The National Post’s Natalie Alcoba got to do a Q&A with Ford to mark the end of 2010. She actually handles things pretty well, which is a nice change from the “Why are you so popular?”-style of questioning he’s been getting from some reporters.
Q For 10 years as councillor you were, as you say, fighting for the little guy, and also fighting with your colleagues. So, how does being in charge change the way people react to you? Does it?
A Not really. When I go to the gas station or the restaurant, people still come up and say hi. I’m friendly to everyone I meet and people are friendly to me. My life hasn’t changed or my personality towards people hasn’t changed. It’s just a different position, but it’s still the same team. Except now instead of playing defence I’m playing centre, or something.
Sports analogy! Or something.
Also (and, I know, this is just the way he speaks) I really like how he cites the ‘gas station’ and ‘the restaurant’ (singular!) as places he runs into people.
Q What is the most important thing you want to do in 2011?
A Just continue watching how money is spent, and save the taxpayers money. I want to get the subways built and I want to get rid of the land transfer tax and this 5¢ bag tax. Although I never campaigned on it, that’s going to be something we’re going to propose doing, abolish the 5¢ bag tax. Get the city cleaned up, and make it a more liveable and prosperous city.
Alcoba doesn’t press him on the bag tax thing, but that’s likely because it’s a total holy-shit-did-he-just-say-that moment. More on this later.
Then there’s this admission that, hey, Scarborough and Etobicoke are really far apart:
Q What is the strangest request you’ve had since you’ve been mayor?
A I’ve had people ask me to do their shopping for them. I said ‘‘I don’t mind doing home visits, but I’m not going to do your groceries for you.’’ This one person called me, an elderly man, and I sort of felt sorry for him and he was just talking about how he can’t get to the store and would you mind picking this up for me. Honestly, if he lived a little closer to me, but it was way out in Scarborough. I was thinking, man if I was around the corner I don’t mind dropping in the store and buying it for him but I’m not going to go buy a bag of milk out here in Etobicoke and take it all the way up to Scarborough.
I’ll ignore the weird idea that the mayor would even consider doing some random dude’s grocery shopping and instead mention that, hey, wouldn’t it be great if someone proposed a transit line that ran from Scarborough to Etobicoke?
You’ve have to be crazy to be against something like that.