Hepburn’s humour.

Columnist Bob Hepburn must be weaning off the writing habit as he continues for his 30th year at the Toronto Star. Luckily, he has not lost his sense of humour. He wrote a couple weeks ago that the media should not ignore former Toronto Councillor Doug Ford. And then he wrote more recently that Toronto Mayor John Tory made his worst decision as mayor when he listened to Doug Ford.

Bob always has marched to a different drummer. Many of us who also follow city hall happenings in Toronto saw the humour in what John Tory did to Doug Ford’s idea. Rather than provide oxygen to the Ford campaign—it served to put Ford where he belonged.

For those who might have missed the manoeuvring, Doug Ford came up with the idea of honouring his late brother Rob by renaming Centennial Stadium in Etobicoke as the Rob Ford Memorial Stadium. He took this idea to Mayor Tory. Instead of insulting the millionaire political blowhard, John Tory said he would see what he could do.

It was masterful. John Tory fed Doug Ford to the jackals on city council. He sent them all a polite letter suggesting that they might consider the renaming of Centennial Stadium along with finding suitable parks or public places to be named for other deceased former council members. The letter to council was also released to the news media.

Public response ranged from a polite “Good God” to “That is the stupidest idea we have heard in a long time!” Bear in mind, John Tory had pointed out that it was Doug Ford’s idea.

But there was a much more visceral reaction among those who had tried to work with Rob Ford during his years on council. The renaming operations were stopped by council.

In his second column, in which he castigated Tory for bringing forward the suggestion to council—Hepburn asked “What, indeed, was he thinking?”

John Tory was obviously thinking “Nobody is going to say I said anything ill of the dead.”

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Copyright 2017 © Peter Lowry

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