronto, the world revolves around us and what we think” attitude that our idiot mayor exudes. We’re not all like that. Really. Most of us didn’t even grow up in Toronto. We haven’t necessarily been brainwashed into this ridiculous attitude.

Late last year, I MC’d a fundraiser and evening of recognition for one of your amazing city builders, and a mentor/friend of mine, Myrta Rivera. I said at one point how refreshing it was to be in KW, where a female mayor sits in Waterloo, City Councilor Barry Vrbanovic is the president of the FCM, a former KW Record writer/editor now sits in City Council. And we were celebrating someone who had helped make Kitchener an increasingly inclusive city.

All of this was so refreshing, having already endured Rob Ford and Ford-the-lesser Doug for a year. I said that the past year in Toronto has felt like I was living in  The Simpson’s Springfield. Monorail! I made that joke, and, man, it still stands. If anything, his buffoonery has continued to hit all time highs, almost every week.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Toronto. Raising a family here and all that. Gotta work to make it a great city.

And, while, to be honest, my Toronto doesn’t include Rob Ford; even less, my Kitchener doesn’t include Rob Ford.

If and when our mayor tries to bring his mythical “Ford Nation” to Kitchener to insert his ridiculous self into your politics and future, please do us all (and, well, really, yourselves) a favour.

Stop him.

Stop him near the Highway 8 off ramp and tell him to turn around. You’re from Kitchener, so I know you’ll be pleasant.

Direct him to the left of the off ramp, towards my old Sportsworld stomping grounds. He can have a quick bite at the Pioneer BBQ (the chocolate cream pie, oh yeah, he might go for some of that), maybe take in an afternoon matinee at the Empire theatre. Hey, maybe even take him for a tour of Pioneer Tower. But, then, escort him to city limits and wave as he and his ilk drive away on the 401.

Sure, unfortunately, I’m asking you to send him back to us (sorry Torontonians). But a bunch of idiots voted for him here, so we kind of deserve him.

For now.

But, you? No, you don’t deserve him at all. And you should let him know that…

(image courtesy of mtonic)

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Communications in social services/social change, immigration, diversity & inclusion in Toronto. Wannabe librarian, interested in nonprofit tech innovation.

Communications in social services/social change, immigration, diversity & inclusion in Toronto. Wannabe librarian, interested in nonprofit tech innovation.

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